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Favorite Picnic Foods


sara
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Hi

I'd like to get your thoughts on favorite picnic foods...aside from the typical cheese and crackers and wine, or tuna fish sandwiches. My preference is for simple dishes (10 ingrediants or less, 20 min or so to prep), that are easily transported by one without a formal picnic basket.

Thanks!

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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I have made up picnic suppers for the Hollywood Bowl, using deli items, mostly salads containing meat or chicken, tucked into pita pockets. There are so many combinations one can please just about everyone. Waldorf salad with the addition of chicken is a particular favorite, some with a bit of curry sauce to make some a bit more spicy.

I make deviled eggs, actually several varieties with the addition of various condiments, crumbled bacon, salmon roe, anchovies, and so on.

There are some very clever containers made specifically for deviled eggs, that makes it easy to carry them in one of the soft-sided coolers with a blu-ice pack.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I once did vitello tonnato :blink: -- but that was for a very, very special picnic (it didn't work its magic, though. :sad: )

I'm more likely to do chicken, marinated first with lemon and garlic and oregano, then baked in the marinade. That and lots of good bread to act as napkins, and I'm very happy. (It takes longer than 20 minutes, and required some advance planning, but it's really very little hands-on work time.)

Also that perennial eG favorite: Asian-style salad, made with whatever meat or poultry I have left over in the fridge, lots of julienned vegs, and a chili-fish sauce-rice vinegar-sesame oil dressing.

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A variety of olives is usually welcome fare. Garlic, jalapeno or almond stuffed. Hummus, baba ganoush, tapenade and spiced pitas travel well. Mmmm, mediterranean.

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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Not a ten minute recipe, but definitely a summer hit: Jambon Persille, as found in most Frencj Provincial books. Can be speeded up with modern short cuts, but will still take a day to prep. Worth it!

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With 3 small kids I rarely have time to prepare picnic lunches in the morning, so I normally do it the night before.

Here are some things that taste even better if you let them sit overnight:

stuffed sandwiches,

take a large round bread, cut off the top 1/4 pull out the insides and pack it with any fillings you desire, meats, cheese, vegetables, etc. fill it all the way to the top put the top back on and wrap it tightly in foil. One of my favorites I make with a good ham, goat cheese, tomatoes, roasted peppers (jarred), basil and a quick spread of chopped black olives and garlic.

rice salads,

cook the rice (I use Japanese rice because it is what I have in the house) in boiling water like pasta, then pour into a colander and rinse. Dress with anything you have. One of my favorites is a Greek style one with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes (tiny ones that I keep whole so they don't get mushy), feta cheese, kalamata olives and lots of oregano and parsley, dressed with EVOO and red wine vinegar.

fritattas

these can be filled with anything your heart desires, here is my recipe for a zucchini one:

http://recipes.egullet.com/recipes/r311.html

Another cuisine to look to for good ideas is Japanese

:biggrin: the Japanese bento (box lunch) isn't much different than a picnic and many Japanese can be amde a couple days in advance and are great at room temp.

one thing I always talk on picnics is a frozen bag of pre-cooked, pre-salted edamame (green soybeans), I am not sure how well stocked most Asian grocers are, but these are wonderful. Since they are already cooked and seasoned all they need to do is defrost. I use them as an ice pack with our lunch and by the time it is lunch time, they have defrosted to perfection!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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For some reason jicama sticks are very popular with us. They're great for dipping in hummus, baba ganoush, salsas, etc. Another thing I like to bring is a roasted corn and black bean salad (with diced peppers, red onion, oo, and red wine vinegar). It's simple to make and doesn't need to remain chilled.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Although I never liked it as a child, every picnic lunch I encountered somehow involved pimento cheese sandwiches.

Now, if I know I am going to be enjoying lunch picnic style, I always end up making a tub of pimento cheese if for nothing else than the nostalgia factor... (although it always does end up being popular).

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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For some reason jicama sticks are very popular with us.

love jicima and use it in any of my slaws i can - especially if i am doing an asian or fuuit slaw. the crunch is wonderful.

we also do a cucumber salad from john's grandma which is nothing more than cuke( i really like something other than the flavorless cukes in the market), flat leaf parsley, vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar and sugar.

some tuna that is poached with a vegetable broth then marinated in olive oil, shallot and salt and pepper.

potato salad with al dente potato pieces, miracle whipk celery salt, minced shallot, green peas and italian parsley.

fudgy bourbon brownies

plenty of champagne :biggrin::rolleyes::biggrin:

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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A favorite I use for picnicing up in the wine country is a great taboulleh recipe from "Thrill of the Grill" by Chris Schlessinger. Add feta cheese and halved cherry tomatoes to it and serve in pita pockets. Sometimes I bring some cooked shrimp and toss them into the taboulleh before filling the pita. Great tasting, simple to make and eat.

My basic though is a la Boris_A (see the end of his blog)... cured meats and cheese, pickles, boiled eggs, good bread, etc....

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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A nice idea that you could make the night before but does require a fairly good amount of work is a "rolled up pizza".

What I do is make a pizza dough and prepare some interesting toppings, don't do the boring typical things. Try carmelized onions, cooked ground beef, peppers, really any veggies will work ( some may need to be cooked in advance).

Next take the dough and roll into about a 10*7 inch rectangle. cut slits about an inch apart on both sides of the long sides. Put your toppings in the middle and fold the dough nicely. Bake at 350 until nicely browned. Then, the next day, give it a little preheating and try to keep it warm until eating. Then just slice like a bagette and serve.

(if my instructions were too vague, please just tell me)

ENJOY!

~Ben

Some people say the glass is half empty, others say it is half full, I say, are you going to drink that?

Ben Wilcox

benherebfour@gmail.com

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I'd started a related thread in the UK forum a little while back - and there are a few ideas there:

Picnics - tupperware or crystal

Am going to the concert this weekend with friends, and right now the "menu" stands at:

good bread with dips / spreads like tapenade, humous, home made tzatziki, and salsa

maybe some hot falafels - wrapped in foil

for more substance we have either chicken drumsticks or parmesan breaded lamb rack cutlets, roasted veg, puy lentil salad with feta and roasted peppers, carrot and orange salad and bulgar wheat salad with tomatoes, spring onions, and herbs.

Dessert with probably be chocolate brownies with fresh strawberries or other fruit.

All washed down with champagne, and a flask of hot tea for later. Can't wait!

Yin

X

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one thing I always talk on picnics is a frozen bag of pre-cooked, pre-salted edamame (green soybeans), I am not sure how well stocked most Asian grocers are, but these are wonderful. Since they are already cooked and seasoned all they need to do is defrost. I use them as an ice pack with our lunch and by the time it is lunch time, they have defrosted to perfection!

I love love those green soybeans! What a wonderful idea, I can't believe I never thought of that :biggrin:

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Although I never liked it as a child, every picnic lunch I encountered somehow involved pimento cheese sandwiches.

Now, if I know I am going to be enjoying lunch picnic style, I always end up making a tub of pimento cheese if for nothing else than the nostalgia factor... (although it always does end up being popular).

Oh, it's not a picnic without pimiento cheese!

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is all great! On a recent picnic I packed some pork loin (I'd cooked it the previous night, rubbed with spices and broiled, sliced it cold), a green bean/tomato/corn salad, cantaloupe chunks, and chocolate chip cookies. It seemed to do the trick. This week I'm trying out a grilled shrimp and grapefuit salad, vietnamese pork loin, and cold sesame noodles.

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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A quick, one tupperware meal could be a pasta salad nicoise. Cook some rigatoni, rinse it cool, and then toss it with cooked broccoli, canned tuna, sliced onion, a generous amount of chopped parsley, some red pepper flakes, and salt/pepper/olive oil/vinegar. You could also throw in tomatoes, green beans, etc--whatever you have that floats your boat. Don't skimp on the parlsey though--it makes the dish.

But for a leisurely summer lunch under a tree, it's hard to beat a good loaf of bread, some cheese, a salami or other sausage, and some olives/roasted peppers/cornichons/etc. And a bottle of wine. :biggrin:

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  • 1 month later...

does anyone have a good recipe for fried (perferably oven fried) chicken to take cold on a picnic? i've looked up a couple decent looking ones on epicurious but know a couple people here have mentioned it here...

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