Tags Posts tagged with "Picnic"


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By Barbara Beltrami

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Whether it’s on the village green or in a local park, at a band shell or the beach, reggae or rock, classical or country, an outdoor concert accompanied by an elegant picnic is as good as it gets. One especially savory main dish cooked ahead, then served at room temperature or chilled, accompanied by a salad, some crusty bread and a bottle of good wine works well, and bringing along some nice dishes, table linens and even some candles makes it really special. Dessert can be cheese and fruit to nibble while you’re listening or something incredibly sinful if you prefer. A paella is especially good as is a tomato and goat cheese tart or poached salmon with dill mayonnaise.


YIELD: Makes 6 servings


1/4 cup olive oil

1 pound boneless chicken thighs, cut up into large pieces

1 Vidalia onion, chopped

1 large bell pepper, (any color) diced

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 cups long grain rice, (not instant)

Pinch saffron, dissolved in a little hot broth

3 1/2 to 4 cups broth, white wine, water or a combination

1 pound seafood (mussels, clams, shrimp, lobster, squid)

1 pound cut up fresh tomatoes


In a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, onion, bell pepper, salt and pepper and cook, turning chicken until nicely browned on both sides (about 3 to 4 minutes each side) and stirring onion and pepper until a little soft, about 5 minutes. Add rice and saffron, stir, then add liquid and stir again; add seafood and stir once more. Cook over medium heat, but do not stir any more because a good paella forms a nice crust on the bottom. Continue to cook, adding a little more liquid if the rice still seems hard after all the liquid has been absorbed. Ten minutes before serving sprinkle tomatoes on top. Serve warm or at room temperature in pan with a sangria or chilled fruity white wine.

Herb-Poached Salmon with Dill Mayonnaise

YIELD: Makes 6 servings


Poached Salmon

3 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 cup dry white wine

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 sprigs fresh dill

2 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley

1 large shallot, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon black or white peppercorns

2 pounds fresh salmon, cut into 6 even pieces

Dill Mayonnaise

3/4 cup good quality mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons cream

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill

1/3 cup snipped fresh chives

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon prepared Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

6 fresh dill sprigs

6 fresh lemon slices


In a wide deep skillet combine the broth, wine, thyme, dill, parsley, shallot, lemon juice, salt and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer; gently add salmon (if liquid doesn’t completely cover fish, add boiling water just to cover); partially cover skillet and simmer until salmon is cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spatula, gently remove salmon to platter, let sit 10 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and chill. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, cream, chopped dill, chives, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Cover and chill. Serve cold or at room temperature; garnish with dill sprigs and lemon slices and serve with dill mayonnaise and sliced cucumbers.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

YIELD: Makes 6 servings


Nonstick olive oil cooking spray

One 10-inch pastry crust

3 level tablespoons prepared mustard

1 1/2 pounds garden tomatoes, sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

2 large eggs

5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a tart pan with nonstick cooking spray, then line bottom and sides with pastry crust; run a rolling pin over the top edges to even out the crust; refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spread mustard evenly over bottom of crust, then arrange tomatoes in overlapping pattern over mustard; sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs. While crust is chilling, in a medium bowl whisk or beat together the eggs and goat cheese, pour over tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil. Place in oven and bake 30 to 40 minutes until top is dark golden. Remove from oven, let cool 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with a crisp arugula and Belgian endive salad.


This week’s shelter pet is a lovely cat named Peconic. This beautiful girl is a 5-year-old calico who was found as a stray and is now patiently waiting at Kent Animal Shelter for her furever home.

Peconic has a very sweet disposition and would love nothing more than to curl up on your lap. She’s good with other cats and would probably be fine with a dog too. Come on down and meet her! Peconic comes spayed, microchipped and up to date on vaccines. 

Kent Animal Shelter is located at 2259 River Road in Calverton. The adoption center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. For more information on Peconic and other adoptable pets at Kent, call 631-727-5731 or visit www.kentanimalshelter.com.

Update: Peconic has been adopted!