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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

BOAT FOOD!!!

BOATING!!!

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One of my favorite things to do in the summer is picnic on a boat or somewhere near water!  And whether you are enjoying something as simple as wine and cheese or something more elaborate, I think food always tastes better outdoors.  And you can create a magnificent meal in advance, and just wrap and store everything properly, and you're all set.  And bonus: all 3 menus are great with a good  Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio! ;)

I've created 3 menus that I prepare often.  All are easy and are actually better the day after preparing.  

MENU #1
MARINATED ANTIPASTO
CHICKEN PASTA SALAD
WHITE CHOCOLATE POUNDCAKE

MENU #2
CUCUMBER TOMATO SALAD
MUFFULETTA LOAF
CHOCOLATE CHIP POUND CAKE

MENU #3
JALAPENO RANCH DIP WITH VEGGIES AND CHIPS
SHRIMP SULLIVAN'S ISLAND
WHITE CHOCOLATE BLONDIES

MARINATED ANTIPASTO

This recipe is one I've had for over 30 years I think - it's super easy, cold (so it's great for summer) and it gets better the longer it marinates.
1 8 oz. bottle Italian dressing
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1/2 lb genoa salami slices
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/2 cup kalamata olives
8 pepperocini peppers
1 8 oz. pkg Monterey Jack cheese, cut into cubes
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In a medium bowl, pour dressing over artichoke hearts, salami, tomatoes, olives and peppers.
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Cover and marinate in the fridge overnight.  Drain.  Arrange all, along with cheese, over lettuce on a platter.  Serve with toothpicks. Alternately you can serve this antipasto on skewers.  Then just wrap each skewer in foil for your picnic.

CHICKEN PASTA SALAD
designerbakery
I've been making this chicken pasta salad forever, and to be honest, I almost forgot about it until an old friend mentioned that she makes it all the time, and that it still gets rave reviews.  Note: because there is mayonnaise in it, it needs to be kept cold in a cooler.

2 cups shell pasta
3 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion (like Vidalia)
1 11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cup seedless red or green grapes
1 1/2 cups good mayo (I use Hellman's)

Mix all ingredients together.  Allow plenty of time for the salad to be well chilled and for the flavors to blend.  Adjust salt if needed.

WHITE CHOCOLATE POUNDCAKE
tastebook
This white chocolate poundcake is so moist and delicious with that white chocolate glaze!  Poundcake is perfect for a picnic - no melting and it's firm enough so it'll hold up in a loaded picnic basket. Unfortunately, I've had this recipe written down for so long that I no longer know where it came from.  It's really really great though - one of my favorites!

4 oz white chocolate
1/4 cup hot water
1 cup shortening
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
ICING:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 cups granulated sugar
4 oz white chocolate
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a bundt or tube cake pan.  Melt the white chocolate in the 1/4 cup of hot water in the top of a double boiler.  When melted, set aside to cool.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat shortening and sugar together well.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in the vanilla.  Add melted chocolate mixture and blend on low speed to combine.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to the sugar mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.  Pour into prepared pan, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tester comes out clean.  When done, cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
ICING:
In a medium saucepan over med-low heat, combine the butter, evaporated milk, sugar and white chocolate.  Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.  Boil 1 minute; remove from heat.  Add vanilla, and beat until thick.  Pour over cooled cake.

MENU #2

CUCUMBER TOMATO SALAD
allrecipes
I found this recipe in a magazine ad somewhere years ago.  It's pretty basic, but it's packed with flavor. And it can be made the day before and will be great!
1/2 cup rice vinegar
3 packets of Stevia sweetener (or use 3 TBSP sugar)
3 cups unpeeled hothouse cucumbers, diced
2 cups chopped tomato
1/2 cup red onion
Salt and Pepper to taste
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Combine the vinegar and stevia.
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Add cucumbers, tomato and onion.
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Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Refrigerate, covered, at least 30 minutes before serving.

MUFFULETTA LOAF
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I fell in love with muffulettas while vacationing years ago in Seaside, Florida.  Their gourmet market (Modica) makes and sells them.  I think this recipe comes very close to theirs!  So perfect to make ahead, wrap tightly in Saran wrap and take on your boating excursion!  They actually get better with age!

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped green stuffed olives
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
2 TBSP capers, drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp minced garlic
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1 (20 oz) round Italian bread loaf (I ended up using sourdough since that's what was available at my grocery store)
1/4 lb sliced salami
1/4 lb sliced fresh mozzarella
1/4 lb sliced provolone cheese
1/4 lb sliced ham or prosciutto
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Combine first 10 ingredients, stirring well (I was out of capers when I made this one, so I didn't include them).
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Then cover and chill at least 2 hours (overnight is better!). Cut bread in half horizontally, and scoop out the bottom, leaving about a 1/2 inch thick shell.
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Drain the olive mixture, and spoon half of mixture into bread shell.
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Top with salami, cheese, pepperoni or ham and then remaining olive mixture.
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Cover with the other bread top.  Wrap loaf tightly with plastic wrap, and chill 6-8 hours (or overnight).
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Cut loaf into wedges, and wrap each serving individually in plastic wrap for your picnic.

CHOCOLATE CHIP POUND CAKE
(From Purple Foodie)
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This loaf cake is so yummy!  I've given it for years to neighbors as Christmas gifts.  And don't let the pan fool you - this is no BREAD - it is a dense rich and delish pound cake!
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 - 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1 TBSP flour
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9x5 inch loaf pan.  Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
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With a mixer beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
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Add the eggs one at a time.  Then add the vanilla extract.
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Fold in the dry ingredients by hand with a spatula.
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Finally, stir the 1 TBSP of flour with the chocolate chips, then stir then into the batter (so they won't sink to the bottom of the pan).
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Pour into the loaf pan. Garnish with additional chocolate chips, if desired.
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Bake for 40-60 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.  Let cake rest for 15 minutes before inverting to a wire rack.
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MENU #3

SHRIMP SULLIVAN'S ISLAND
(Adapted from All Recipes)
allrecipes
This recipe makes a lot!  Cut in half for a smaller crowd. The cold marinated shrimp are perfect for a hot day in summer.
10 qt. water
2 lemons, cut in half
5 lbs unpeeled, medium-size fresh shrimp
3 medium-size sweet onions, thinly sliced
3 (13.75-oz.) cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained
2 cups olive oil
1 3/4 cups cider vinegar
1 (3.5-oz.) jar capers, undrained
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 tsp hot sauce (I use tabasco)
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley

Bring 10 qt. water to a boil in a pot over medium-high heat; squeeze lemon halves over water, and add squeezed halves to water in stockpot. Add shrimp, and cook 3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Peel shrimp; devein, if desired. Layer shrimp, onions, and artichoke hearts in 2 (13- x 9-inch) baking dishes.
Stir together olive oil and next 5 ingredients; pour evenly over shrimp mixture. Cover and chill 12 hours or up to 48 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with a slotted spoon.

JALAPENO RANCH DIP
(Adapted from All Recipes)

Great with tortilla chips or veggies! You can even dip shrimp in this stuff! This recipe makes a good amount for a crowd, but it can easily be cut in half if needed.

allrecipes
8 ounces mayonaise
24 ounces sour cream (I use lower fat)
1 cup buttermilk (can substitute 3/4 cup milk with 2 TBSP vinegar instead)
1 cup salsa verde
1 handful of cilantro
3 ranch dressing packets
1/2 cup pickled jalapenos
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Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Better if you can chill it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving so the flavors marry.  And you can easily make this dip 24-48 hours prior to your event.
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WHITE CHOCOLATE BLONDIES (aka BLACK AND WHITE BLONDIES)
(Adapted from Baking Illustrated)

Love this dessert because it is not only amazingly good, it freezes easily and transports easily.

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1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
12 TBSP unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
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Preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 pan.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl, and set aside.
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Whisk the melted butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl until combined.
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Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.
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Using a spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture just until combined. Don't over mix.
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Fold in chocolate chips, then turn the batter into the pan, smoothing the top with spatula.
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Bake until the top is shiny and feels firm to the touch, about 22-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Using the foil, remove bars from the pan, cut into desired size. If I can restrain myself from eating all the bars (lol), I then wrap them individually to take for a boat ride.
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