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The All-Star Picnic: Summer Classics

May 23, 1991

Planning on playing your own games? In that case, you'll want to pack your own picnic. And what could be better than this all-American meal of fried chicken, coleslaw, potato salad and chocolate cake? We've even thrown in a blueberry-peach shortcake for good measure.

OLD-FASHIONED FRIED CHICKEN

1 (2 1/2- to 3-pound) chicken, cut up

1 cup flour

Salt, pepper

2 cups shortening

Rinse chicken parts and pat dry with paper towels. Combine flour, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in paper bag. Add chicken parts, few at time, and shake to coat thoroughly. Place chicken on paper towels and allow to dry 20 minutes.

Melt shortening in heavy skillet over high heat. Heat until drop of water splatters when dropped in hot fat. Coat chicken parts again with seasoned flour. Place chicken in hot shortening, skin side down, and fry about 20 minutes or until golden brown, turning once.

Reduce heat to low. Cover skillet and cook 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until chicken is tender. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Turn heat to high and cook, uncovered, about 10 minutes longer or until chicken has become crisp again. Drain on paper towels. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

COLESLAW

8 cups finely shredded cabbage (combination red and green, if desired)

3/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons vinegar

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup minced red onion

1/8 teaspoon celery salt, optional

Salt, pepper

Place cabbage in bowl. Combine mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, horseradish, mustard, garlic, red onion and celery salt. Mix well.

Add to cabbage mixture and toss well to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill covered. Makes about 6 cups.

POTATO SALAD

9 cups cubed cooked, unpeeled red potatoes

2 cups chopped celery

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

1/2 cup finely minced onion

1/2 cup sweet pickle relish

6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

Salt, pepper

Paprika

2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced

Combine potatoes, celery, mayonnaise, mustard, onion and pickle relish in large bowl. Toss to mix well. Gently toss in chopped hard-cooked eggs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover and chill until serving time. Adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with paprika and sliced hard-cooked eggs.

Variation:

For crunch and color, stir in any of following: 1 bunch red radish, thinly sliced; 1 cup broccoli florets or 1 cup lightly blanched diced peeled carrots.

SUNSHINE CHOCOLATE CAKE

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup orange Muscat wine (Essencia) or water

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

4 eggs

Grand Marnier liqueur

Chocolate Glaze or Ganache

Few thin orange slices

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add cocoa powder and wine, beating until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add to butter mixture and beat 2 minutes more. Add eggs, 1 at time, beating until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Turn batter in greased and floured 9-inch layer cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees 30 to 35 minutes or until cake center springs back when lightly touched. Cool about 5 minutes. Invert onto wire rack to cool completely.

Split cake in half horizontally. Drizzle orange liqueur lightly over each layer. Fill and frost with hot Chocolate Glaze or Ganache. Garnish with few orange slices. Makes about 9 servings.

Chocolate Glaze

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 tablespoons butter

Combine condensed milk and cocoa powder in top of double boiler over simmering water. Heat and stir constantly until smooth and thickened, about 8 minutes. (Do not overcook; glaze thickens upon cooling.) Stir in vanilla and butter and heat just until blended and smooth. Use immediately.

Ganache

12 ounces semisweet chocolate

1 cup whipping cream

Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water. Stir in whipping cream. Remove from heat. Remove 1 cup chocolate mixture and chill until thick and creamy.

Use to spread onto bottom layer. Top with second layer and glaze all over with unrefrigerated chocolate mixture.

BLUEBERRY-PEACH SHORTCAKE

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

Sugar

1/2 cup butter, diced

1 egg

1 cup half and half

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1/8 teaspoon crushed cardamom

1 basket blueberries or strawberries

1 1/2 cups sliced ripe peaches

Sweetened whipped cream

Combine flour, baking powder and 2 tablespoons sugar in bowl. Stir to blend. Cut diced butter into flour mixture using pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Beat egg and blend with half and half and vanilla. Make well in center of flour mixture. Pour in egg mixture. Quickly mix until blended. Gently knead dough on floured board several times. Roll dough to 1-inch thick. Cut out 4 rounds with floured 3 1/2-inch cutter. Re-roll remaining dough and repeat to make about 2 more rounds.

Place biscuits, 1 inch apart, on ungreased baking sheets. Brush tops with melted butter. Mix cardamom with 1 tablespoon sugar and sprinkle over tops of biscuits. Bake at 450 degrees 10 to 15 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned and done in center.

To serve, split biscuits. Spoon on blueberries and peaches (depending on sweetness of fruit, add sugar to taste) and serve with whipped cream. Makes 6 servings.

Food styling by Minnie Bernardino and Donna Deane

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