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Spain in a bag.

For a whimsical approach to an evening picnic, consider elevating the bag lunch to the bag supper. Here we have designed two menus that will travel lightly and in style. Each person carries his or her own meal using improvised bag coolers that fit easily into bicycle baskets or knapsacks.

To create bag coolers that arc effective for 2 or 3 hours, seal individual servings of food and beverages like splits of wine) in zip-lock plastic freezer bags, then slip each bag into another one along with a handful of ice cubes; seal the outer bag. Be sure to check rules concerning bottles, cans, alcohol, and even food before you set out for a public facility, such as a park, stadium, or beach.


Pistachios Spanish-style Olives Celery Stalks Hard-cooked Quail Eggs Roasted Pepper Gazpacho Grilled Shrimp with Prosciutto and Basil Crusty Rolls Miniature Marzipan Tortes Dry Sherry Lemonade

Tapas are best described as lots of little nibbles to savor al your own speed. Put them in a bag for a picnic. Sherry is the traditional companion, and one-portion bottles from liquor stores work well.

You can make the soup and tortes and cook shrimp the day before. If you are short on time, omit shrimp and bring cold sliced cooked ham or Spanish ham; also, buy pastries.

For each person, allow about 1/2 cup pistachios, 1/4 cup olives, 2 or 3 celery stalks, 1 or 2 quail eggs, 1 roll, and 2 or 3 tortes (tuck celery and eggs in with shrimp to keep cool); pack items separately in small plastic bags and distribute among individual packs.

Also include plastic tumblers (1 each for soup, sherry, and lemonade), 1 or 2 small paper plates, napkins, individually packed moistened towels, and a fork and spoon. Cushion the pieces with brightly colored tissue.

Roasted Pepper Gazpacho

3 medium-size about 1 1/4

lb. total) red bell

peppers 1 1/2 cups regular-strength

chicken broth 1/4 cup lime juice

3 green onions (ends

trimmed), finely


3 medium-size (about 1/2

lb. total) Roma-type

tomatoes, cored and


2 small (about 1/2 lb. each)

bell peppers, yellow

and green (or 2 of 1

color), stemmed,

seeded, and diced

Salt and pepper

Cut red peppers in half lengthwise and lay cut side down in a foil-lined 10- by 15-inch baking pan. Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat until skins are charred, about 10 minutes. Cover with foil and let stand until peppers are cool. Pull off and discard skins, seeds, and stems.

In a food processor or blender, smoothly puree peppers with broth and lime juice. Stir in onions, tomatoes, yellow and green bell peppers, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cover soup and chill until cold, at least 2 hours or up to a day. Transport in a thermos (6-cup, or 2 smaller thermoses); serve within 4 hours. Shake and pour into cups; sip and eat with a spoon. Makes about 6 cups, 4 servings.

Per serving: 72 cal.; 3 g protein; 1.5 g fat (0.3 g sat.); 14 g carbo.; 32 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Grilled Shrimp with Prosciutto and Basil

1/2 cup dry white wine 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin

olive oil or

salad oil

2 cloves garlic, minced or

pressed 16 to 20 colossal shrimp

(10 to 15 per lb.),

shelled except for tails,

and deveined

8 to 10 thin slices (about 7

oz.) prosciutto 16 to 20 large basil leaves, rinsed and drained

In a bowl, mix wine, vinegar, oil, and garlic; set aside 3 tablespoons of the mixture. Add shrimp to bowl and mix; cover and chill at least 15 minutes or up to 4 hours.

Cut prosciutto slices in half lengthwise. Lay 1 basil leaf against a shrimp; spiral meat around shrimp (not tail) and basil. Repeat to wrap all shrimp. Thread long metal skewer through the middle of 3 or 4 shrimp; run another skewer through shrimp parallel to first (to prevent spinning). Repeat to skewer the remaining shrimp; discard marinade.

Lay shrimp on a barbecue grill over a solid bed of hot coals (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds). Cook just until shrimp are opaque but still moist-looking in thickest part (cut to test), 6 to 8 minutes; turn for even browning.

Push shrimp off skewers into a clean bowl; add reserved seasoning mixture and stir gently. Serve warm or, to transport, cover and chill until cold, at least 2 hours or up to a day. Carry in an improvised bag cooler (see preceding); serve within 3 hours. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 295 cal.; 36 g protein; 14 g fat (2.9 g sat.); 2.8 g carbo.; 1,268 mg sodium; 216 mg chol.

Miniature Marzipan Tortes

3 1/2 ounces (1/3 cup packed)

almond paste or

marzipan, crumbled 1/3 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 tablespoon orange-flavor

liqueur or 1/2

teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons melted

butter or margarine 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking


About 1 tablespoon

raspberry jam 1/4 cup sliced almonds

In a bowl or food processor, beat or whirl almond paste, sugar, and egg until blended. Beat or whirl in liqueur and butter.

Mix flour and baking powder. Mix or whirl into batter. Spoon half the batter equally into 10 paper-lined small muffin cups (2 in. wide). Add about 1/4 teaspoon jam to each cup, then top with remaining batter; gently spread batter to cover jam. Sprinkle with almonds.

Bake in a 350 [degrees] oven until tortes are browned and firm to touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a rack. Serve or, if baking ahead, wrap airtight and store up to a day. To transport, seal in individual plastic bags. Makes 10.

Per torte: 144 cal.; 2.9 g protein; 6.8 g fat (1.9 g sat.); 8 g carbo.; 74 mg sodium; 27 mg chol.


Chilled Cucumber-Cilantro Soup Roast Beef, Asiago, and Chard Roll Yellow Cherry Tomatoes Breadsticks Fudge Brownies Strawberries Champagne Splits Orange Juice

This is an elegant, refreshing soup-and-sandwich meal. Pack as directed for the tapas party (preceding), with cups and plates. You will not need forks or spoons.

Soup, beef rolls, and beverages need to be packed for cool traveling.

Chilled Cucumber-Cilantro Soup

1 cumber (about 1 lb.) 1 1/4 cups regular-strength

chicken broth 3/4 cup firmly packed

rinsed and drained

cilantro (coriander) 1/2 cup nonfat or low-fat

milk 1/4 cup lemon juice


Peel cucumber; cut in chunks into a food processor or blender. Whirl with broth, cilantro, milk, and lemon juice until smoothly pureed. Season with salt to taste. Cover and chill until cold, at least 2 hours or up to a day.

Transport soup in a thermos (6-cup, or 2 smaller thermoses). Serve within 4 hours. Shake and pour into cups for sipping. Makes about 4 cups, 4 servings.

Per serving: 37 cal.; 2.4 g protein; 0.7 g fat (0.2 g sat.); 6 g carbo.; 42 mg sodium; 0.6 mg chol.

Roast Beef, Asiago, and Chard Rolls

To shave cheese in thin slices, you need a spade-shaped cutter with a blade in the center.

4 Swiss chard leaves,

each about 8 inches

wide, rinsed and

drained 2/3 pound thinly sliced, fat-trimmed

cold roast beef

2 tablespoons prepared


About 1/4 pound asiago

or parmesan cheese,

shaved into paper-thin


Trim off chard stems; reserve for other uses. Bring about 1 inch water to boil in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over high heat. Immerse leaves in water, 1 at a time, just until wilted, about 10 seconds. Lift out with a slotted spoon and immerse in ice water until cold. Spread leaves out flat and pat dry. If making ahead, wrap airtight and chill up to a day; pat dry before using.

Cut each leaf in half lengthwise. Lay a section flat; leaving 1/2-inch borders, top with 1/8 of the meat. Spread meat with 1/8 of the horseradish and top with 1/8 of the cheese. Fold leaf over meat on 2 long sides, then roll compactly to enclose meat. Repeat to make each roll. Serve or, if assembling ahead, wrap rolls airtight and chill up to 6 hours.

To transport, seal 2 rolls in each of 4 small plastic bags. Carry in improvised bag coolers (see preceding); serve within 3 hours. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 269 cal.; 33 g protein; 13 g fat (6.5 g sat.); 4.5 g carbo.; 673 mg sodium; 81 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Author:Weber, Christine B.
Date:Jul 1, 1992
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