Picnic food has become so sophisticated that it often feels as if you're planningan outing to Glyndebourne rather than throwing bits and pieces together for a lazy lunch outside. That's not to say I don't like the smart stuff, but I have fond memories of childhood picnics made up of simpler treats: pork pies, ham sandwiches, cold new potatoes sprinkled with salt, and my favourite- classic devilled eggs, with spicy salad cream and sprinklings of paprika.
Devilled eggs were around in the days when restaurants also offered the hideous 'Egg mayonnaise' starter, a dusty hard-boiled egg, usually served sliced in two with a gallon of salad cream poured over the top. Ugh.
Luckily, that's ancient history and although devilled eggs still aren't very fashionable, my revamp turns them into feisty, spicy snacks, thanks to a generous helping of paprika and a dash of Tabasco. Pack a boxful on your next picnic trip to the Witterings or the lovely Surrey Hills and enjoy the taste of nostalgia mixed with a blast of hot chilli to blow away the cobwebs.
Serves 4 if you're not quite sure, and two if you're already a convert.
2 tablespoons of salad cream
1 teaspoon of finely chopped chives.
salt and pepper
Hard boil the eggs so the yolks are definitely firm but not dry.
Slice the eggs in half, and carefully scoop out the yolk without splitting the whites. Mix the yolks with the salad cream and chives and add a dash of Tabasco. Season with salt and pepper then sprinkle with a little paprika. They will keep covered in cling film in the fridge but don't wait too long, as they are best fresh.