Sunday, April 11, 2010

Picnic Recipe

Since many picnic weddings are self-catered, I thought these easy recipes might be of interest.  They are recipes that are winners in a contest held by Shelterrific ( for great picnic recipes. 
Peanut Cole Slaw by Marie White

Here’s the recipe:

1/4 c all natural peanut butter
1/2 c hot water
1/3 c plus 1 T rice vinegar or cider vinegar
3 T brown sugar
1 1/2 t salt
1 T soy sauce
1 t Chinese sesame oil
7 to 8 cups (packed) shredded green cabbage (1 small head)
crushed red pepper to taste
1/2 c peanuts (preferably roasted, unsalted)

1) In a large bowl mash together peanut butter and hot water until they form a uniform mixture.
2) Mix in vinegar, sugar, salt, soy sauce & sesame oil.
3) Pour slowly over the shredded cabbage, stopping several times to stir, to ensure that the cabbage is evenly coated. Add crushed red pepper to taste (remember, this will intensify as the salad marinates.)
4)Sprinkle the peanuts on top right before serving.

(The winner credits Mollie Katzen and her Still Life With Menu cookbook.)
Curried Pasta Salad (serves 8-10)

1 lb pasta (I used orzo, but small macaroni or rotelle would work too)
1 red onion, diced (roughly 1 cup)
1/3 c finely minced cilantro
1c celery, diced (4 ribs, approx)
3/4 c golden raisins
3/4 c radishes, finely chopped
2 1/2 tsp curry powder
3/4 c non fat Greek style yogurt
3/4 c mayonnaise
1 tsp honey
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
salt/ pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to directions, drain, and rinse in cold water. In a large bowl, mix yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, honey and curry powder (and optional cayenne) together along with a touch of salt and pepper. Toss in drained pasta, prepped veggies, raisins, and cilantro. Fold to coat ingredients with dressing. Let cool and sit for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to completely meld. Serve to your loved ones al fresco!

Grilled Chicken, Arugula, and Red Pepper Pitas by Lisa A. Grober

8 boneless chicken breasts
2 tsp dried thyme
4 tsp lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 block of cream cheese
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/4 c. of mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
1 c. garlic greens, white and green parts minced
(substitute 1/2 c. scallions plus 4 tsp of crushed garlic if the greens are out of season)
1 c. red pepper minced
1/2 cup red onion minced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch of arugla rinsed and destemmed
2 packages of pita pockets

Combine chicken, thyme, lemon juice and pepper in a bowl. Let stand in refrigerator while preparing filling.

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whip with electric mixture until a smooth consistency is reached. Fold in garlic greens, red pepper, and red onion. Refrigerate while grilling chicken.

Grill chicken while thoroughly done. Chicken can be sauteed or broiled if grill is not available. Follow appropriate cooking process if using an alternative method. Once cool enough to touch, slice into 1/4″ sections. Spread approx. 2 tbsp. filling into pita half equally distributing inside top and bottom. Add thin layer of chicken and 4-5 arugula leaves. Refrigerate until serving.

Note: Chicken can be grilled and filling prepared up to 24 hours in advance. Cut chicken into sections prior to refrigerating. Refrigerate chicken and filling in separate lidded containers.