Things to bring

May 20, 2003

Things to bring

It is almost Memorial Day Weekend. The weather is nice and people start going to parties and needing to bring along a salad or dessert. What do you bring that is reliably good and might have people even asking for the recipe? I always try to get recipes from others if I like what I ate.

My friend Gwen always has had a big memorial day party for the last few years. There is always tons of food, with a wonderful assortment of things to choose from. They invite everyone possible and the crowd is wonderfully ecclectic. I have brought many different things over the years, and have gotten a few recipes from that as well. Her sister Debbie sets up with a wonderful sound system and a few friends she sings with, and they make wonderful music. Her voice is fantastic and the music makes it truly a complete party.

Last year, Gwen’s daughter, Juliette, whose birthday falls right about then, had her own party the 2 hours prior to the start of the general party. They had rented an huge inflatable slide- which they all used for HOURS!! – and the party was in full swing quickly. Bocce is on the lawn to play, and an area for badmitton. People trickle in over several hours, scattering themselves across the lawn, enjoying the music, the food, the kids, conversations and drinks. They have several grills going and a huge table filled with tempting food.

Every now and again, for whatever reason, they choose not to have the party. On those years, it usually rains! Coincidence? Don’t know. This year they will not be having it, and the weather forecast says rain! Hopefully it won’t, but in the meantime- here are some tasty things from my repertoire to bring along with you to any party you may be going to.

Race Car Driver’s Black Bean Salad
Adam had this when working on a pit crew at Lime Rock. He asked me to get the recipe. Everyone who eats it wants the recipe. It is delicious!

3 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large red pepper, diced
1 package frozen corn, thawed

1. Mix together in a large bowl.
2. In another bowl, make the dressing:

2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove garlic, mashed
6 Tablespoons olive oil

3. In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice, mustard, cumin, and garlic.
4. While whisking, slowly pour in olive oil in a steady stream to create an emulsion.
5. Pour dressing over salad and stir well.
Makes 6 servings.

Morrocan Carrots
This recipe is from the Open House Cookbook- by Sarah Leah Chase. I used to get them on Nantucket from Que Sera Sarah, and I’ve been making it ever since I found the recipe in the Sarah’s cookbook. I’ve changed it only slightly in technique (making the emulsion in the dressing), not in ingredients (except more carrots since there is so much dressing!).

6 pounds carrots, peeled, trimmed, and cut on a sharp diagonal-
into 1/3 inch slices
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sweet Hungarian Paprika
1/4 cup ground cumin
5 large cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1. Place the carrots in a large pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, over high heat just until the carrots are crisp-tender. Drain immediatlely. Do not rinse with cold water.
2. While the carrots are cooking, make the dressing. Whisk together the vinegars, paprika, garlic and cumin. Slowly add the oil to create an emulsion. Add the parsley.
3. Add the hot carrots to the dressing and stir to coat. Let the salad cool to room temperature and serve.
Makes 15 servings.

Super Slaw
This is a great cole slaw. The dressing is fabulous. It is very similar to one that used to be served at Hibachi- our favorite take out Japanese place.
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
5 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
2 large red or yellow bell peppers, cut into matchstick-size strips
2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
8 large green onions, cut into matchstick-size strips
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Whisk first 7 ingredients in small bowl to blend. (Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before continuing.)
Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Serves 4 to 6.

Bon Appétit
July 1998

Ramen Noodle Salad
had this at Gwen’s Memorial Day Party- soo good!! I had to get the recipe.
Best the day it’s made so that it’s crunchy
1/2 cup butter
2 packages Ramen Noodles
(break up the noodles and discard the seasoning packets)
1 small bag slivered almonds
1 jar sesame seeds

melt butter in pan and add noodles, almonds and sesame seeds, stirring until browned.

In a large bowl, combine:
2 lbs cole slaw mix
5 sliced scallions
Noodle /nut mixture

1/2 hour before serving, add dressing. (if you do it earlier- the noodles get mushy)
1 cup vegetable oil
12 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
a few drops sesame oil

Lemon Coconut Squares
from the internet. (But from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook) I first made these for a memorial day party @ Gwen’s (‘99). These are nice and moist… really good!

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp grated lemon peel
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg whites
1/2 cup (or more) flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix flour, butter, and powdered sugar. Press into an ungreased 8×8 square pan, building up 1/2” edges. Bake 20 minutes.
Beat remaining ingredients about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Pour over hot crust.
Bake about 25 minutes, or until no indentation remains when touched lightly in center.; cool.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into 1 1/2 inch squares.
(if you need alot- double it and make it in a 9” by 13” pan)

Chocolate Top Oatmeal Squares
Easy, good and has chocolate! Made for Eli’s class picnic when he was in Junior Kindergarten. I had a hard time not raiding them too much before the tray made it to school! DO NOT let them sit in the sun!

1 cup butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
1 cup sifted flour
1 cup rolled oats
6 oz. chocolate bar
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1. Cream butter and sugar thoroughly.
2. Beat in egg yolks.
3. Add flour and rolled oats and mix well.
4. Spread in a well greased and floured 13×9 inch pan (or 2 8inch square pans) and bake at 350 for 20 minutes only. No Longer!!
5. Cool 10 minutes.
6. Melt chocolate bar with butter and spread over cooled cookie layer.
7. Sprinkle with nuts (if using ).
8. Cut into 1 1/2 inch squares

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