26 May, 2016
As it is getting warmer outside here in Ohio, my thoughts wander towards picnics and picnic food. I am not talking about just for large cook out parties, I am also talking about for smaller more intimate picnics. Close friends and family at a concert in the park, a couple enjoying the summer air on a blanket, the truly romantic picnic.
Well, here are a few ideas to help make your next picnic, no matter how big or small, a huge hit.
Pressed Sandwiches, I know when I mention this you think of hot sandwiches but, not all pressed sandwiches are hot. Here are a couple of examples.
1.) Muffaletta Sandwich- this is a pressed sandwich made on a slightly denser, round loaf of French bread. You can also use focaccia bread. It is popular in New Orleans. It has layers of olive salad, mortadella, salami, ham and provolone cheese. The pressing of this sandwich is done by wrapping it tightly and placing it in the fridge over night. I have also made this before with turkey, salami, capicola and provolone. The olive spread that is on the bread can also be very salty. I tend to go non traditional on this. I have posted a recipe with the subheading picnic food that is a great alternative.
2.) Premade Salads- I am not talking about potato or macaroni salad, I am referring to a lettuce salad, and before you say the lettuce will wilt, hear me out. Try this method, place the dressing of your choice in the bottom of your container you plan to eat it out of, then place your hearty vegetables on top of that, continue to build from there, placing the lettuce of your choice on the top. Now, when I say hearty vegetables I mean things like, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, broccoli. Place your chicken or meat of choice and cheese just under the lettuce near the top of the pile. When you get to where you are going to have your picnic, make sure the lid is on tight and shake, the result, a well dressed fresh salad and not need for extra dressing bottles or packets.
3.) Cubed Meat, Cheese and Fruit Platter- Okay so not to much a platter, more like a gathering of meat, cheese and fruit. This is the easiest one to do and it is perfect for a concert or romantic outing where you just want a snack with your adult beverage of choice. This can also be a fun thing for the kids, give them sparkling grape juice and let them pretend. This is where you can be creative. Go t your favorite grocery store, find the cheese counter and ask them for some of your favorite kinds of cheese. Also, ask them for some they may have gotten in new that you have wanted to try. They may also be able to help you pair some meats and fruit to go with it. I personally like stone fruits, dried fruits, grapes, apples. The meats, I am partial to beef thinly sliced, salami chunks, smoked ham and turkey. Play around, see what you like and don’t like. Above all, make it fun! Food should be fun!
4.) Dessert- this is my favorite part! The best is when you can finish a picnic meal has got to be with chocolate! Then again, what is better to finish any meal than chocolate?! One of my favorite ways is a way that I learned in girl scouts, you need a fire for this, it is a warm banana sundae! I will also have a recipe with subheading picnic food posted in the recipe section for this as well.
So, please take a look at the recipes section of the website to find all of the picnic treasures I have posted there, have a great weekend and most of all, trust your Chef’s Intuition!