All posts filed under: Picnic Foods

Shandy Glazed Spare Ribs

Shandy – typically, a wheat beer with lemon / lime soda mixed into it. So, one day while sorting through a “mix-ur-own-6pk” allotment at the market, I came across several different makers of shandys –  I threw in a couple to try out. I know why I thought I’d like it. Back when everyone lived in the forest, we ran a German Deli. It was a great place… lots of sandwiches, a gluttony of sausages, and beer…. all kinds… nothing American. Of the many offerings was a Hefeweizen – a wheat beer cloudy from the heady yeast sediment still present in the bottle. We drank it sometimes with a little raspberry syrup added to the bottom of the glass just before pouring. But, more often than not, it was served with a couple of lemon wedges to be squeezed into the effervescent beverage. It’s still my favorite way to drink beer. If we call hefeweizen with lemon the prettiest girl at the sweet sixteen party, then we have to refer to a shandy as the ogre that …

Getting to Yes – Double Dipped Buttermilk Chicken Nuggets

The airwaves have been inundated with the talk…  10 nuggets for $1.49. How good could they be, really. And that’s the basis of this whole exercise. The thing is, I don’t make very good fried chicken, and Jane knows it. I didn’t get that grandmotherly gene of tempering flavor / heat / coating to make bone-in Southern Fried Chicken work.    So… a dollar forty-nine, a cheap, easy way to get that crispy fried soulful satisfaction – it seemed like a doer. It’s not. Aside from the questionable oil that it’s fried in, it honestly isn’t even chicken. I’m not sure a chicken walked very close to the factory where they were made. They’re stodgy, spongy… kinda rubbery…. with the most notable flavor being an overabundance of soy protein. And to be brutally honest, it’s the same with any mass-produced, faster – than – prudent establishment serving up the little crispy jewels. So, it’s back to the drawing board and finding a way to get maximum flavor out of a relatively tasteless piece of protein where you …

The Sandwich Diaries – The Chicken Fillet Sammich

  Ever since they showed up in the malls in the late 70’s, that chicken sandwich has become just about my favorite option for fast food. That slightly sweet coating, that perfect blend of seasoning, that steamy – steamy bun after it stews in those foil pouches… just perfection in a chicky sammich. But whatever they were – these days they’re just an E Ticket to crazytown for us. The chain uses peanut oil which makes them a serious no-no as far as our current allergen list  goes… and then there’s the whole MSG thing. But, I figured there has to be a work-around… and you know – there is! Chik-Fil-A makes no bones about a secret recipe for their coating. They even tell you what’s in it on their site. But, as I have found through scores of trashed copy-cat recipes, it rarely comes out exactly like the restaurant’s version. And to be absolutely fair… unless you are using a pressure fryer, it still wont taste exactly like theirs… but it comes damn close. …

The Sandwich Diaries ~ Egg Salad

Alright, I’m a fan of mayonnaise-based sandwich spreads. Why? Because I’m basically a lazy person. Nothing says quick eats than slicing some of that tangzhong bread, opening a container and spreading on a little (or a lot… in my case) of some ready-made spreadable stuff… Easy peasy – lunch is done. Besides, these days I’ve taken to making my own mayonnaise since I can’t find a full bodied, soy-free mayo that doesn’t taste like Miracle Whip mixed with cole slaw dressing. (I’m more the tart Duke’s, or Hellman’s kind of guy). And while I’m at it… that’s something else that’s kinda cranking my rice krispies.. so to speak. Why can’t companies that do make  a canola oil based mayo, simply use the exact same recipe as their regular mayo – and just substitute the oils. They never do. They want to monkey around with the formulation – change the ingredients – make it sweeter……. As though the American diet doesn’t already have enough sugar floating around in it. Any who…. I’m making my own… … …

July 4th Eats – Red Bliss Potato Salad

Red Bliss potato salad. Just the very name can bring cheers of joy and simultaneously, utter disappointment to your picnic guests. there is nothing that can be exceptionally good  or  completely tasteless. And that is going to depend on how you treat those taters. Basically, red skinned potatoes are bland. They’re ..well, new.. so they haven’t had the time to generate those creamy, earthy notes you love in a potato. They need help. A lot of folks (some of my relatives included) make the mistake in treating them like you would a russet or baker, and you just can’t. A new potato is just dense starch and water; adding mayo and herbs to it will just hang to the outside like a bad fitting pair of spandex shorts. You have to get the flavor into the spud to do any good. It’s no secret that I’m a German Potato Salad fan. I adore that tangy, bacon-y onion-y goodness that comes from slow baking those flavors together – but with the current heat-wave, I really didn’t want to spend …

The Picnic

Even in the mountains, there’s no escaping the heat. Nights have barely broken 78 degrees and the daytime temps here at Turtle Creek are a consistent, sweltering, egg frying on the pavement – 98 degrees. It’s almost enough to make a person lose their religion. But this morning, we woke to an amazing thing, 68 degrees… in August! the air was down right cool and breezy. It felt like a day to to relax and… do…  absolutely… nothing. I just wanted to get out, drive and bask in the near spring weather. I decided to get myself and mom out of our convalescing rut, go on a picnic and enjoy the brief repast from the insufferable heat. Actually, I just roasted a fresh hen yesterday, and cooked up a passel of homeless vegetables that showed up on our doorstep. (Neighbors and friends have begun the Cob and Run Marathon – leaving their excess garden produce on your porch when you aren’t home)… So the picnic wasn’t a huge undertaking to get things ready. So I …