Jun 27, 2015
London for cooks - Blog - Summer time - picnic time

Summer time - picnic time

Summer has finally arrived and with it the time for a picnic. Here are some recipes for easy to prepare and easy to eat dishes, which I always pack into my picnic basket.

Home-smoked mackerel pate


  • 2 mackerels (bone cut out and preferably thin skin membrane removed)
  • 100g sour-cream
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt, pepper, 2 tbsp sugar

Set up a smoking pan if you have one, if not, you can use a normal frying pan with a lid for home-smoking.

Line a frying pan with foil and put the sugar in the middle. Place a rack on top and mackerel on the rack. Cover the pan with a lid tightly and heat it on high on the stovetoü until smoke appears. Turn the heat down and smoke for 5 minutes. The sugar with burn: the smoke and heat from the pan will cook the mackerel. Once the mackerels are smoked, mash them with a fork, add sour cream, season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. The pate is best if you keep it in the fridge overnight. 

Pickled carrots and cucumbers

  • 2 carrots, julienned either on a mandoline or simply with a knife
  • cucumber thinly sliced
  • 6 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 cm ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp mirin sauce (can be replaced by sherry or marsala)


Bring all the ingredients bar carrots and cucumbers to boil and then simmer until the mixture reduces by 25%. Pour over the carrots and cucumbers and let marinate for at least 1 hour.

Scotch eggs

  • 6 eggs
  • 200g plain sausage meat
  • 200g pork mince
  • 3 tbsp chopped mixed herbs (I like chives, sage, parsley and thyme)
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • 50g flour
  • 100g panko breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil, to cook

First prepare the eggs (the egg whites need to be set, but not the egg yolks). Bring a pan of water to boil and carefully submerge 4 eggs in the water. Cook for 4 minutes if the eggs were kept at room temperature and 5 if out of the fridge. Plunge into cold water and leave for 10 minutes. Then carefully peel them.

Meanwhile mix the sausage meat, pork mince, the herbs and mustard and then divide into 4 parts. Prepare 3 dishes: one with flour, one with breadcrumbs and one with 2 beaten eggs. First lighly dust the boiled eggs with flour and then carefully roll them in the prepared mince mix, so that the eggs are fully covered with the mixture. One after another roll the mince-covered eggs in flour, then beaten egg and then breadcrumbs. 

Preheat oil in a pan to 170C (take special care when handling hot oil). Plunge the eggs into the hot oil and cook for 7 minutes.


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