Wednesday, August 25, 2010

weekend picnic pour deux

It's coming down in sheets outside. Of this, I am aware. But after today, we're looking at over a week straight of unadulterated sunshine and comfortable temperatures. And you know what that means? Grab the Pendelton blanket and some disposable dining ware. It's time for a picnic. For two.

saucisson et beurre baguette sandwiches
fingerling potato salad with mustard-shallot-tarragon vinaigrette
la tur (cow-sheep-goat's milk cheese) with sliced peaches
2009 La Vieille Ferme Cotes du Ventoux Red

the best "homemade" brownies you've ever had
Vin Doux Naturel Rasteau

If you haven't had the chance to pick up a saucisson et beurre baguette on the streets of Paris and then leisurely walk around the Marais while munching, I'm sincerely sorry. Add that to your bucket list. I don't know who had the genius (albeit initially peculiar) idea of smearing sweet butter on a french baguette and then topping it with thinly sliced saucisson sec (sopressata salami) and halved gherkins but I would like to hug them. Maybe even slip them a kiss. Or a friendly tap on the derriere. Because this sandwich blows my mind every time I get the chance to wrap my hands around the toothsome treat. The combination est absolument parfait.

Whip up this mayo-free potato salad the day before the best picnic of your life as it will only get better over night. Then pack it up in some to-go containers, throw an ice-pack into the basket, the cheese and sliced fruit on top of that, the baguette sandwiches wrapped ever so chic-ly in parchment paper and tied off with twine, and slip your wine into some paper bags (what open container laws?). I'm now fidgeting in my seat with anticipation for this weekend. Tapping my foot like an impatient child. Picnics, evidently, excite me.

Jon Troutman from Cork'd explains the wines you should be brown-bagging alongside:

"A weekend picnic calls for good wines, but nothing too fancy. Just no frills, easy drinking wouldn't serve Carlos Rossi with higher end cuisine, so why would you serve Grand Cru wines with sandwiches and potato salad? Of course, even inexpensive wines should jive with the menu. That's why these are the perfect choices:

Sandwiches: an intensely flavored, salty meat like sopressata and potato salad calls for a savory, meaty wine. That's why wines from the Southern Rhone, largely made from the Grenache grape, are the perfect pairing. These wines have a signature gamey, meaty quality that will jive just right with these sandwiches. La Vieille Ferme red wine falls in this category and with a price tag under $10, it's easy to see why it's so popular and highly scoring. Click here for more.

Brownies: Port and Maderia are the most popular choices with chocolate...but it's also played out worse than women in skirts and Uggs. Try a Vin Doux Naturel Rasteau, made in a similar style to the aforementioned, but with a much more attractive price tag. Learn more about the wines here."


fingerling potato salad with mustard-shallot vinaigrette (add a few teaspoons of chopped fresh tarragon)
saucisson et beurre baguette sandwiches: On good quality baguette, spread one side with sweet, unsalted butter then layer on thin slices of saucisson sec and halved gherkins. Bon Appetit.
best "homemade" brownies you've ever had: I cannot take any credit for this tip, it all goes to my mom. Prepare a box of Betty Crocker's Supreme Brownie Mix (the one with the Hershey's on the box) with melted salted butter instead of oil. This will yield the most unbelievable brownies you've ever had in your entire life. Oh, I went there. And I'm going there with total confidence. A dusting of powdered sugar and a few raspberries never hurt, either.

Enjoy this one, mes petites. It's one for the books. C'est vrai.

Image above courtesy of

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