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Inside tips on outdoor cooking.

All over the country, you can find them--in parks and patios, beaches and backyards. Americans have once again moved out! Outdoors, that is. Summer stirs our desire to stay in shape. But returning from tennis and volleyball courts, pools and jogging paths, we bring with us one substantial, common sensation--a hearty appetite.

The picnic is the popular choice for "eating out" in the summer months. As predictable as fireworks on the Fourth of July, family and friends will eagerly gather around the picnic table, plates in hand. Today, however, health-conscious cooks are putting out an SOS for new ideas to trim the fat, but not the flavor, from the mealtime menu. Help is on the way. We've discovered some choice recipes to tantalize even the most housebound of appetites.

Since the whole idea of the picnic or family outing is a diversion from the ordinary routine, why not avoid the predictable? Instead of the beef-barbecue bill of fare, serve your guests a spicy tandoori chicken. A traditional food from India, where spicy foods are used to cool off the body in the hot climate, this dish is a definite shoo-in for seconds from your hungry crew. Or maybe savory, lean, fish fillets basted with a lemon-pepper sauce. Grilled on an electric or gas grill, the meats will preserve their natural flavor. They are healthier for you, and (attention, chef!) these grills are virtually self-cleaning.

But what is a picnic without one star ingredient?--sweet corn. Enjoyed by the Indians long before Columbus stumbled across our shores, it still remains a family favorite. To taste the full flavor of corn, grill it in its husk. You might not ever want it any other way. The freshest corn is the best. It should be cooked a day after harvest. Lay it across the grates of your grill, turning it a quarter turn to cook evenly. Fresh corn takes about 15 minutes; other corn, 20.

When packing the picnic basket, try pita! Pita-bread sandwiches stuffed with chicken, turkey or a meatless filling of tambouli will please even the most particular palate. It won't weigh down on your outdoor fun, either.

Summer squash, fresh from the garden, is sauteed to crispness in a medley of tomatoes and onions. Sizing up this side dish, the lucky diner will voice only one description--delicious.

To cool off, try a fabulous fruit salad. Pineapple, grapes, oranges, canteloupe and bananas, topped with a Ginger-Yogurt or Curried-Yogurt Sauce will satisfy the sweet tooth without the sugar.

Tandoori Chicken

(Makes 4 to 6 servings) 1 tablespoon instant minced onion 1/2 teaspoon instant minced garlic 3-1/2 teaspoons water 1 tablespoon safflower oil 3 tablespoons curry powder 1 cup plain yogurt, divided 1 tablespoon lemon juice 3 pounds chicken parts, skinned, deffated

In a small bowl or cup combine minced onion, minced garlic and water; let stand for 10 minutes to soften. In a small skillet heat oil until hot; add curry powder; saute until curry powder turns slightly darker, about 30 seconds. In the container of an electric blender, add the onion and garlic, the curry powder mixture, 1/4 cup of the yogurt and lemon juice. Blend until well combined, about 1 minute; stir in remaining 3/4 cup yogurt. Pierce chicken all over with fork tines. Arrange in a pan, skin side up; cover with your yogurt mixture. Cover and refrigerate for about 1-1/2 hours. Pierce chicken with fork tines again; turn pieces over. Let marinate for an additional 1-1/2 hours. Preheat broiler or barbecue grill. Place chicken pieces on broiler rack in a pan or on a barbecue grill, 4 or 6 inches from heat. Grill or broil until one side of the chicken is browned, about 15 minutes. Turn pieces over. Grill or broil, until chicken is browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes longer. Serve with Cucumber Raita, Summer Squash Saute, and fresh fruit with yogurt sauce.

Lemon-Peppered Broiled Fish

(Makes 4 to 6 servings) 2 pounds any fresh fish or 2 12-ounce packages frozen perch or trout fillets 1 tablespoon corn-oil margarine, melted 1 teaspoon lemon and pepper seasoning 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/8 teaspoon celery seed 2 teaspoons lemon juice 1 tablespoon parsley flakes

If using frozen fillets, thaw just enough to separate. Combine the margarine with next 4 ingredients. Brush on fish. Place fish with skin side down on oiled grill rack or broiler pan. Grill or broil 4 to 5 inches from heat 10 minutes or until fish is easily flaked with fork. Sprinkle lemon juice over fish. Sprinkle with parsley flakes. Serve immediately.

Whole-wheat Pocket Bread

(Makes 10 rounds) 2 packages active dry yeast 1-1/4 cups warm water (105[deg.]-115[deg.] F.) 1 teaspoon honey 1/2 cup Kretschmer Regular Wheat Germ 1/2 teaspoon basil 1/2 teaspoon thyme 1-1/2 teaspoon safflower oil 1-1/2 cups unsifted Robin Hood STone Ground Whole-wheat or Graham Flour 1/2-1 cup unsifted Robin Hood All-Purpose Flour 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Combine yeast and water in large bowl. Stir to dissolve yeast. Stir in honey. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add wheat germ, basil, thyme and oil to yeast mixture. Stir well to blend. Stir in whole-wheat flour with wooden spoon. Beat in just enough all-purpose flour to make soft dough that leaves sides of bowl. Turn out onto lightly floured cloth-covered board. Knead about 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover dough and let rise in warm, draft-free place about 1 hour until doubled. Punch dough down. Divide into 10 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Sprinkle each ball with sesame seeds and additional wheat germ before rolling if desired. Roll into 6-inch rounds. Place on greased baking sheets. Let rise, covered, about 20 minutes. Bake at 450[deg.] F. for 5-7 minutes until browned. Remove from baking sheet immediately. Cool on rack. Cut in half and fill with desired fillings. (If rounds don't puff completely, split halves open with tip of sharp knife.)

Turkey-Sprout Filling

(Makes 3-1/2 cups filling) 2 cups finely chopped turkey or chicken, skinned, defatted and cooked 1/2 cup kretschmer Regular Wheat Germ 1/3 cup yogurt 3 tablespoons mayonnaise 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts 2 tablespoons green onion, minced 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon thyme 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 5 pocket-bread rounds, halved

Combine all ingredients except pocket breads. Mix well. Refrigerate covered, at least 1 hour. Fill pocket-bread halves with 1/3 cup filling.

Tambouli Filling

(Makes 5-1/2 cups) 1 cup Robin Hood Cracked Wheat 1 cup Kretschme Regular Wheat Germ 1 cup parsley, snipped 1 medium tomato chopped 3/4 cup green onion, chopped 1/2 cup cucumber, chopped 1/3 cup yogurt 1 tablespoon mayonnaise 1/3 cup lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon thyme 5-6 pocket bread rounds, halved

Soak cracked wheat, covered with water, about 25 minutes. Drain well. Add remaining ingredients except pocket breads. Mix well. Refrigerate covered, until ready to serve. Fill pocket-bread halves with about 1/2 cup filling.

Summer-Squash Saute

(Makes 8 cups) 4 medium zucchini squash 4 medium yellow squash 1-1/4-ounce package taco-seasoning mix 1 tablespoon safflower oil 4 medium tomatoes 2 medium onions 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Wash squash but do not peel. Slice in rounds about 1/4-inch thick. Place squash in large bowl and sprinkle with taco seasoning. Toss squash until seasoning is well distributed. Heat oil in skillet, add squash and saute 5 minutes. Peel tomatoes and cut in quarters. Slice onions in 1/4-inch slices. Divide into rings. Add tomatoes, onions and pepper to squash mixture. Saute 5 minutes. Drain excess liquid before serving.

Celery-Seed Potato Salad

(Makes 8 servings) 1/3 cup yogurt 1/3 cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons instant minced onion 1-1/2 tablespoons while vinegar 1/2 teaspoon thyme 3/4 teaspoon celery seed 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard Dash cayenne pepper 1 quart cooked potatoes, sliced or cubed 2 tablespoons pimento, diced

Blend together yogurt, mayonnaise, minced onion, Dijon mustard, vinegar, thyme, celery seed and cayenne pepper. Combine potatoes with pimento. Add seasoned yogut-mayonnaise mixture; toss gently. Cover and chill thoroughly.

Cucumber Raita

(Makes 4 to 6 servings) 1 large-sized cucumber 1 cup plain yogurt 1/4 teaspoon ground celery seed 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander 1/4 teaspoon caraway seed Dash cayenne pepper

Peel and thinly slice cucumber (about 2 cups). Set aside. Combine yogurt and all seasonings in a medium bowl. Stir in cucumber. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

Nutty Fruit Salad

(Makes 6 servings) 1 small cantaloupe, cut into pieces 1 banana or papaya, sliced 1 pint strawberries, halved 1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into chunks or 1 can (15-1/4-15-1/2 ounce) pineapple chunks, drained Lettuce leaves 1/4 cup corn-oil margarine, melted 1 tablespoon honey 1/2 cup Kretschmer Regular Wheat Germ 1/4 cup sesame seeds 1/4 cup sunflower seeds 2 tablespoons Kretschmer Regular Wheat Germ 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Place margarine and honey in blender. Add 1/2 cup wheat germ, 1/4 cup sesame seeds and 1/4 cup sunflower seeds. Cover and blend at high speed for 30 seconds. Stop frequently to stir ingredients. Chill about 15 minutes, until firm enough to handle. Shape into 24 small balls and roll in remaining wheat germ and sesame seeds. Refrigerate. When ready to serve, place fruit in lettuce-lined bowl. Top with wheat-germ balls; serve with Ginger-Yogurt Sauce or Curried-Yogurt Sauce (below).

Ginger-Yogurt Sauce

(Makes 2 cups) 1 pint plain yogurt 2 teaspoons honey 1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, finely chopped 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract Ground nutmeg Crystallized ginger, cut in very thin strips for garnish (optional)

Mix first five ingredients. Chill one hour. Pour into glass bowl for serving. Garnish with strips of crystallized ginger and sprinkle with nut-meg. Serve as a side dish with Nutty Fruit Salad.

Curried-Yogurt Sauce

(Makes 4 to 6 servings) 1 cup plain yogurt 1/2 teaspoon curry powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon honey 1 tablespoon orange juice

In a small bowl combine yogurt curry powder, cinnamon, honey and orange juice. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Sprinkle top with cinnamon before serving with Nutty Fruit Salad.

Picnic Punch

(Makes 2 quarts) 1 48-ounce bottle cranberry juice 2 cups apple juice 1/4 cup lemon juice 2 cinnamon sticks, broken into 1-inch pieces 4 whole cloves 4 whole allspice 1 yellow delicious apple 1 Granny Smith apple 1 red delicious apple Whole cloves

In 3-quart saucepan combine first 6 ingredients. Bring to boil. Simmer 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight. Cut apples into round slices 1/4-inch thick. Garnish each slice with a whole clove in the center. Pour punch into storage container. Add apple slices. Add 2 to 3 cups red wine for Sangria-type beverage, if desired.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Author:Fleet, Randal
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Jul 1, 1984
Previous Article:Antiques are where you find them.
Next Article:Cruising up the River.

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