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Jun 6, 2007 07:52 AM

What appetizer should I bring?

We are going to Dale Hollow for a long weekend of boating and floating.

Each couple (4 couples) is bringing an appetizer. I'm trying to think of what to bring that will hold up on a 5 hour car trip or if I should buy the ingrediants at the little store we'll stop at on the way - but I have no idea what sort of things they stock, besides Ritz crackers, beef jerky, pork rinds and tons of beer.

Any ideas?


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  1. a great salad that actually works better after sitting out room temp for a while is a brown rice, tomato and basil salad....although 5 hours is pushing anything really...u might want to pick up an insulated bag or small cooler?

    anyway, this has no mayo or meat...

    1 cup Texmati brown rice
    2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
    1/4 cup Champagne or rice wine vinegar
    2 teaspoons sugar
    1 tablespoon good olive oil
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 pound ripe tomatoes, large-diced
    1 cup packed basil leaves (1 large bunch), chopped

    mix together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of pepper. pour over the cooked, hot rice. add the tomatoes and basil. mix well and check the seasonings. serve at room temperature. in your case, you can add the basil right before you're ready to serve.

    1. spiced steamed shrimp. You can transport in a cooler. You'll just need a dipping sauce (tomato paste, horseradish, fresh lemon juice is the basic one) and you're set.

      Or, bring a big thing of mixed olives, some pepperoni or other similar hard sausage, and a few cheese and do an antipasto platter.

      1. I'm actually just wondering the same for my book club meeting of Saturday, so this is a very interresting topic for me.

        A suggestion: I made an asparagus tart (a variation of Martha Stewart's asparagus-gruyère tart) last weekend, using fresh lemon-flavored sheep's milk cheese. It's really easy to make, and serves well warm or at room temp.

        Here's a link to my blog showing the recipe (including the link to Martha's website):

        1. Bread dough stuffed with italian cold cuts, cheese, olives. Something like this but you can use home made dough to make it better:

          I've brought focaccia and hard cheese on a ski trip and it held up well. Some good recipes on this site for focaccia.

          5 Replies
          1. re: chowser

            Panzanella! Same idea as the brown rice salad, except for the starch is stale Italian bread. Combine cubed bread, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, assorted bell peppers, onions, and minced garlic with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Add chopped fresh herbs of your choice (basil, parsley, and so on) and season with salt and pepper. It just gets better as it sits.

            You could also make tabouleh. Plump up some bulgur wheat with hot water or stock for an hour or so, and add tons of chopped parsley and about half as much mint. (Remember, this dish is an herb salad with bulgur, not a bulgur salad with herbs). Add chopped onions or scallions, tomatoes and garlic, and perhaps some cucumbers. Dress with plenty of extra virgin olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

            And chowser's idea of what sounds like pan bagna would also work sliced in thin slices. You could also stuff the bread with a tuna salad made with no mayonnaise but olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, chopped olives, capers, onions, and garlic. Perhaps some gardiniera (hot Italian quick-pickled vegetables) too.

            Think of the salads, mezzes and such that people eat in hot, Mediterrean climates and you'll be set. In any case, you'll probably be better off with a small cooler.

            1. re: diva360

              Pan bagna is essentially a tuna sandwich. Chowser's recommendation sounds like what I've heard Italian-Americans refer to as "meat bread." It's a great and hearty appetizer: bread flecked with pieces of sopressata or pepperoni, cheese and olives. Good stuff!

              1. re: JungMann

                Or chicole bread, JM? This is a round Italian bread with little chunks of fried pork fat (hopefully). Not healthy, but delish.

                I do a lazy version of the cold cut bread -- I buy 2 portions of pizza dough at a good local grocery, roll them out, and then fill with all kinds of cold cuts, one with cheese, one without, both with a homemade olive/roasted pepper/garlic tapenade.

                Form into a horseshoe shape, cuts some slits in the top, brush with olive oil, and bake.

                1. re: dolores

                  I have never had chicole bread (and cannot find it on Google), but it sounds right up my alley! As far as I know, the folks who have served me meat bread have made it the same way as you. Somehow I don't think chopped up cold cuts warrants half a day waiting for dough to rise.

                  1. re: JungMann

                    JM, afraid I never made chicole bread, only bought it at very good salumerias.

                    I make what you refer to as 'meat bread' and you're right, the pizza dough from my grocery store is perfectly good. With the very best ingredients from the above salumeria, no one's ever asked if the dough was home made!

                    * I just checked and this is the closest I could find. I bet 'chicole' was my grandmother's dialect!

                    Tuscan bread specialty: Pane con i grassetti - a bread from the Garfagnana area, with pork cracklings mixed in.

          2. Devilled eggs! Then pack them face to face in a covered plastic container in your cooler. I can't imagine anything nicer to eat on a hot day at the lake. And maybe some trimmed and cut celery and some pimento cheese to stuff it with, which you can do there. Tennessee lakes are great places to enjoy Tennessee treats.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Will Owen

              oh my!

              that does sound good and easy!

              1. re: Will Owen

                Oh, lord please don't take deviled eggs on a boat.