Rain or shine…more picnic pickins’

Rain or shine…more picnic pickins’.  And fixins’.
And of course…requisite hamburgers and hot dogs.  
And virtual creativity. Success is in the toppings.  
Whether on the grille or in-doors at the grille room.
The Menu Shoppe has it covered…
great tips for great menus.
Or consider these craft pickles.
Also great to nibble with brie and pate.
Easy Refrigerator Pickles
6 cups thinly sliced pickling cucumbers (about 2 pounds)
2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Place 3 cups cucumber in a medium glass bowl–top with 1 cup onion. Repeat procedure with the remaining 3 cups cucumber and remaining 1 cup onion. Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan–stir well. Bring to a boil–
cook 1 minute. Pour over cucumber mixture–let cool. Cover and chill at least 4 days.
Note: Pickles may be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.
…and don’t forget the crudites.
Something simple–but elegant + the leftovers can be tossed for a fabulous salad.
Mixed Bean Crudités with Olive-Anchovy Aioli
1 large garlic clove, smashed
Pinch of salt
6 plump oil-packed anchovies, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup finely chopped pitted green olives
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds mixed beans, such as string beans, haricots verts, romano beans, Dragon Tongues, yellow wax beans and purple beans
On a cutting board, mash the garlic with the salt to a paste. Add the anchovies and mash to a paste. Scrape the paste into a bowl and stir in the mayonnaise, olives, lemon zest and lemon juice. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Cover the aioli with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled.  Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot filled with 1 inch of salted water to a rolling boil. Spread the beans in a steamer basket and steam just until crisp-tender and the color is still vibrant, especially the purple beans (which turn green when fully cooked), 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately plunge the beans into the ice water to stop them from cooking further–
let cool completely. Drain the beans and pat them dry. Transfer the beans to a platter and serve with the aioli.
An elegant make-ahead dip.
Crudités with Creamy Pistachio Dip
1 1/2 cups raw, unsalted shelled pistachios (7 ounces)
1 large shallot, minced
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups crème fraîche
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced tarragon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
10 large Belgian endives, preferably red and green varieties, separated into leaves, or very thinly sliced black radishes
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the pistachios on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes. Let cool. Transfer the pistachios to a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, soak the shallot in the vinegar for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the lemon juice and garlic. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until thickened. Drain the shallots and stir them into the mayonnaise along with the crème fraîche, parsley and tarragon. Stir in the ground pistachios and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the dip into small bowls and serve with the crudités.
And of course, some savory topping for the hamburger or hot dog rolls. Great with tuna burgers or other seafood salads too.
Ginger-Lemon Mayonnaise
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallion greens
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds or toasted sesame seeds
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients.

   If it’s on the menu…the Menu Shoppe has it covered.
    America’s leading source for restaurant menu covers
This entry was posted in picnics, salads, sandwiches, small plates, snacks, toppings and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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