Picnic in the park

I have had this menu marked for a while, and I finally made it. I have been so busy with grad school that I have not found the time to blog about the recipes I have been trying. My goal is to blog on Sunday’s in the morning. I am hoping this will keep me from getting too far behind. My least favorite of the menu was the Papaya carrot slaw. There was way too much of the slaw, and I haven’t quite gotten used to the taste of Papaya. I think it is more of an acquired taste.

However, the sandwich, drink, and cookies were amazing! The sandwich was flavorful and had depth. I was surprised at how amazing the sandwich was because it calls for olive paste, and we (my husband and I) are not too fond of olives in general. The ginger limeade is very tart, and gets stronger after subsequent days. The cookies were crunchy, and did not last long in our house :). As I write this blog I am craving the sandwich sigh.. I will have to make this again and pack it for a picnic on our back porch. I hope that you will try making the sandwich at the very least, and enjoy it as much as we did.

This menu is from ‘Cooking Light the essential dinner tonight’.

Menu: Picnic in the Park

serves 4

Antipasto Chicken Sandwich

Papaya-Carrot Slaw

Ginger Limeade

Oatmeal-Walnut Cookies

Antipasto Chicken Sandwich

To speed prep, purchase rotisserie chicken breasts and shred the meat. Build the sandwich the morning of your picnic, and wrap it tightly in foil. Refrigerate it until you’re ready to pack the cooler.

2 T olive paste

1 (10 ounce) loaf round focaccia, cut in half horizontally

2 C shredded roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast

1/2 C coarsely chopped drained marinated artichoke hearts

1/2 C chopped drained oil packed sun dried tomato halves

1/2 C coarsely chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers

2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto

1/2 C (2 ounces) shredded fontina cheese

1. Spread olive paste over bottom half of focaccia. Arrange chicken on top of paste. Arrange artichokes, tomatoes, bell peppers, and prosciutto over chicken. Sprinkle with cheese. Top with half of focaccia; press gently.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sandwich to pan. Place a cast iron or heavy skillet on top of sandwich, and press gently to flatten. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until bread is lightly toasted (leave cast iron skillet on sandwich while cooking). Cut sandwich into 4 wedges.
Note: Heat up the skillet, and the cast iron skillet in advance. Place sandwich in skillet, and then put the cast iron skillet on top of the sandwich. Make sure to use very good mitts.

Papaya-Carrot Slaw

Prepare this slaw up to a day in advance; store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

1 C shredded peeled green papaya

1/2 C shredded carrot

1/2 C red bell pepper strips

1 T grated peeled fresh ginger

1 t grated lime rind

2 T fresh lime juice

1/4 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir well; cover and regrigerate.

Ginger Limeade

6 C cold water, divided

1/2 C sugar

3 T chopped peeled fresh ginger

3 T grated lime rind

10 mint leaves

1 1/4 C fresh lime juice (around 6 limes)

4 lime wedges (optional)

1. Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, ginger, lime rind, and mint leaves in a blender; process until well blended. Cover and shill 2 hours.

2. Add remaining 5 3/4 cups water and juice, and stir to combine. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

Oatmeal Walnut Cookies

1/2 C granulated sugar

1/3 C packed dark brown sugar

1/4 C butter, softened

1 t vanilla extract

1 large egg

3/4 C all purpose flour

1 C regular oats

1/4 t salt

2/3 C golden raisins

1/4 C chopped toasted walnuts

Cooking Spray

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Combine granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour, oats, and salt to sugar mixture; beat well. Stir in raisins adn walnuts.

3. Drop dough by level tablespoons, 1 1/2 inches apart, onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; let stand 2 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheet; cool on wire racks. Yield 2 dozen.

I apologize for the blurry photos.


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