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2010 dr.com Spring Picnic Recipes


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Hi all ~ there have already been requests for recipes from the picnic, here's the thread. Feel free to post your recipe(s)!

One rule: Please give credit where credit is due -- if you took it from somewhere, please link or at least reference your source.

(If you don't feel like posting, you can PM me and I'll put them up here.)

Thank you, everyone, for such an amazing day!

P.S. My drippy pickled shrimp and Tuscan chicken-liver paté are described here -- I'm not going to repost them. They were really just stopgap appetizers today until the big guns came out! :lol:

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OK - I'll play :lol:

I brought the Fava Bean-Arugula Crostini, a Gourmet recipe I found on epicurious. I quadrupled the recipe for the picnic.

I also brought the maple-chipotle wings which I made with Doc Tim's Amazing Maple-Chipotle Sauce, using the recipe on the website (for recipes click the star on the page for the sauce).

(In the interest of full disclosure, "Doc Tim" is an old friend of mine - and he makes some darn good sauce!)

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For those who are curious, the vermi del tubo were adapted from a recipe for torciglione, an Umbrian confection normally shaped to resemble the snakes or eels of Lake Trasimeno. The base recipe is described here. Note that the whole almonds must be blanched, peeled, and dried before use. Other torciglione recipes often call for a smidge more sugar, and only lightly beating the egg whites; I chose more sugar, and stiff peaks. To shape the tubeworms, hunks of the mix were rolled into plastic wrap and drawn to length before assembly on a Silpat and a bit of decorative tweaking. Because the finished article was much thinner than one large eel shape, I reduced baking time to 27 minutes, but could probably have cut it to something like 22 to keep a chewier center.


Some folks also noticed the bottle of sharbat-e sekanjabin, an ancient Persian refreshment made with honey or sugar, vinegar, and mint. Description and recipe here, although this version is better-known in the US. I find that using honey instead of sugar makes it considerably tastier, at the inconvenience of having to scum off the foam (which is mainly comprised of residual waxes) during the boil. This batch was made with orange blossom honey, cider vinegar (low end of the suggested amounts), spearmint from my backyard, and four or five slices of ginger. The long boil after the vinegar is added is crucial, otherwise the syrup tends to pack a strong acetic nose. The resulting concentrate (about 12 oz) was added to about 2.5 liters of spring water for the final drink.

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Thanks for posting the recipe Dave! Seriously, that drink was quite refreshing.

This recipe was from David Hagedorn as posted in the WaPo. I made a double recipe and added celery and omitted the scallion. It's officially called Deviled Eggy-Crab Spread, but I can never remember the correct name. I like the egg-crab-thingy much better! (The celery and pita crisps were both courtesy of Costco)

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I adapted this recipe from the most recent Martha Stewart Living for the trifle. Instead of roasted fruit I used 3lbs strawberries and 1/2lb pineapple. I doubled the custard/cream recipe, but in two separate batches. I also added some hazelnut liquer to plain pound cake, but have made it with the almond pound cake they suggest and that turns out just as good.

I am so hoping to get the recipes for deviled crab and the cucumber/avocado salad. I am sure there are more that I would like but my brain still can't think about food.

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The recipe for the Nutella cake frosting is here. I added a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder to keep it from being too sweet. The cake was a regular 1 2 3 4 cake made with half and half, and the filling was homemade blackberry preserves made from Christine Ferber's recipe with some port added for depth.

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I am so hoping to get the recipes for deviled crab and the cucumber/avocado salad. I am sure there are more that I would like but my brain still can't think about food.

The deviled crab recipe is linked the post right above yours, from squidsdc. :lol:

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The skull I brought had Corpse Reviver #2 in it. This is a classic recipe, documented in a number of places though I used the Museum of the American Cocktail's bar guide as a reference. The basic recipe is:

3/4 ounce gin

3/4 ounce Cointreau

3/4 ounce Lillet

3/4 ounce lemon juice

1 dash Absinthe, or Pernod, or other pastis

I used Bluecoat gin from Philadelphia, as well as the Vieux Carre absinthe from the same distillery. Instead of Lillet, I used Cocchi Americano, which more closely replicates the Kina Lillet of past years than the current formulation of Lillet. (Try using it in your Vespers, too.) Instead of Cointreau, I used Combier, because I like the orange flavor of it a bit better; however, the citrus flavors from the other ingredients were a bit more prevalent than I would have liked, and so next time I'll probably stick with Cointreau, all other things being equal.

I then added 30% of the cocktail volume in fresh water since it would be shaken.

As for the Thai Peanut and habanero barbecue wangs, I don't really have a recipe, per se. Typically what I do is make up a sauce for each, using a commercially available sauce as a base. H.T. Trader's Thai Peanut sauce and Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauces, in this case I used the maple and brown sugar as well as the sweet Vidalia onion barbecue sauces, are the ones that I used. Despite having HFCS in it, the Sweet Baby Ray's is my usual base sauce, as it tends to be cheap but decent. From that sauce I add a variety of seasonings depending on how I feel as well as some freshly diced peppers. The Thai Peanut had Thai chilis and green onions added, plus some chocolate-based garnish Gina Chersevani gave me a while back, Montreal chicken seasoning, some Penzey's Ozark seasoning, and garlic. The barbecue had freshly diced Thai chilis, jalapenos, and habanero, plus red and black pepper, Montreal chicken seasoning, garlic, and Penzey's Ozark and Galena Street seasonings.

I then cook them for a long time at 350-400 degrees. Usually I try to finish them on the grill but didn't get around to it this time; I then toss them in a fresh batch of the sauce before serving.

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I brought the poundcake, the recipe is from Camille Glenn's 'The Heritage of Southern Cooking' recipe

I'm lazy, though, & don't separate my eggs, just dump them all in the Kitchenaid. I also smoked 2 10-lb. pork butts, & thank goodness I had my friend, Rose, visiting from NC-we were up early hand-pulling the pork. I used Elizabeth Karmel's vinegar sauce, found in Steven Raichlen's 'The Barbecue Bible' -vinegar sauce

It was a fabulous picnic, & I continued to eat, long after I should have stopped. I kept thinking, "If I don't try some of that, I'll regret it", there was so much fabulous food, keep those recipes coming...

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By request.

Fabada Zoraña*

serves 5-6

1 lb. large white beans or dried favas (I used Judion beans from Spain, but you could use Greek gigante beans, fabes asturianas, tarbais beans, or even cannelini beans)


1-2T. olive oil

small onion, chopped

1/2 white part of a leek, chopped (save the greens for the bouquet garni)

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. pimenton dulce

pinch of saffron

1/2 of a roasted, peeled poblano pepper (or green bell pepper), chopped

1/2 of a roasted, peeled red bell pepper, chopped

1 med. tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped

2 large cloves garlic, chopped


3-4 oz. chunk of bacon or pork belly, in one piece

4 links fresh Spanish chorizo (not the cured, dried kind--I used Stan's Simply Sausage)

bouquet garni

2 sections of leek greens, cut to the same length

2-3 branches each Italian parsley, thyme and mint

2 bay leaves

small piece canela or cinnamon stick

2 whole cloves

long piece of kitchen twine

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

to finish

1 tsp. sherry vinegar

chopped Italian parsley and mint

soak beans over night

preheat oven to 250f

In a heavy bottom casserole, sweat the chopped onion and leek in olive oil, add and briefly bloom the ground spices in the oil, then add the rest of the chopped veg and garlic. Saute for 10 minutes or more on med-low heat, stiiring occasionally. Submerge bacon or pork belly in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Tuck bouquet garni ingredients into one leek green, cover with the other and tie up into a bundle with the kitchen twine. Drain and rinse beans and add to casserole. Bury the piece of pork and the bouquet garni in with the beans, cover with water to 1" above the beans. Bring to a boil, cover the casserole, and put into the oven. After 2-21/2 hours, check the water level, adding more as needed. Add the salt and pepper. Stir. Brown the chorizo and add to the casserole. The beans should be fairly soft. Cook for another 1/2 hour to 1 hour. Make certain that the beans are completely soft and creamy. Remove casserole from oven, remove meats and discard bouquet garni. Chop pork belly in small pieces, slice chorizo. Skim off fat, return meats to pot. Stir in vinegar and garnish with chopped parsley and mint.

*this is my own mash-up of several different recipes for Spanish bean and meat stews. It is not authentic to any particluar region of Spain. Fabadas are originally from Northern Spain, but are now ubiquitous. You can see the Moorish influences in this recipe: the saffron, cinnamon and mint, especially.

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by request, this is from a old egullet recipe that "Mark" put up years ago, as the commerial says I put this #%&* on everything

South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce

2/3 c yellow prepared mustard

1/2 c white sugar

1/4 c light brown sugar

1 c cider vinegar

2 T chili powder

(I use guajullo molido and ancho instead)

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp white pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

(I add crushed red pepper and if I want it even hotter I use fresh ground pequins)

4 drops Tabasco

(I use Louisiana style hot sauce and lots of it instead)

1/2 tsp soy sauce

2 T butter

Combine all ingredients except the soy sauce and butter in a saucepan and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in soy sauce and butter. May be used as a basting sauce for barbecue meat or as a condiment.

I also added the juice of 1 lime and spiced it up quite a bit.

Experiment and enjoy!

Scott, any way you'd be able to post your BBQ sauce base? It was absolutely delicious.

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In response to a request for the arancini recipe, I figured I'd tack it on to the list here:

Sweet Corn and Shrimp Arancini


2 and 1/4 cups arborio rice

7 cups home made (I doubt it's sold in any store?) corn stock, with extra reserved in case the risotto is finicky

1/2 Vidalia onion, small dice

3 ears of corn, kernels removed

3/4 pound of 31-40 count shrimp (though any size works), shelled and deveined

4 ounces pancetta, small dice

1.5 oz butter, +

1 red bell pepper

8 ounces fresh mozzarella, small dice

1 cup Pecorino Romano, grated (more to taste)

1 lime

1 splash (about a half cup) white wine (pretty sure I had a dry riesling on hand)




Extra Light Olive Oil/Neutral Cooking Oil




Shortly before cooking (so as not to give the acid time to start cooking them), marinate the shrimp in oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and the juice from half the lime.

Start with a small pan over medium heat, with just a small splash of oil to get the pancetta started. Sautee the pancetta, rendering out the fat, and remove it from the pan as it begins to crisp up. It'll get even crispier as it cools. Set aside, and reserve the fat in the pan.

Raise the heat to medium high, then add the corn kernels and red bell pepper. Cook until the kernels begin to brown up, tossing frequently. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the shrimp to the pan, maintaining medium high heat, for about a minute per side. Don't overcook -- they're going to get more attention when the components are incorporated into the risotto, and when the arrancini are dropped into the fryer. Remove the shrimp, retaining whatever juices the shrimp released in the cooking process. Dice the shrimp.

Bring the stock to boil, then lower to a simmer.

Melt the butter in a pot that can hold at least 10 cups. Over medium-low heat, saute the onions until translucent. Raise the heat to medium and add the arborio rice, and toast for about a minute and a half, until the edges of the grains begin to get translucent. Hit the rice with the white wine, and after most of the liquid has cooked off, pour in all of the stock. Stirring occasionally, let the risotto cook. It should take 20 minutes to absorb the majority of the liquid and to reach al dente. Start tasting after 15, checking for when the chalky taste and texture of the rice is gone, but it still has a bit of resistance to the tooth -- not mush. Adjust heat throughout to maintain a simmer, or just barely above it. A few minutes before the risotto is done, incorporate the corn, peppers, shrimp, shrimp pan liquid, pancetta, juice from the other half of the lime, and the zest from half a lime as well.

When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the Pecorino. Taste, and season with additional cheese, salt, and pepper. Turn the risotto out into a bowl. Beat 1 or 2 eggs (depending on how rich you want them to be), and stir them into the risotto as well. Allow to cool (spreading on a sheet and sticking it in the refrigerator is a good, quick method).

A small ice cream scoop is the best tool for shaping the risotto once it has cooled. You can make them whatever size you want, just realize that as they get bigger, you'll want to fry at lower temperatures to insure that the inside heats before the outside burns. Once they are all rolled into balls, make an indentation in each and stuff 2 or 3 small cubes of mozzarella. Roll the risotto back up.

Setup 3 bowls: one with Wondra, one with beaten eggs, one with Panko. Each rice ball goes into the Wondra first, then egg, then Panko. The longer you take, and the neater you are, the nicer they'll look.

Depending on the size, fry them up in a deep fryer somewhere between 325 and 375. Make sure to salt them (lightly) when they leave the fryer, and don't eat immediately, or the nuclear hot, molten core will burn your face off. PS: they take forever to actually get cold, so unlike most fried food, they can sit a while.

Alternatively, you can pan fry them in an inch or so of oil as long as you monitor the heat so that they don't brown too quickly, and if you don't mind the breading getting a little screwed up by the bottom of the pan.

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