The best thing for Spring time are campfires, picnics, and camping. Even if in your own garden, or house. This recipe for wraps with smoked mackerel and horseradish sauce are perfect to take with you on a picnic.
In April the world celebrates the National Picnic Day. The best food for outdoor lunch are sandwiches, or wraps, of course in my opinion. As an outdoor educator I have to say that I tried other things including salads and leftovers while hiking or biking, and honestly the first two worked the best for me.
So I would like to share with you my recipe for the best “take for a picnic wraps” - wraps with smoked mackerel & horseradish sauce. And, because I am trying to rediscover some of the less world known Polish flavors- in comparison to Pierogi for example- I packed those "picnic wraps" with plenty of mackerel, radishes and cucumbers - flavors that remind me of my childhood. I also added something extra, a delicious horseradish sauce to dip your wraps in.
Pack your baskets (or backpacks- much more comfortable when you have hands busy with your kids), lay down your blankets, and enjoy the picnic!
Know what you eat
You probably will say “hey, stop!” - mackerel is not even close to a Polish fish since it is fished out from the ocean or sea (not so common in Baltic Sea). And you are absolutely right, but for some reason in Poland herring, pollock and mackerel are the most popular saltwater species eaten, and I know why.
Mackerel is a fatty fish, which makes it a good source of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, it is rich in potassium, as well as vitamin A and D. The latter is beneficial for our skins, bones and teeth. Additionally, mackerel contains a large amount of selenium, an important nutrient that is crucial to reproduction, thyroid gland function and helps protect the body from damage caused from infection.
In Poland mackerel is usually served with salads, on sandwiches or made into bread spreads. The most common and easiest to find in Poland is smoked mackerel, or in cans. Poles love their smoked fish! In the US, I have to say that it was slightly easier for me to find fresh mackerel in Asian grocery stores, then the smoked one. But I was able to purchase one in my favorite Polish store - Kiełbasa Factory, so you should have one in your local Polish/ Eastern European shop.
Picnic with kids? No problem
We love picnics, and we try to do all different kinds of them, from bike rides and picnicking in the forest to placing a blanket in the living room on rainy days and inviting all our toy friends for picnic. So here are few ideas how to make picnic adventure with you kids:
Farm exploration. We love to go to the farms, you should be able to find a local farm that is open for kids to play, they will love to explore and get to know animals and play in hay. And picnic will be the cherry on top!
Bike adventure. I bike with my family, by myself (that does not happen very often), and by myself with kids (both of them). We purchased a bike trolley that makes my life so easy. You can put all the food in the trolley, and just go where you want. Exercise, fun and food in one.
Kayak adventure, it is not easy, but it will be very rewarding. Kayaks are not super easy to rent or transport, for that matter. We manage to borrowed inflatable kayaks from our friends, and I have to say that kids were so happy to be able to do that. If you can you should try it! Do not forget about life jackets. After couple hours on water, picnic is what everyone will enjoy.
Build a shelter inside or outside. The weather is awful? No problem, we also try picking. This actually is my kids’ idea, they basically build their own house from what they can find- and, pretend that when they come out it is sunny and want to have a picnic.
Servings: 4 Time: 20 min
For the wrap
1/2 cup of cream cheese
1/4 cup of chopped chives
1 tsp of chopped chives
3 radishes (1 finely chopped, 2 julienne*)
1/4 cucumber (julienne*)
1/8 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of sugar
1 piece of smoked mackerel
1/2 avocado (sliced )
1 tsp of apple vinegar
For the sauce
1/2 tbsp of mayonnaise
1 tbsp of yogurt
2 tsp of horseradish
1 tsp of lemon juice
1/8 tsp of salt
1/8 tsp of pepper
*Julienne- cut into long thin strips
Step by Step
Start by pickling the cucumbers and radishes: In a bowl mix together the vinegar, salt and sugar until sugar resolves. Add julienne radishes and cucumbers, let them pickle for the time you are making the wraps.
Cream cheese: In a separate bowl, mix together cream cheese, chives, and the last chopped radish.
Cut the avocado into half, take out the pit and slice it.
Tear to piece the fish.
For the horseradish sauce mix mayonnaise, yogurt, horseradish, lemon salt and pepper.
On a preheated frying pan place one tortilla, and heat it for a min.
Smear a tortilla with a cream cheese mixture, place 2 slices of avocado, add the fish and the pickled vegetables. Wrap it tightly and cover in foil or reusable beeswax wrapping paper and put them for at least 20 min in the fridge so they do not split while eating.
While making a picking for kids make sure to have a treat & have FUN!