Makes 16 to 20 coddies
1/4 pound salt cod or 1 tablespoon cod paste or 1 tablespoon fish flakes
1 to 1 1/4 pounds potatoes
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup crushed crackers
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
vegetable oil for frying
If you are using salt cod, soak the fish for 24 hours in a bowl of water. Change the water every 6 to 8 hours. Cover the fish with water in a pan and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and break with a fork; cool. Peel, dice and boil potatoes until cooked. Drain, mash with 2 tablespoons milk and cool. In a large bowl, combine salt cod (or cod paste or fish flakes), potatoes, crackers, eggs and black pepper and make into thin, palm-sized balls.
Flatten slightly and cook in a pan filled with 1/4 inch of vegetable oil. Brown cakes on each side and drain. Replace diminished oil between batches. To serve, place each coddie on a saltine cracker, top with yellow mustard, and place another saltine on the top. Serve either warm or at room temperature.
--Recipe based on interviews with coddie makers
Cold Berry Soup
3 cups buttermilk
3 cups orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
dash each of ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg
1 cup washed fresh berries
Whisk together all the ingredients but the berries and chill thoroughly. Take it to the picnic in a large thermos bottle. Take berries in a plastic bag, or use ones that you pick on location. To serve, divide the soup into cups and add the berries.
--Adapted from "Picnic" (Storey Books, 2001, $9.95)
Grilled Pesto-Brushed Tomatoes
Preparation and cooking time: about 15 minutes
Makes 4 servings
1/4 cup prepared pesto
2 fully ripened fresh tomatoes (about 1 pound), thickly sliced
2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella, or grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat pan or broiler. Brush half of the pesto on both sides of tomato slices; arrange slices on grill or broiler pan.
Grill until tomatoes are hot, about 4 minutes. Turn slices, brushing both sides with the remaining pesto; sprinkle the tops with mozzarella. Grill until cheese melts, about 4 minutes more.
--From Florida Tomato Committee
Grilled Tomatoes, Sausages and Peppers
Preparation and cooking time: about 30 minutes
Makes 4 servings
1 pound Italian sausage links, cut in 2-inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, cut in 8 pieces
1/3 cup prepared balsamic or Italian salad dressing
4 fully ripened fresh tomatoes (about 2 pounds), cut in wedges
Preheat grill or broiler. Thread sausage slices and pepper pieces onto skewers; brush with dressing and place skewers on a grill or broiler pan. Grill sausage and pepper until sausage is cooked through, about 7 minutes on each side.
Thread tomato wedges lengthwise (through skin) onto skewers; brush with dressing and add to the grill or broiler pan; grill until tomatoes are hot and skin is lightly browned in spots, about 4 minutes on each side. Serve with buttered orzo or rice, if desired.
Start to finish: 25 minutes
Makes 4 servings
12 ounces fresh or frozen large shrimp in shells
2 tablespoons cooking oil, divided use
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium red sweet pepper, cut into thin strips
1/3 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded fresh spinach
2 cups hot cooked rice
Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Peel and devein shrimp. Rinse shrimp; pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir for 15 seconds. Add sweet red pepper; cook and stir about 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from skillet.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add the shrimp. Cook and stir about 3 minutes or until shrimp are opaque.
Remove from skillet. Add orange juice and hoisin sauce. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Return shrimp and sweet pepper to skillet. Add the spinach; toss just until combined.
To serve, spoon the shrimp mixture over hot cooked rice.
Per serving: 306 calories; 9 grams total fat (1 gram saturated fat); 129 milligrams cholesterol; 372 milligrams sodium; 34 grams carbohydrate; 1 gram fiber; 20 grams protein.
Perfect Party Punch
4 liters ginger ale, or more if desired
one 12-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate
one 12-ounce can frozen lemonade juice concentrate
one 12-ounce can frozen pineapple juice concentrate
one 12-ounce can frozen limeade juice concentrate
one 12-ounce can frozen grapefruit juice concentrate
one 4-ounce can frozen cranberry juice concentrate
Thaw concentrate and mix all ingredients well. Add a lot of ice. If ice is not melting, add an additional 1 1/2 liters of ginger ale.
Note: This is an acidic punch. Unless the ice melts rapidly, begin with 4 liters of ginger ale and add more if the punch is still too tart for your taste.
Makes 24 to 30 cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
1/2 cup white sugar, plus extra for dipping
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed potato chips
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup roasted, ground pecans
Cream butter or margarine, sugar and vanilla extract. Add crushed chips, flour and nuts. Drop by spoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet. Press flat with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, until golden around edges.
Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "Because of the amount of butter (and the lack of leavening), these cookies spread somewhat, so don't put them too close together on the baking sheet. A delicate sugar cookie; there is added textural interest from the chips and nuts. While they smell a little like potato chips, the taste is hard to discern. They stay crisp for a couple days in an airtight container, but soften quickly after that."
Makes 5 dozen cookies
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup solid shortening
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Makes 1 cup
4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice
Cream the sugar and shortening in the large bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the milk, egg, lemon zest and almond extract until well blended. Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture until the dough is well mixed. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for 1 hour or more, until firm.
Divide dough in half. Form each half into a flattened ball, and place one on a lightly floured surface. Roll to 1/8 -inch thickness and cut into teddy-bear shapes with a cookie cutter. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, or until lightly browned around edges. Remove from baking sheets and cool on wire racks. Let your child help decorate with icing, sprinkles, raisins, etc.
Cookie icing: Mix the sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth.
Divide into smaller bowls and add the desired food coloring.
--Adapted from "Picnic" (Storey Books, 2001, $9.95) Thai Shrimp and Papaya Salad Serves 6 SHRIMP: 12 large raw, cleaned and deveined shrimp 1 tablespoon toasted-sesame oil 1/4 teaspoon prepared chili paste (optional) SALAD: 6 cups washed and dried baby mixed field greens 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/4 cup olive oil PAPAYA SALSA: 1/2 cup or 1 bunch cilantro 1 cup cubed papaya 1/4 cup cubed red bell pepper 1/4 cup diced red onion 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional) 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice Preheat the broiler for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, put the shrimp in a medium bowl and add the sesame oil and chili paste, if using. Toss with a spoon to coat the shrimp completely and evenly. Lay the seasoned shrimp on a baking tray and broil them for 1 minute on the middle rack. Turn them over and broil for 1 more minute or until they are cooked through. The shrimp will be pink when they are done. Toss the mixed greens with the salt, lemon juice and oil until all the leaves are thoroughly coated. Pinch the leaves off the cilantro stems. Put the leaves in a small bowl with the remaining salsa ingredients and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Toss the shrimp into the salsa and stir until they are all coated. Put the mixed greens on a platter and lay the shrimp on top. Nutritional information: 188.2 calories; 14.3 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 7.8 grams protein; 9.4 grams carbohydrate; 40 milligrams cholesterol; 2.3 grams fiber