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Basket bites
Two local chefs share their favorite picnic recipes


Ramses Alvarez
Juniper 61

Favorite Picnic spot: Lake Park

Why you love this recipe: It is a light, refreshing snack, everything is done in advance, and it’s easy to prepare earlier in the day with no last-minute fuss.

Yucatan Scallop Ceviche
(Serve this ceviche and salsa with your favorite corn tortilla chips.)

Ceviche3 ounces lime juice1/4 cup achiote paste (made from annatto seeds)3 cloves garlic, minced1 Tablespoon ground cumin1 pound fresh sea scallops

Combine all the ingredients except the scallops and mix well. Dice the scallops into 1/2-inch pieces and toss with the lime mixture to coat well. Allow to "cook" in the refrigerator for two hours.


1 small red onion, diced
3 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1 12-ounce can black beans, rinsed
2 very ripe avocados
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
3 very ripe mangos, peeled and diced
1 very ripe small papaya, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons avocado oil (can substitute extra virgin olive oil)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Gently toss all the ingredients together. Place in a serving bowl, making a well in the center. Place the ceviche in the well of the salsa and serve with fresh tortilla chips.

Serving tip: Keep the ceviche well-chilled by filling a slightly larger serving bowl half-full with ice cubes and placing the ceviche/salsa bowl inside it.

Richard Staniszewski

Head Chef
Harvey’s Central Grille

Favorite picnic spot: Pike Lake in Hartford, because you can swim, ride a bike, boat, fish or just hang out. We often bring a deck of cards and play as well.

Why he loves this recipe: I love to eat spicy shrimp on a hot day with an ice cold beer!

Caribbean Peel and Eat Shrimp

4 large scallions, beaten (not chopped)
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 habanero pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon allspice berries
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 bay leaves
5 cups of water

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add one pound of shell-on shrimp (20-30 count). Leave for a few minutes. When they start to change color (either pink or orange) turn off the heat and allow them to come to room temperature in the broth. Drain and put on ice for travel.