How to Plan the Perfect Beach Picnic | Eating Outside
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How to Plan the Perfect Beach Picnic | Eating Outside

– During the summer months, eating outside can be one of life’s greatest pleasures. But the harsh realities of sun, seagulls, and sand can make it less than pleasant. I’m gonna guide you through how to pack the perfect beach picnic. (light upbeat pop music) Don’t overthink it. The perfect beach food is actually the humble sandwich. But there are rules, people. There’s a fine line between a glorious stacked balanced meal and a soggy mess. I’m gonna show you how to build the perfect sandwich that will hold up and be delicious. So, first, you wanna choose a good structure, and your structure is bread. I like to get a firm, hard, crusty loaf. Ciabatta’s good, a hard roll is nice. This is like a nice multigrain situation that’s pretty sturdy. Once you’ve picked the bread, you wanna protect it from moisture, and you can do that with condiments. I like to lay down a layer of mayonnaise, just a nice, thin layer. Then I like to use a tapenade. This is great because it has oil in it. A basil pesto would also work. But besides having the oil, which will protect your bread from water, it also has a lot of flavor and that flavor will permeate the bread. Your next layer which is also gonna help prevent anything soggy from seeping into your bread is meat. Prosciutto’s good. Salami’s great. Anything in the Italian cured family will do quite well. Ham, just plain old ham’s good. Soppressata. Now we’re actually gonna add our pickles, anything marinated, anything that’s kind of juicy. First you’re gonna blot them though. Now we’re gonna add any water-based condiments, like mustard. Drizzle that on there. So, this would be a good time to add any other sauces besides mustard. Ketchup if you’re a sociopath. Barbecue sauce if it’s called for. Hot sauce. Anything like that, anything water-based, you wanna put this right on the vegetables. After that, we’re gonna add our final layer of defense in sogginess, and that is cheese. All right, and now we are ready to close ‘er up. So, now what we’re actually gonna do is make this sandwich into a pressed sandwich. If you’ve never had one of those before, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a sandwich that has been weighed down so everything kinda melds and all the flavors permeate the bread and you have a really nice delicious bite. So, what you do, take your sandwich and gently set it aside. Grab some cling wrap. Set the sandwich in the wrap. And then roll it up as tight as you can. You can also use parchment paper. You just need a nice little protective barrier on the sandwich. Now you just take a plate, set your sandwich on the plate, and grab something heavy like a cast-iron pan or a brick, set that right on there, and then you just take the whole thing, pop it in the fridge. Overnight is ideal; you’ll get the best results this way, but three to four hours will also get you a pretty tasty result. All right, so this sandwich has been hanging out overnight and now it’s time to unveil our masterpiece. Remove your heavy object and unwrap this beauty. You can see we have glorious layers of flavor here. We got our meat, we got our cheese, that tapenade has kinda soaked into the bread a little bit but not too much. If you’re going straight to the beach, there’s no reason to unwrap the sandwich beforehand. Just throw it in the cooler, unwrap it when you’re ready to eat it, and enjoy. Now we’re ready to pack our pretty little beach picnic. I’ve got my trusty insulated bag. First thing I’m gonna do is put these pressed sandwiches right in the bottom. It doesn’t matter what you put on top of them because more weight is just gonna make ’em more delicious. Put those down in there. I like to include a few frozen water bottles. Not only do these chill food, but by the time they’ve melted, you’re ready to leave, but you have a nice cold beverage to leave with. Then, I also like to include some frozen melon. Not only is this a very refreshing treat, it helps keep everything cool and you can use it as little makeshift ice cubes for cocktails or just water. And then you’re gonna wanna put any delicate items, like potato chips, right on top so they don’t get crushed. In addition to your perfectly-packed picnic, there are a few other items you’re gonna wanna bring. Number one, always, always, always bring some wet wipes, perfect for wiping up any sticky situations or hands. I also like to bring an extra hand towel, great for dusting off and cleaning up. And finally, and this is one of my favorite things, a sock full of baby powder, which will help you dust the sand right off your body. And you can just throw it back in the bag and use it each time you go to the beach. Now we’re packed, prepped, and ready to head out for a perfect day at the beach.


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