If you are assigned to bring the beer for a Labor Day picnic, make sure you know what others are bringing so you can choose a beer that fits well with the main dishes.
- PEA, WATERMELON AND FARRO SALAD
Adapted from Cooking Light’s “Pick Fresh Cookbook” (Oxmoor House, $21.95). If you’re taking this salad to a picnic or cookout, pack the watermelon, parsley and cheese separately; add to the farro-peas mixture to serve.
SIMMER: Place 1 cup uncooked farro or wheat berries in a large saucepan.
Add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Heat to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat and simmer 23 minutes or until desired degree of chewy doneness. Add 1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen; cook until crisp tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain.
Toss: Gently toss farro and peas in a large bowl with salt and pepper to taste. Add 2 cups cubed, seeded watermelon and 1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley; toss to combine. Top with 1/3 cup shaved pecorino Romano cheese. Drizzle with 2 or more tablespoons of olive oil, if you prefer a more moist salad.
Makes: 4 servings
- PEACH HAND PIES
Adapted from “Handheld Pies” (Chronicle Books, $19.95) by Sarah Billingsley and Rachel Wharton. This free-form approach lets you choose shapes and sizes for the mini-pies; you may have filling or crust leftover.
Roll: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Take dough for 1 double-crust pie (homemade or packaged). Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of the dough into a 12- to 14-inch square. Cut into 4- to 5-inch squares or circles. Gather up and reroll scraps only once or dough will become tough. Repeat with second portion of dough.
Fill: Combine 6 cups peaches (in ¼-inch dice), ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup cornstarch, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and a pinch of salt in a bowl; mix gently. Place about a tablespoon or so filling in center of each square or round. Fold dough over filling so edges meet. Moisten edges of dough. Press edges together to seal; or use tines of fork to crimp. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours) before baking.
Bake: Arrange pies on rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Brush lightly with 1 beaten egg; sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake until crust is golden, 15-20 minutes. Carefully move pies to a baking rack; cool at least 15 minutes. Store cooled pies in an airtight container at room temperature up to two days.
Makes: About 24 four-inch pies
- BAKED HERB CHICKEN
Legs and thighs work well; if using breasts, cut them crosswise into serving-size pieces.
Prep: Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a pie pan, mix 2 cups coarsely crushed cornflakes, 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 ½ teaspoons each dried basil and dried thyme, ¾ teaspoon each salt and black pepper, and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes. Pour 2/3 cup canned evaporated milk into a second pie pan.
Coat and bake: Rinse and pat dry 3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces. Roll chicken pieces in milk then in cornflake mixture. Place, skin side up, on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle with remaining milk and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Bake until juices run clear, 45 to 50 minutes. Serve immediately. Or cool, cover and refrigerate until serving.
Makes: 6 to 8 servings
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 4:30 am
Bringing eats and libations to a picnic or cookout often requires some planning — unless you’re asked to bring a few bags of chips.
You’ll want to consider what others are bringing (Hint: Don’t assume. Check with organizers.), how many people are expected and whether a dish needs to be kept safely chilled.
Or, use your
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 4:30 am.