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Main Dish Recipes

These recipes are not only great tasting, they are perfect for packing as your entree' for your picnic. If you enjoy these then please reciprocate by sharing a recipe of your own. Enjoy!

Beef and Spinach Pita Pockets
Beer Can Chicken
Chicken Caesar Sandwich
Chili Chicken Casserole
Chili Pork Satay
Divine Grilled Chicken
Firecracker Burgers
Italian Pasta Salad
Loaf Delight
Mmmazing Hot Wings
Pinto Bean Casserole
Rib Eye Steak in Bock Beer Marinade
Salad Pizza
Salmon Picnic Sandwiches
Tangy Lemon and Soy Chicken
Wine Burgers

Beef and Spinach Pita Pockets
(makes 2 servings)

  • 8 ounces ground Beef Top Round
  • 6 fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 whole wheat pita bread, halved
  • 2 tablespoons plain low fat yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon curry powder, (optional)
  • In a large non-stick skillet, combine the ground beef, the garlic cloves and the crushed red pepper. Cook it over medium heat until it is browned, stirring to crumble the beef. Drain in a colander, discard drippings. Wipe skillet dry with a paper towel. Return beef mixture to skillet; add chopped spinach, spices and salt; and stir it well. Cover and cook it over medium heat for 3 minutes or just until spinach has wilted; remove it from heat. Spoon 1/2 cup of beef mixture into each pita half lined with whole spinach leaves. Mix the yogurt with the curry powder if desired. Top each pita half with 1 tablespoon of yogurt. * Keep your Beef and Spinach Pita Pockets cool until serving. Wrap them up and slip them into your picnic basket or picnic backpack to enjoy on your outdoor dining adventure!*

    Source: Anonymous

    Beer Can Chicken
    (makes 4 servings)

  • 1 (3 pound) whole frying chicken
  • 1 can of beer
  • seasoning to taste
  • Wash bird and remove giblet sack from inside bird. Season skin to taste. Open beer can and place in cavity of bird, open side up of course. On a charcoal grill with one layer of BLAZING hot coals, place bird on rack balancing on the beer can to where bird appears to be standing up. Close top of grill. Set vents on top to 20% open. Let the birds cook for about an hour and a half and open the lid. Birds should be well browned or it may take another 15 minutes.

    Wearing gloves, remove the birds from grill and take the beer can out. Place the birds on a serving dish. It won't take much carving because the meat will literally fall off the bone. Some of the beer cans will be empty; some will have some brew in them. It doesn't seem to make any difference on the outcome of the bird. DO NOT drink the leftover beer.

    Although I've never tried it, I'm sure you could do the same thing in the oven at about 350F for about the same amount of time.

    Variation: take empty beer or soda can, wash clean inside and use red or white wine or anything you chose instead of beer

    Source: Art Tanner

    Chicken Caesar Sandwich
    (makes 8 dozen)

  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 8 slices sourdough or rye bread
  • 1 small head (about 4 cups) romaine lettuce, cut in 1-inch slices
  • 1/3 C. prepared Caesar salad dressing
  • 1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 (1/4-inch) slices red onion, halved
  • Tomato wedges (optional)
  • Mince 2 to 4 cloves garlic (4 is great if you love garlic), and set aside. Cut chicken in 1/4-inch slices. Heat olive oil in skillet and saute garlic for 30 seconds, or until fragrance is released. Add chicken and saute until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with pepper. Turn off heat and set aside.

    Grill or broil bread until lightly toasted, about 1 minute per side.

    In bowl, toss together romaine, salad dressing, Parmesan, red onion and chicken. Season to taste with pepper. Pile onto 4 slices of toast, top with remaining toast and serve with tomatoes on the side, if desired.

    Picnic packing instructions: Saute chicken in garlic and cool a little. Pack in plastic container and refrigerate.

    Place toast in a plastic bag and pack. (Do not seal bag or toast will become soggy.)

    Place lettuce in large resealable bowl. Pour salad dressing into plastic container. Spoon cheese into plastic container. Pack red onion and tomatoes, if using, in a plastic bag.

    Refrigerate everything except toast until transporting to picnic. Pack everything except toast in cooler with ice or cold packs. (Pack toast at room temperature.)

    Just before serving, wash hands and assemble.

    Source: Anonymous

    Chili Chicken Casserole
    (makes 6 servings)

    Should be doubled or tripled, the more people there are.
  • 4 oz tortilla chips, slightly crushed
  • 1 ½ lbs boneless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained
  • ½ cup each sliced seedless black and green olives
  • 3 tablespoon chili powder or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley or cilantrillo
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Line the bottom of 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish with chips; set aside. In large skillet, sauté chicken, onion and garlic in oil until chicken is opaque. Stir in remaining ingredients except cheeses until blended. Pour over chips; top with cheeses and garnish with the sliced olives. Bake in preheated oven, 350 F for 30 minutes, or until heated through and cheeses melt. Cover and prepare to be carried into the picnic. Enjoy!

    Source: Anonymous

    Chili Pork Satay
    (makes 4 servings)

  • 1 pound boneless pork chops, cut into about 3/8-inch thick strips
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of hoi sin sauce
  • 1/4 cup of Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 6 to 8 wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes and drained
  • Place the pork strips in a quart-size zippered-top plastic bag. Combine the marinade ingredients (soy sauce, hoi sin sauce, Thai sweet chili sauce, and vegetable oil) in a measuring cup, and pour it into the plastic bag, seal, and squish all around to coat the pork strips. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

    Preheat grill with burners on high for 10 minutes and lid down. Thread the meat onto skewers, accordion-style. Turn all the burners to a little lower than medium heat, place the skewers on the grill, and cook, with lid up, for a total of 10 minutes, 5 minutes per side. You may want to use a thin-bladed spatula to flip the satays. Use it upside down, sliding the blade gently under the meat to loosen it from the grill. Serve hot or at room temperature.

    * Place your satays in a plastic container and slip it into your picnic basket or picnic backpack and prepare to be dazzled with the taste while on your outdoor dining experience. *

    Source: The New Gas Grill Gourmet

    Divine Grilled Chicken
    (makes 8 servings)

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon mild chili powder
  • 2 tablespoon hot chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Mex. oregano
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon minced lemon zest
  • 1-1/2 tsp onion salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • *Cut chickens in quarters, leave the skin on.*
    Loosen the skin on the chicken pieces, and put a generous amount of the combined spices under the skin. Then sprinkle generous all over the chicken, both sides. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, the longer the better. Start up the grill, cook and smoke until done. Use a little pecan, apple or whatever wood to get the smoke going. This is enough to do 2 chickens. Also good on pork!

    Source: Terry Ward

    Firecracker Burgers
    (makes 3 -4 servings)

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/4 C. finely chopped red onion
  • 1 T. parsley flakes
  • 3/4 t. garlic salt
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 1/4 t. white pepper
  • 1/4 t. ground red pepper
  • 2 bell peppers (red and green), seeded and cut in rings
  • 4 slices cheddar, monterey jack or american cheese
  • 4 kaiser rolls or hamburger rolls
  • vegetable oil
  • lettuce
  • Mix together ground beef, onion and seasonings. Shape mixture into 3 or 4 burgers. Brush pepper rings with oil. Grill burgers and peppers over medium heat 8-12 minutes or until burgers are well-done (160ºF internal temperature), turning once. Add cheese to top of each burger for one minute before cooking is completed. Place on rolls. Top with pepper rings and lettuce.

    Source: Anonymous

    Italian Pasta Salad
    (makes 6 servings)

  • 2 pounds cooked and cooled pasta
  • 1 jar drained artichoke hearts
  • 1 can green olives
  • 1 jar drained gardiena salad
  • 4 shredded carrots
  • 4 chopped celeries
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • one bottle Newmans Own Italian Dressing
  • Mix all of the above together and put into a plastic container or dish and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. When going on a picnic, simply put in a plastic container and you are ready to go!

    Source: Anonymous

    Loaf Delight
    (makes 6 servings)
    (can be served hot or cold)

    Ingredients Bread Dough Ingredients:
  • 6 Cups of flour
  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 Cup of warm water
  • 1/2 Cup of milk
  • 1/4 Cup of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter
  • Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. of ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. of ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt v
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • In a pot, scald the milk, stir in the honey, salt and butter. Cool to lukewarm. In a large bowl, measure the water into it and then sprinkle the yeast over it. Mix in the 3 Cups of flour and the milk mixture and beat it until it's smooth. Make sure to add enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead until smooth. When the dough is smooth, place it in a covered bowl and refrigerate it for 2 - 24 hours.

    After it has been refrigerated, divide the dough in half. Roll one half of the dough into a 20 inch circle. Place the dough into a well greased 10 inch springform pan, with 2 inches of the dough overhanging the side of the pan.

    For the Filling:In a skillet, cook the ground beef and ground pork until browned. Drain the grease. Add the spices and let it cool completely. Then place the meat filling inside the crust.

    Steps which must also be prepared and added on top of the meat filling:
    - 1 lb. of mushrooms that have beef fried in 2 Tablespoons of butter. Make sure it has cooled.
    - 2 sliced onions that have beef fried in 2 Tablespoons of butter until tender and has been cooled.
    - 1/2 lb. of mild grated cheddar cheese

    Last Step:Roll out 2/3 of the second piece of dough into a 12 inch circle. Cover the loaf and crimp edges tightly shut. Decorate the top of the loaf with the remaining dough. Brush the top of the loaf with 1 beaten egg. Poke a hole through the middle to vent.

    Bake at 400°F. for 30 minutes until crust is browned. Remove the loaf from the oven and let it set 5 minutes. Remove collar from springform pan. You can serve this Loaf Delight hot or cold.

    Source: Anonymous

    Mmmazing Hot Wings
    (makes 2-6 servings)

  • 2 (6 ounce) bottles of Bruce's hot sauce (or your favorite hot sauce brand)
  • ½ cup of unsalted melted butter
  • 1/3 cup of Italian salad dressing (not creamy)
  • 2 tsp of lemon juice
  • 2 tsp of dried basil leaves
  • 5 lbs of chicken legs or chicken wings
  • You will need 5 lbs of chicken legs or chicken wings (make sure you remove the tips of the wings).

    Broil chicken until it is done and is a nice crispy golden brown. Mix up the hot sauce while the chicken is cooking. Once the chicken is done, dip each piece of chicken into the sauce and return it to the broiler. Allow the sauce to become a bit dry, being careful not to burn. Dip each piece of chicken in sauce again and put under broiler one more time, making sure to put opposite side up. Take it out in a few seconds or until the sauce has almost dried. Enjoy, and don't forget to compliment your wings with carrots, celery and blue cheese!

    When packing for a picnic; put into a Styrofoam or plastic container and make sure it is vented! Poke holes in the Styrofoam or leave the lid of the container vented, otherwise the wings will become soggy with the steam/water vapor.

    Source: Anonymous

    Pinto Bean Casserole
    (makes 6 servings)

  • 1 (9 oz) pkg. tortilla chips
  • 2 (30 oz) cans pinto beans -- rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn -- drained
  • 1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes -- drained
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning mix
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
  • shredded lettuce, sour cream and salsa -- optional
  • Crush tortilla chips and sprinkle into a greased 13x9" baking dish. In a large bowl, combine beans, corn, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning; mix well. Pour over chips. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 18-25 minutes or until heated through. Serve with lettuce, sour cream and salsa, and enjoy!

    Source: Quick Cooking-Sept/Oct/99

    Rib Eye Steak in Bock Beer Marinade
    (makes 4-6 servings)

  • 6 rib eye steaks (10-16 oz. rib eyes)
  • 1 12-oz. Shiner Bock, or your local or homemade dark beer
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, diced fine
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 shakes Tabasco®
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon coarse brown mustard (Creole is good)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Variations: This is also a wonderful marinade for baby-back ribs, Portobello mushrooms; chicken . . . you get the idea. Timing: Marinate the steaks in an airtight plastic bag the day before grilling to achieve the optimum flavor. Tools: Grill or Broiler; Large Airtight Plastic Bags

    1. Combine all of the ingredients except the salt. (Salt in the marinade draws too much moisture from the meat over an extended time.)
    2. Pour over steaks and marinate from 4 hours to overnight.
    3. Cook the steaks over medium-high heat about 4 minutes each side for medium rare to medium.
    4. Season with salt to taste after cooking and enjoy!

    Source: Cooking Fearlessly (Fearless Press; November, 1999)

    Salad Pizza
    (makes 6 servings)

  • 1 ready made pizza crust
  • 4 ounces mixed salad greens
  • 10 ounces cooked, boneless chicken breast halves, diced
  • 1/4 cup Caesar salad dressing
  • Place the pizza shell on a pizza pan or platter and top with the greens. Place the chicken over the greens and drizzle with dressing. Slice and serve.

    Source: Anonymous

    Salmon Picnic Sandwiches
    (makes 6 servings)

  • 1 pound of fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillet, cut 1 inch thick
  • 1 cup of Chardonnay or another dry white wine, or chicken broth
  • 1 medium Vidalia or other sweet onion, cut it into thin wedges (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 recipe Olive and Onion Relish (see recipe below)
  • 1 8- to 12-ounce loaf ciabatta or baguette Italian bread
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon wedges
  • Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish. In a large skillet or fish poacher combine wine or broth, onion, salt, pepper, and oregano. Bring to boiling; add salmon. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Use a slotted spatula to transfer salmon and onions from cooking liquid to a large bowl or shallow dish. Discard cooking liquid. Cover and refrigerate salmon and onions for 1 hour or until chilled.

    Meanwhile prepare Olive and Onion Relish. Cut bread into quarters. Slice each quarter horizontally in half. Drizzle cut sides lightly with olive oil. Remove salmon from refrigerator. Cut salmon fillet into 4 equal pieces. Place a piece of salmon on bottom of bread. Top with Olive and Onion Relish. Add top piece of bread. Wrap securely in plastic wrap. Refrigerate up to 4 hours. Squeeze lemon wedges over salmon and relish before serving.

    Olive and Onion Relish : In a small bowl combine reserved onion wedges (from poaching liquid); 1/2 cup pitted green olives, halved; 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved; 2 tablespoons snipped fresh flat leaf parsley; and 2 teaspoons snipped fresh oregano.

    Nutritional Information
    Nutritional facts per serving
    calories: 398, total fat: 17g, saturated fat: 2g, monounsaturated fat: 7g, polyunsaturated fat: 3g, cholesterol: 70mg, sodium: 1269mg, carbohydrate: 32g, total sugar: 2g, fiber: 3g, protein: 29g, vitamin A: 0%, vitamin C: 6%, calcium: 7%, iron: 15%

    Source: Better Homes and Gardens

    Tangy Lemon and Soy Chicken
    (makes 6 servings)

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
  • 3 pressed garlic cloves
  • Juice from two lemons
  • 4 tablespoons fresh ground ginger
  • Cut up one chicken into pieces (legs, thighs, wings, and breasts). Place the chicken into a large bowl (or large ziplock type bag to make it easier). Toss the chicken in the marinade, and every 15 minutes or so toss again for a couple of hours, or marinade it overnight in the fridge. Preheat the grill, and then adjust the temperature to about 350 degrees. You need to hold the temperature at around 350 for the entire cooking time. Remove the chicken and put the remainder of the marinade in a small stainless bowl, put the marinade on the grill (it will boil down at the chicken cooks). Grill the chicken with the grill cover down turning it every 15 or 20 minutes, brushing it with the thickening marinade every time you turn it. Check for doneness after 45 or 50 minutes with an instant read thermometer, continue cooking, turning, and brushing until done. Your chicken is now ready to be served! To take along on a picnic, simply store chicken in a plastic container or any container that suits you and you are read

    Source: Anonymous

    Wine-Soaked Burgers
    (makes 6 burgers)
    A twist on the standard hamburger recipe, these flavorful burgers will impress the guests at your next barbecue. These delicious patties are great for grilling!

  • 2 pounds ground round beef
  • 6 fresh bay leaves
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1-1/2 cups lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Form the beef into 6 patties. Place a bay leaf under each hamburger on a flat, non-reactive baking dish and sprinkle garlic over the top. Stir the wine, lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil together and pour over the patties. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate, turning the hamburgers several times, for at least 3 hours.

    Half an hour before cooking, remove the burgers from the refrigerator and drain on paper towels. Discard the bay leaves. Grill, broil, or fry in a preheated skillet 3 to 6 minutes per side. Serve on warmed rolls and enjoy!

    Source: Anonymous