In July 2011, Chuck Dressler took on the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer with dishes appropriate for the picnic basket. These recipes all come from one of his well-worn cookbooks, Southern Living Cookbook for Two by Audrey P. Stehle.
Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups – Yield: 4 servings
This is probably the easiest recipe for quick picnic basket fillers or even for party appetizers. A variation of which I am partial is to smear some Dijon mustard on the cheese before placing the ham on top. After all, whoever heard of Ham & Cheese without mustard?
- 8 thin slices of ham, about 6” x 4” (Use your favorite brand/flavor of lunch meat or have the deli folks slice some for you. The meat needs to be thin enough to roll.)
- 4 slices of Swiss cheese, about 7” x 3 ½” (The cheese needs to be thin enough to roll but thick enough to hold the Roll-Up together.)
- 4 dill pickle strips (Not the sandwich stacker kind, but real strips.)
Arrange two ham slices on top of each cheese slice. At one end of the ham, place a pickle slice and roll so the pickle is in the middle of the Roll-Up. Pierce with a wooden tooth pick. If you like, you can pierce with two toothpicks and cut the Roll-Up in half – a good idea for appetizer use. Roll-Ups can be stored in plastic wrap.
Picnic Salad Rolls – Yield: 4 servings
- 4 tablespoons chopped green pepper
- 4 tablespoons chopped cucumber
- 4 tablespoons chopped tomato
- 4 tablespoons chopped celery
- 4 teaspoons chopped onion
- 4 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley/1 teaspoon dried
- 4 teaspoons chopped dill pickle
- 6 tablespoons garlic/onion-flavored sour cream dip
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise/salad dressing (e.g., Miracle Whip)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 hard rolls
- Lettuce leaves
Combine the first seven ingredients and set aside. Mix the dip, mayonnaise/sandwich spread, salt and pepper and fold into the vegetable mixture. Set aside. Remove a thin slice from the top of each roll and scope out the breading, leaving a ½”-thick shell. Line each shell with a lettuce leaf and spoon in the vegetable mixture. Wrap each roll tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time.
- For a spicier roll, try using one of Kraft’s Mayonnaise Sandwich Shop products instead of plain mayonnaise/salad dressing. These come in four flavors: Hot & Spicy, Chipotle, Garlic & Herb, and Horseradish-Dijon.
- Use the recipe with tomatoes substituted for the rolls. Omit the 4 tablespoons of chopped tomato.
- For the carnivores out there, consider adding ½ cup of some John Morrell Diced Ham or chopped Perdue Shortcuts Chicken (flavor of your choice, but I recommend the original).
Cucumbers in Sour Cream – Yield: 4 servings
While this recipe comes from the referenced cookbook, this is a very popular salad in Germany.
- 1 cup sour cream
- 6 tablespoons minced fresh chives/3 teaspoons dried chives
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- Pepper, to taste
- 2 large/four small cucumbers, peeled and sliced
Combine the first five ingredients; stir well. Mix in the cucumbers and chill at least two hours.
Marinated Green Beans – Yield: 6 - 8 servings
This is a great make-ahead dish even if it’s not for a picnic.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ cup water
- 2 (16 oz.) cans (good luck with that J) French-style or whole green beans, drained – I prefer the French-style.
- 2 small onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings – I suggest a Vidalia or other mild type of onion.
Combine the sugar, vinegar, oil and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the beans and the onions in a dish that will allow coverage by the sugar-mixture marinade. Add the hot marinade to the bean-onion mixture and cool. Refrigerate overnight.