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Moveable Feast

Photographs by (picnic) Anne Catherine Campbell; (sandwich) Helene Dujardin

June 9, 2010

Moveable Feast
Caterer Caroline Bevon opens the lid on festival finale-inspired picnic fare

WRITTEN BY Marion Sullivan

Spoleto Festival USA celebrates arts all around, even seeking creativity in the culinary world with a picnic basket contest during its Middleton Place finale this Sunday. With spring full-blown, the possibilities for packing a fresh festival feast are at their most alluring. So we asked caterer Caroline Bevon, owner of the charming South Windermere food-to-go shop Caroline’s Market, for a picnic primer beyond PB&J.

Her choice for an elevated alfresco entrée? A meat loaf sandwich constructed with her veal version of the retro staple. More like a country pâté, it is highly flavored, thinly sliced, and layered between two pieces of munchy multigrain bread. Adding cool roasted red pepper and fresh spinach yields a savory, satisfying sandwich. “You could substitute ground turkey if you don’t want to use veal,” advises Caroline. “But don’t substitute fragile baby spinach for the good old-fashioned curly kind. It takes a little more work to wash and stem the leaves, but you’ll get the dual benefit of decidedly better taste and texture.” And Caroline’s choice of cream cheese for the base of the freshly roasted red pepper spread rates A-plus for safety, as it keeps mayonnaise out of the equation and the sandwich out of the salmonella zone.

Veal Meat Loaf with Red Pepper Spread & Fresh Spinach on Multigrain Bread
(Serves 4 with meat loaf leftovers)

For the veal meat loaf:
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 Tbs. minced garlic
2 cups fresh French bread crumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
6 Tbs. ketchup
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. Heinz 57 Steak Sauce
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 lbs. ground veal

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about five minutes. Add garlic and sauté until aromatic, being careful not to burn it. Transfer onion mixture to a large bowl. Stir next nine ingredients into onion mixture. Mix in veal.

Form into loaf and place in a 9x5x3-inch metal loaf pan. Refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake meat loaf until brown on top and a meat or instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 160°F, about one hour and 15 minutes. Cool for one hour. Refrigerate overnight.

For the red pepper spread:
1 large red bell pepper
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened

Char red bell pepper over a gas flame or under broiler until blackened on all sides. Wrap in a paper bag and let stand for 10 minutes. Peel pepper and dice into quarter-inch pieces. Cool. Fold into softened cream cheese. (Avoid beating pieces of pepper, as they will break down and lose their integrity. If necessary, slightly beat cream cheese before adding bell pepper to soften it and make it easy to blend.)

To assemble:
3 oz. fresh curly spinach
8 slices multigrain bread
Red pepper spread
Veal meat loaf

Wash and dry spinach leaves. Remove stems, wrap leaves loosely in a damp dishtowel, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Spread half of bread slices with red pepper spread. Top each with two thin slices of veal meat loaf. Place a few spinach leaves over meat loaf on each sandwich and top with slices of bread.

To find recipes from Caroline’s full picnic menu, click here.

For information about Caroline’s Market and Catering, click here.

For details about the Spoleto finale or to purchase tickets, click here.


Wed, 06/09/2010