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Aug 9, 2012 04:56 AM

Outdoor Dining Menu

There will be 5 of us, including my 10 year old and 4 adults attending an outdoor symphony concert. I am providing all of the food due to tight scheduling for the other couple, and I'm more than happy to put the whole thing together. No major food aversions - we're all fairly adventurous eaters, including the youngster. Everything will need to be room temp or chilled. Any thoughts on a nice spread for such a situation? It needs to be hearty enough to be considered dinner.

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  1. The options are really all over the place here. Do you have a direction at all? Asian? Italian? American? Sandwiches? Tapas? Something?

    Just as a side suggestion - I've done many of these types of things and you really do have lots of options. One thing to consider as well is the use of a thermos. It allows you to bring hot food as well. 2 ways I've used them.

    1) Brats/Dogs - you can fill a beverage cooler with boiling beer/water/onions and put in brats/dogs/etc and they will stay HOT for a very long time. I've done this for picnics/foot ball tailgates /etc. They've been hot even after the football game for round 2.

    2) Sauces - I've used a thermos (different type that option 1) for sauces. I've done chicken parmesan sandwiches - wrap each one in foil and keep in a low oven until we leave. But then I also have hot tomato sauce in the thermos to add/dip the sandwiches in once we are at the picnic.

    I just bring them up as solutions if you find something you really want to have but doesn't fit into the traditional room temp/cold category.

    1. Panzanella
      Zucchini Fritatta
      Roasted Peppers
      Rolled Italian Cold Cuts
      Fresh Figs
      Fresh Mango

      1 Reply
      1. re: escondido123

        escondido123, when's the picnic? I'm with you on this menu!

      2. A fab sandwich, salads in small canning jars, decadent brownies for dessert. You could do anything for a sandwich (muffaletta, Italian, curried chicken salad, roast beef and sharp cheddar, etc), as for salads, try a grain type of salad, check out the quinoa thread.

        1. I really like hand-raised pies for picnics. They are rustic, filling and versatile since you can fill it with pork, sausages, chicken and leeks or even steak. On the side I'd include some brightly dressed salads: green beans with bacon vinaigrette; peach salad with blue cheese, candied pecans and arugula; roasted corn salad with tequila lime butter.

          1. fried chicken served cold
            roasted shrimp served cold
            pickled veggies
            tomato tarts
            fancy blackberry
            pimento cheese with carrots, celery, and crackers
            cheese straws
            deviled eggs

            1 Reply
            1. re: LaLa

              +1 -this screams picnic. Maybe add a cold pasta veggie salad - with good rotelle pasta and a variety of vegies, olives, and cubed cheese.

              Or a wild rice, broccoli and mushroom salad. I have a recipe that calls for dried cranberries and almonds and is very good.