For Father's Day, I'm off to the races with my dad and a bunch of our buddies. My dad's a great guy who loves no fuss classic recipes, so this philosophy will inspire the menu. Usually I would have him pack his mini grill for some picnic grilling, but since this is a Father's Day celebration I don't want him to have to lift a finger. I'll make picnic food ahead of time so I can sit back, relax, and watch the cars race by. Sandwiches are the quintessential picnic food and I'll be making two kinds. A French style tuna sandwich called pan bagnat - that only gets better if assembled the night before - will pair perfectly with chilled white wine. Buffalo chicken sandwiches with a creamy blue cheese dressing and crisp lettuce will be the beer friendly sandwich option. To get these tasty recipes all you have to do is
1 1-pound loaf unsliced French bread, about 14 inches long
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup basil leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
2 6-ounce cans tuna packed in olive oil, undrained
2 plum tomatoes, diced
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pitted assorted brine-cured olives
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Maui)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Slice bread in half lengthwise. Using hands, remove interior of loaf, leaving 3/4-inch shell. Brush interior of both halves with olive oil and line with basil leaves in single layer.
- Combine undrained tuna, tomatoes, olives, onion, and lemon juice in medium bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spoon salad evenly into bottom bread shell. Cover with top half and wrap tightly with plastic.
- Place in shallow baking pan; top with another baking pan and weight with heavy cans. Let stand 20 minutes.
- Unwrap pan bagnat and cut into 1 1/2-inch slices. Place on platter, garnish with basil sprigs, and serve.
4 pieces, 6 ounces each, boneless, skinless chicken breast
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
extra-virgin olive oil
Sauce for chicken:
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup, 4 ounces, cayenne pepper sauce, preferred brand Frank's Red Hot
Bib or leaf lettuce leaves
4 crusty rolls, split
2 cups sour cream
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 pound blue cheese, crumbled
Small red onion, thinly sliced
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
- Season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika and chili powder. Drizzle breast with a little extra virgin olive oil to coat. Pan grill chicken breasts 5 minutes on each side.
- Heat a metal or oven safe glass bowl over low heat and melt butter in the bowl. Add hot sauce to the butter and combine.
- When the chicken breasts are done, remove from pan and add to the bowl and coat evenly with hot sauce mixture.
- Place chicken breasts on bun bottoms and top with crisp lettuce and red onion.
- Combine sour cream, scallions and blue cheese and slather bun tops with blue cheese sour cream. Affix bun tops on sandwiches and serve with remaining sauce for dipping.
Note: The image at right is of the chicken before being placed in a bun.