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ISO Fireside Picnic Ideas

Planning an evening fireside "picnic" in a hotel room (so no access to oven/stove for re-heating). I'm planning an antipasti platter to start but would love some creative ideas for something to make ahead for a main course that won't need to be reheated. Leaning to an Italian menu ...

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  1. If you'd like to "lean" Spanish, how about a tortilla Espanola.

    http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

    Are you sure your room doesn't have a MW?

    3 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      Love this idea! Its best room temp, and a simple side of roasted veg (brussel sprouts, green beans, etc)
      If you want it to be italian just call it a potato frittata......;)

      1. re: Ttrockwood

        We were in Barcelona about a year ago and ate them regularly. Still haven't made one myself by thinking about for part of a Christmas Eve brunch.

        1. re: c oliver

          Estoy enamorada con bar(th)elona! Ever since i make tortilla and pan con tomate most often. Practice the tortilla before your lunch, it takes a few times to figure out how you like it best.

    2. I think the antipasti platter will cover it all, really. Meat, cheese, olives, nuts, marinated eggplant and cippolini onions, bread.

      7 Replies
      1. re: monavano

        I agree with monavano that an antipasti platter will pretty much cover it. Think of it as a deconstructed antipasti, not as a single dish. A selection of nice dry/cured meats, Italian cheeses, olives, marinated mushrooms, artichokes, eggplant, etc. roasted peppers, with some nuts and dried fruits like apricots, figs, some fresh grapes. Some fresh veggies like grape tomatoes, red/orange/yellow pepper slices, endive leaves. Maybe some roasted garlic to spread on bread. A bread basket with crusty Italian bread, whole grain rolls, crunchy bread sticks. Not served on one platter, but each served on/in separate plates or bowls and presented as a spread, not as "one" dish (i.e. an antipasti) would do it. If you want something hot and have a thermos or two or a crock pot, some homemade minestrone soup would be nice.

        I would do something fairly sweet and simple for dessert.

        How many people are you serving?

        1. re: Springhaze2

          Really appreciate the thoughts on the antipasti, but really do want something for a "main" I'm starting to think a parmesan polenta with a rich tomato sauce in a thermos (no micro in room for Chowhound who asked)

          1. re: CocoTO

            To ask again, how many people are you serving? Did you read my whole post? I also suggested a thick soup like a minestrone in a thermos. I don't see how you would do polenta with a sauce in a thermos. Isn't that basically a soup?

            1. re: Springhaze2

              That would be baked polenta with the tomato sauce separate in the thermos until serving. There will be three of us.

              1. re: CocoTO

                oh, then maybe I mis-read the scenario (or maybe not) either way, a spread of nibbles and casually grilled odds and ends on the open fire sounds like a relaxed and pleasant time whatever the plan. just leave housekeeping a nice tip if you make a mess.

                1. re: hill food

                  LOL! No there will be no romance on this occasion

                  1. re: CocoTO

                    oops!

                    yet I stand by my remarks regarding casual eats around a fireplace.

      2. Bring a crock pot with homemade meatballs and sauce. Grab a fresh bread and some fresh grated parm reg, yummy

        1. room service.

          fireside? things on skewers? most hardware/home stores have cheap 2-pronged ones intended for s'mores that can be used for vegetables, kebabs etc. it's not a make ahead, but as an activity in regards to romance it sure beats playing cards.

          ehh call it a day, throw some foil wrapped potatoes into the fireplace and have a cracked crab or lobster packed in ice for after/with the antipasti.

          2 Replies
            1. re: CocoTO

              those work just fine (but maybe a potato would take a little longer).

          1. Sounds like crock pot stuffed shells time! I'm assuming (dangerously) that you will be preparing this in a kitchen and then moving to the hotel later?

            Basically, cook the shells, then stuff them, place in crock pot with sauce of choice and put on low. Not "fancy" but yummy. Add a nice salad and some vino. . .

            1. Mmm, when I read your post's title, it immediately took me back to a traditional winter picnic during my years in San Francisco.

              A cold, rainy night; a blazing fire; cold cracked crab, big salad, wonderful loaf of bread, and a cold bottle of a crisp white wine. Heaven.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mr99203

                My favorite meal is Dungeness crab with sourdough bread and an artichoke. Served on the floor with newspaper as the "plate."

                1. re: c oliver

                  Love this -- I usually do beach towels on the table, but I think I will be switching to the floor in front of the fireplace.

                  For the OP -- melted butter in the thermos.