Picnic at Burghley

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  • The perfecT parkland picnic

    With its late summer date and idyllic setting, many Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials visitors enjoy bringing a picnic. Three seasoned cooks recommend something suitable

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    Burghley Life

    About Claire MacdonaldLady Claire is a widely published cookery writer, and, with her husband Godfrey, owns Kinloch Lodge hotel (www.kinloch-lodge.co.uk) on the Isle of Skye, which has a Michelin-starred restaurant.

    Watercress and Smoked Salmon RouladeServes eight

    For the flavoured milk: (and please dont be tempted to just not do this, because it makes ALL the difference to the end result!) 600ml / 1 pint milk 1 onion, skinned and halved 1 stick celery, washed and broken in half A small handful of parsley stalks, bashed, to release their flavour

    A blade of fennel 1 teaspoon salt

    For the roulade: 2 handfuls of watercress 50g butter 50g flour About 15 grinds of black pepper 1 large egg plus 4 large eggs, the yolks separated from the whites put the whites into a large bowl with a pinch of salt.

    For the filling: 2 tubs of full fat crme fraiche 200g smoked salmon cut into fine dice you can either use cold-smoked salmon, or hot-smoked salmon, in which case flake the salmon, discarding any skin.

    Method: Put all the flavoured milk ingredients into a saucepan on a moderate heat. Heat until a skin forms. Take the pan off the heat and leave until the milk is cold. It will become infused with the tastes from the onion, celery etc. Strain into a jug, and discard the contents of the sieve.Line a swiss roll tin measuring 25-30cm

    by 30-35cm with a sheet of baking parchment, anchoring it in each corner with a dab of butter.

    Liquidise the watercress with the flavoured milk.Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir

    in the flour. Let this cook for a couple of minutes before gradually stirring in the watercress milk, stirring until the sauce bubbles gently. Stir in the pepper there should be enough salt in the flavoured milk for most palates. Let the sauce simmer for a minute, then take the pan off the heat. Cool for five minutes, then beat in the yolks, one at a time, and lastly, the whole egg, breaking it into the sauce and mixing very thoroughly.Whisk up the whites with the pinch of salt

    till stiff and glossy. Fold the whisked whites thoroughly through the watercress sauce. Pour this into the lined tin, smooth it even, and bake in a moderate heat, 350F 180C gas 4 for about 25 minutes the centre should feel firm. Take it out of the oven, cover with a dry cloth, and leave to cool.Mix together the crme fraiche and

    diced or flaked smoked salmon.To assemble the roulade, lay a

    sheet of baking parchment on a work surface. Remove the cloth from the cold roulade and tip it face down onto the fresh parchment. Carefully peel the parchment from the roulade, tearing it in strips parallel with the roulade. Spread the crme fraiche and smoked salmon evenly over the entire surface, and carefully roll up the roulade lengthways, rolling away from you then towards you it is so much easier actually doing this than it sounds!Transport the roulade still wrapped in its parchment, and slice it into thick slices to serve. Scotch Quails Eggs in Sesame SeedsMakes 12

    12 quails eggs feed the shells to your dogs if you have them. They love eating them, and they are very nutritious for dogs, apparently

    450g best quality pork sausagemeat 75g sesame seeds mixed with teaspoon salt, on a plate Sunflower oil for frying

    food for picnics ranges from the simplest, cold sausages and buttered buns, to the other end of the spectrum, more elaborate food. But

    whatever you aim for, the food must be transportable and easy to eat.Here are some recipes which fit

    those categories. My recipes below are for savoury food anything sweet is so easy, a box of lusciously rich dark chocolate slightly undercooked brownies, for example, and I now scatter a small amount of flaky salt over them when I take them out of the oven. Plus a large bowl or basket of strawberries or cherries.

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    Burghley Life

    Method: Cook the quails eggs by putting them in cold water, bringing it to the boil and simmering for five minutes. Drain off the boiling water and run cold water through the little eggs in the pan. When cold, drain off the water and shell each egg.Break off a small piece of pork

    sausagemeat and wrap it around a shelled egg, pinching it together at the edges. Roll each wrapped egg in the sesame seeds.To cook, heat some sunflower oil in a

    non-stick saut pan and put the eggs into the pan. Do not be tempted to move them around: leave for two minutes in the pan, and only then turn them over to cook for another couple of minutes, before turning them again. This way, the sausagemeat turns a golden brown under the browned sesame seeds beware, the seeds can pop slightly alarmingly, but their flavour is so worth the occasional pop! As they cook, lift them on to a wide dish lined with a double thickness of kitchen paper.

    Aubergine and Butternut Squash SaladServes four (assuming you are eating other things with it)

    1 small Butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2.5cm cubes

    1 large aubergine, cut into cubes a little larger than the squash

    2 courgettes, thickly sliced Extra virgin olive oil

    To finish 2 pinches saffron threads 2 tablespoons boiling water 4 tablespoons plain yoghurt 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds 1 teaspoon nigella seeds Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Method: Preheat the oven to 200C/400F, gas mark 6. Put the squash into an ovenproof tray

    with the aubergine and courgettes. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, stir to coat with the oil and bake for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. Grind

    the saffron lightly, put into a small bowl and pour over the boiling water and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Add the saffron tea to the yoghurt. When the vegetables are cooked remove

    from the oven and pile into an airtight plastic container. Whilst the vegetables are still warm, drizzle the yoghurt dressing over them and sprinkle with the pomegranate, pumpkin and nigella seeds.

    FoccaciaThis is so easy and really quite delicious, and almost a meal in itself served with good quality olive oil to dip it in, or any of your favourite dips.

    500g strong white bread flour 5g fine salt 7g powdered dried yeast 240mls warm water 120mls olive oil

    To finish Rosemary sprigs, soaked in olive oil A generous drizzle of olive oil Coarse sea salt

    Method: Sift the flour with the salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast, water and olive oil. Quickly mix the ingredients together to form a soft dough. Turn on to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.Roll it into a rough oval about 2cm thick,

    lightly oil a shallow baking tray and slip the

    About Caroline Waldegrave OBECaroline was the founding Principal, Managing Director and co-owner of Leiths School of Food and Wine, and has co-written many cookery books. She now runs a cookery school from her home in the Mendip Hills, at Dudwell. Visit www.dudwellschool.com

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  • About Alex HaldaneeAlex is a self-taught cook and food enthusiast who loves to create new recipes and share them on his blog www.alexcooks.co.uk.

    rolled dough onto the baking sheet. Leave to prove, covered with greased clingfilm, in a warm place, for about an hour.Meanwhile preheat the oven to its highest

    setting. When the dough looks soft and pillowy make about 12 indentations in the dough with your finger. Place a sprig of rosemary in each dent. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 200C/400F, gas mark 6.Bake for a further 10-15 minutes. Remove

    from the oven and place on a wire rack. Drizzle generously with olive oil and coarse sea salt. Cover with a clean tea towel.Note: This mixture can be made in a

    heavy electric mixer using a dough hook. Knead for two minutes in the machine and then lightly knead on a floured surface until smooth.

    Spinach, Pea and Feta SaladServes four

    200g fresh or frozen peas 75g spinach 1 tsp ground coriander 1 handful mint leaves, finely chopped 1 tbsp olive oil Juice and zest of half a lemon 50g feta cheese, crumbled Salt and pepper

    Method: First prepare the dressing: combine the olive oil, ground coriander, lemon juice and zest in a small bowl and mix well. Get a large bowl filled with water

    and ice ready for refreshing your vegetables. Next bring a pan of water to the boil before dropping in your peas. Cook for around three minutes (this may depend on whether your peas are fresh or frozen) before adding your spinach to wilt for a maximum of 30 seconds. Drain and put into the bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process and retain the colour of the vegetables. Once cooled, drain again.Combine with the mint, feta and dressing and store in a sealed container. It is best dressed on the morning of your picnic, but will happily last for longer if you reserve the lemon for the last minute.

    Chorizo, Pepper and Caramelised Onion FrittataServes four

    100g chorizo (skin removed) 1 medium white onion 1 red pepper 100g cooked potatoes 1 handful curled leaf parsley, finely chopped

    4 eggs 50g ricotta Salt and pepper

    Method: Dice the chorizo into 1cm cubes and put in a small to medium sized frying pan on medium heat, to allow the chorizo to release its oil. Slice the onions finely and do the same with