Summer means holidays for the kids and an opportunity to enjoy the glorious outdoors. So plan and head for a picnic and take along these tasty treats to have a wonderful time.
Some of the best memories we have of bygone summers are the picnics we enjoyed with family and friends. You could picnic at the beach, head to the mountains, meadow, or even the backyard. The point is to soak in the invigorating fresh air and good weather, and enjoy your meal under the bright blue sky. Here are a few summer picnic recipes that everyone will relish, especially since food tastes better outdoors.
Potato and Egg Salad
- 3 pounds potatoes (cooked until just tender, cubed, cooled)
- ¼-½ cup red onion (chopped)
- 5-6 eggs (hard-boiled, cooled, coarsely chopped)
- ¼-½ cup celery (chopped)
- 1-2 tablespoons prepared mustard
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together the potatoes, egg, onions, and celery. Whisk in the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper to taste. However, it is advisable to add small qualities of mayonnaise and mustard to the mixture, and keep tasting it. Stop when you achieve the flavor you like. You may top the salad with thinly sliced tomatoes and cucumber.
- 3 pounds chicken (cut into pieces)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 cups buttermilk
- Oil for frying
- 1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 3 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons paprika
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 4 cups water
- ¼ cup salt
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
To prepare the brine, bring the water to a boil in a pot. Take off the pot from the heat and mix in the sugar, salt, bay leaf, peppercorns, and coriander seeds. Allow it to cool.
Place the chicken in a glass baking dish and pour the prepared brine over it. Cover it with a plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. Before cooking, take the chicken out of the brine, and remove any peppercorns stuck to the skin. Allow the chicken to dry by placing it on a wire rack.
In a large bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt with the buttermilk. In another bowl, stir the remaining salt with the flour and dredge the chicken pieces in it. Then, place them in the buttermilk, and coat them evenly. Carefully transfer the pieces back to the flour, so as not to lose any batter in the process. Finally, place the pieces on a wire rack to dry for 30 minutes.
In a 5-quart pot, add enough oil to fry about 4 pieces of chicken at a time, and heat it to 350 °F. Let the white and dark meat cook separately over medium heat. Let them cook for 5 minutes on one side and then turn them over. The white meat will need another 10 minutes cook, while the dark meat will need 12 minutes. If the meat begins to turn too dark, lower the heat. Drain the pieces and pack them.
Grilled Ham and Gouda Sandwiches
- 4 slices country white bread or sourdough bread
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 ounces Gouda cheese (thinly sliced, divided)
- 1 large onion, (thinly sliced)
- 4 ounces smoked ham (thinly sliced, divided)
- Unsalted butter, room temperature
In large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium flame. Sauté the onions in it for 5 minutes. Add in the ham, and let it cook for about 25 minutes; keep stirring. Sprinkle the mixture with salt and pepper, and let it cool. Spread the butter on the bread slices, and place the onion and ham mixture and the cheese between them.
Heat another larger nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly butter the outsides of the sandwiches. Place them in the skillet, and gently press them down with a spatula. Let the bread slices turn golden. Cut the sandwiches into triangles and pack them.
While packing for a picnic, ensure that you pack plenty of fluids. You can carry lemonade, ice tea, or any other drink which you can freeze the previous night. Carry a colorful and comfortable blanket, a bunch of towels, and set up your picnic in the shade. The best and safest way to carry your food is in a cooler packed with ice.