The first time I had fresh picnic ham, I was twenty-one, working as a chef in Imola, Italy. On a day off we went to the Formula One racetrack. In Italy, this type of stuff is their “ballpark food” — their version of a hot dog. They put freshly roasted whole pigs smeared with garlic and rosemary on trucks and head out to the speedways. You walk up to the truck and they hand you a slice they’ve just cut, topped with a piece of crackly skin.
I love to make this on Sundays to eat throughout the week, but it usually doesn’t last past Monday. I use the shank end of a fresh pork leg — also called a fresh ham — because the dark and white meat and the connective tissue give you a robust pork flavor. Ask your butcher to score the fat for you — it’ll keep it from curling up. Or you can score it yourself by cutting a crosshatch pattern into the skin with an X-Acto knife. This dish is really hard to mess up — the skin protects the meat from drying out, so you’d have to really try to overcook it.
This pasta salad recipe is perfect for a picnic or outdoor gathering. Bring it to a large barbecue to feed and please a large crowd. Just don't tell them about the secret (but flavor-boosting) ingredient.
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"This delicious chicken recipe draws a ton of influence from classic Moroccan tagine stews. The tagine preparation yields a bright dish bursting with North African flavors. A powerful combination of spices and plenty of lemon makes this chicken extremely succulent and craveable. If the exotic name scares you, don’t worry, this recipe couldn’t be easier. I typically serve each thigh over a bed of jasmine rice." — PICNIC LA Executive Chef, Alex Resnick
This is perfect for summer, when so many of us are outdoors, either in our own yard or visiting friends. The jars can be covered and stacked in a cooler so they even make a great potluck or picnic dessert. Keep track of the jars as they can be re-used for another time. The jars are also great because there’s also natural portion control, too — as long as you can keep it to one per person. For shopping, note that you need one pound of strawberries plus nine more for garnish.