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Seeking Sustenance in Lotusland

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Picnic food [Jun. 19th, 2007|11:34 am]
Seeking Sustenance in Lotusland


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Last year I spirited away The Beloved twice for a picnic.  The first time I made some wonderful Tandoori chicken sandwiches and had some paper thin slices of yellow zucchini marinated in a little dash of a very fruity extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice and fresh basil.  The zucchini "cooked" in the hours before picnic and maintained a lovely firm texture and bright lemony taste.  But I was worried about the chicken.  The communal BBQ had not been cleaned very well and the coals were almost non-existent. 

I scrubbed and scrubbed the grill, plastering myself with cast-off grease and debris in the process, and then fired up the gas in the hope that a half hour of high burn would kill any remaining bowel twisting bacteria but what I didn't notice was the sorry state of the coals.  All that was left of them was a few ghosts of BBQ's past and a whole lot of empty space.  I threw the yogurt marinated chicken breasts on the scrubbed grill and hoped for the best.  It soon became apparent that the lack of evenly distributed heat was impeding the cooking process and with thoughts of killing My Love before things ever really got started I plucked the chicken breasts off the grill onto a clean plate and finished them under the broiler.

The Beloved is still alive to talk about it and no adverse reactions have ever become evident so I think I made the right decision.  Ever since then I've been looking at recipes for things that I can cook that will be unusual and can be safely transported without need of a catering truck housing a full refrigeration unit.  I've begun to build up quite the repertoire.   Now if only the weather would play ball.

This past weekend I wanted to have a dinner picnic on the beach with votive candles, warm blankets, fabulous food and Him but the weather didn't co-operate.  So we ate indoors but it wasn't quite the same.    I'm very happy with the toasted bulgar salad however. 



3/4 cup coarse bulgar

1 1/3 cup water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 cups fresh corn kernels

1/2  pint cherry tomatoes, halved

2/3 cup chopped scallions

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or to taste


In a large skillet toast bulgar over a moderately high heat, stirring frequently, 5 -10 minutes, or until it makes a slight popping sound and is lightly browned.  Transfer to a bowl and cool.


In a saucepan bring water and salt to a boil and then stir in the toasted bulgar.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed.  Remove pan from heat and let bulgar stand for 10 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and cool.


While bulgar is cooking in skillet heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook corn, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes, or until just tender.  Cool corn and add to bulgar with tomatoes, scallions, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste, tossing to combine.


Salad can be made 6 hours ahead and chilled, covered.  Serve at room temperature.



It was still good three days later.  The texture of the bulgar remained firm and the cherry tomatoes didn't leak and create a soupy mess which was my main worry.



[User Picture]From: revbiscuit
2007-07-06 09:55 pm (UTC)
Now if only the weather would play ball.


I knew I should have been immediately suspicious of the hotel blurb that advertised an umbrella! amongst the in-room facilities for the odd rainy day. BC liquid sunshine indeed.

The salad sounds great actually. Do you think it may work with chickpeas instead of corn? I'm considering trying that out, but, as everyone knows, corn is Satan's vegetable, and I cannot allow any to pass my lips.
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[User Picture]From: aseret_black
2007-07-06 10:14 pm (UTC)
Satan's vegetable!!!!

For shame child, doth thou not know that the sweet kernels of pale yellow corn are but drops of sunshine onto the gardens of the Gods?

Chickpeas would give it a very different flavour but I say go for it if you just can't tolerate corn. I found the sweetness of the corn played off so well against the acidity of the tomatoes and highlighted that lovely little sweet/sharp bite of red wine vinegar.

(Did they really say odd rainy day? Liars.
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[User Picture]From: revbiscuit
2007-07-06 10:31 pm (UTC)
Hotel room safes, iron and ironing board, and umbrellas for the occasional rainy Vancouver day.

From here. But hey, we loved every minute anyway!
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