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September menus: a cook-ahead picnic with a special main course. A basket lunch of finger salads.

If September weather is generous, many days of the month will be just right for pleasant outdoor eating. These two meals are designed for outings, but if weather turns too sizzling hot or too breezy-chilly, just serve them as simple indoor meals.

The first is a substantial picnic you cook the day before. Another meal to tote outside features September's vegetables raw.

A late-summer picnic

This is a finger-food picnic. You eat rich pork with your fingers and munch it with tart apples and cool cucumber slices.

Crisp and Tender Pork

Vinegar-Garlic Dipping Sauce

Green Apple and Cucumber Slices

Hawaiian Sweet Bread

Tropical Spritzers or Gewurztraminer

Raisin Rice Pudding or Cantaloupe

You can put most of the meal together the day before; finish baking the pork in the morning as you are packing the picnic. Buy 4 tart apples (Newtown Pippin or Granny Smith) and 1 thin-skinned English (European) cucumber, bring along a small knife to slice them.

For spritzers, take individual cans or bottles of juices such as guava, papaya, passion fruit, sparkling water, and ice. Blend by the glass by pouring 2 parts fruit juice and 1 part sparkling water over ice.

You'll need spoons for dessert. And take along plenty of napkins and some wet washcloths in a plastic bag. Crisp and Tender Pork

Dip bites of meat in the vinegar sauce (recipe follows).

4 (about 2 lbs. each) pork knuckles or 2-1/2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 4 equal pieces

6 or 3 cups regular-strength chicken broth

1 lemon, cut in half crosswise

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon dry thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon each whole cloves and whole black pepper

If cooking knuckles, use 6 cups broth and an 8- to 10-quart pan; for shoulder, use a 3- to 4-quart pan and 3 cups broth. Bring broth, lemon, bay, thyme, cloves, and pepper to a boil. Add pork, cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until pork pulls apart easily; knuckles take about 2-1/2 hours, shoulder takes about 2 hours. Lift pork from broth; drain. If made ahead, cover pork and chill as long as overnight. To save broth for other uses, pour through a strainer; discard seasonings.

Place knuckles on an ungreased 10- by 15-inch pan, or put shoulder in a greased 9-inch square pan. Bake in a 500 [deg.] oven, uncovered, until skin on knuckles is crisp, about 30 minutes; or until shoulder is browned, about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. To transport, let cool, then wrap loosely and serve within 4 hours. To eat, tear meat in shreds. Makes 4 servings. Vinegar-Garlic Dipping Sauce

In a 1- to 2-quart pan, simmer uncovered 1 cup white distilled vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chilies until heat of chilies flavors vinegar, about 30 seconds. Cool, then stir in 5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed. Serve, or cover and chill as long as 1 week. To transport, seal in a leakproof container. Makes 1 cup, enough for 4 servings. Raisin Rice Pudding

3/4 cup long-grain white rice

2 cups water

3/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup dark rum or orange juice

1 cup flaked sweetened coconut

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 large ripe peach or banana

About 1-1/3 cups half-and-half (light cream)

In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine rice and water. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer until water is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Mix raisins with rum; set aside.

In a 6- to 8-inch frying pan, stir coconut on medium heat until gold, about 5 minutes. Stir raisins and rum, coconut, sugar, orange peel, and cinnamon into rice. Serve warm, or let cool and hold at room temperature as long as overnight; for picnic, transport without refrigeration.

To serve, spoon pudding into 4 bowls. Peel peach and slice fruit onto puddings, then pour in half-and-half to taste. Serves 4.--Carmela Meely, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Farmer's harvest basket

Individual baskets contain a selection of vegetables and a pot of curry vinaigrette.

Individual Crudite Baskets with

Curry vinaigrette

Cream Cheese Smoked Salmon

Lemon Wedges Westphalian Pumpernickel

Iced Indian Tea

Melted Raspberries on Vanilla Ice Cream

You hardly cook for this meal. The vegetables for the salad can be cut ahead, ready to assemble. At serving time, arrange the makings for open-face sandwiches on a board: for 4 servings, offer about 3/4 pound sliced smoked salmon or 3 cans (about 4 oz. each) brisling sardines, 1 large package (8 oz.) cream cheese, 8 slices Westphalian pumpernickel bread, and 1 lemon, cut into wedges.

For dessert, pour the hot raspberries over vanilla or honey vanilla ice cream. Individual Crudite Baskets with Curry Vinaigrette

For 4 servings, you need 1 small head romaine or butter lettuce, washed and crisped; 12 baby-size or 4 medium-size carrots, peeled; 4 stalks from a celery heart; 2 medium-size red bell peppers, each cut into sixths; 4 small (1-3/4- to 2-in. diameter) pattypan squash; 2 medium-size cooked thin-skinned potatoes, quartered; 2 medium-size crookneck squash, each cut into 4 lengthwise slices; 1/4 pound edible pod peas; and 12 thin lemon slices.

divide these foods equally between 4 baskets, bowls, or plates, arranging each around a small pot of curry vinaigrette (recipe follows). Garnish each with water-cress. Makes 4 servings.

Curry vinaigrette. In a bowl, blend 3/4 cup salad oil, 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons minced onion, 1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder, and 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard; add salt and pepper to taste. Serve, or cover and let stand as long as overnight. Pour equally into 4 small bowls. Makes about 1 cup, or 4 servings. Iced Indian Tea

4 cups boiling water

1/4 cup Darjeeling tea leaves

1/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons whipping cream

Ice cubes

In a bowl or teapot, pour water over tea leaves and sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar. Cover and steep 5 minutes, then pour through a fine strainer; discard leaves. Mix in cream. Cover and chill, up to 1 day. Pour tea into 4 glasses (about 12-oz. size) filled with ice. Makes 4 servings. Melted Raspberries

1 cup raspberries, rinsed

1-1/2 tablespoons sugar

In a 1- to 1-1/2-quart pan on high heat, stir together raspberries and sugar until raspberries begin to give up their juice and are hot, about 1 minute. Use at once. Makes 3/4 cup sauce, enough for 4 servings.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Sep 1, 1984
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