Paralyzed with anxiety at the thought of feeding chowhounds!
I would so enjoy going to the Chowhound picnic in Golden Gate Park this Saturday, but I am flummoxed by the prospect of bringing something that will please such exquisitely refined and opinionated palates. I am home cook of modest skill, but won't have much time to prep in the morning. Can you suggest something simple, sensational, delightful at room temperature and easily transported (recipes gratefully received)?
How modest is modest? (Ditto how little prep?) Last picnic I catered, the definite hits were stuffed poussin (you have to tunnel bone them) which were prepped over the course of the previous week, mini quiches with roast peppers and olives (not a lot of work) and chili and garlic (just a little) prawns - took 10 minutes for 12 people and that was mostly chopping the onions and garlic. (chop onion finely, ditto garlic and green chili, fry in a little butter, throw in prawns, cook for a couple of minutes, add chopped parsley and lemon juice, turn over. Serve hot or allow to cool. Yum)
Forgot the simplest! Made a salad nicoise (had new potatoes the night before and made sure I cooked too many - ditto the beans) and used whole quails eggs to be sure that they didn't disintegrate like cut hens eggs would. Anchovies were just drained, ditto good tuna and the rest is just salad!
A couple of simple things for a picnic, muffeletta (think Dagwood sandwich in a round boule) or Tuscan bread salad. You'd have to bring them in coolers, though. For simple, good food, choose the freshest, best ingredients you can.
I always get good feedback with the Tuscan bread salad. I've used the marinated mozzerella from Costco and it worked well in the recipe:
What about a "big aioli"? You can do small potatoes, various blanched veggies, sliced tenderloin and bring aioli for dipping. People generally enjoy the homemade mayo!
I also do a really good chilled carrot soup with mint that would work well if you think you'll be able to serve it easily...let me know and I'll post the recipe.
re: Melanie Wong
No problem! Here it is...
Chilled Carrot Soup
Melt 2 T butter in a large saucepan
Add 2 T chopped shallots, 3 c. shredded carrots
Cook 5-10 min (until carrots are just tender)
Add T Dijon mustard, and one medium, peeled, sliced potato
Add 1/2 c. dry white wine, 3 c. chicken broth; cook 15 min.
Remove from heat and add 1/2 c. heavy cream and puree
Serve chilled with chopped mint
Voila, carrot soup!