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Help--I hate potlucks!

  • c

I need your guidance more than ever, hounds. You see, I have come to hate, despise, loathe potlucks. Did I mention that I hate potlucks? I love to cook but always feel deflated and restricted by the typical non-hound American potluck concept.

Anyhow, my husband's department is having their first group gathering since he started his job there in the fall. So, I'm meeting his colleagues for the FIRST time which adds a layer of pressure and anxiety. It's a Sat. late afternoon potluck hosted at someone's house. The mains (typical grilled food) will be provided and we're being asked to bring one dish around that--app, salad, side, or dessert.

As usual, I'm at a total loss for what to bring. I don't have a signature or default potluck dish and would like to bring either an app or side; salads seem well covered right now and there are always too many (bad)desserts at potlucks. Several of his colleagues are vegetarian, and sounds like people are into healthy stuff, organics, etc.

Any ideas for something tasty, veggie-friendly, and easy to moderate effort in the app or side dish category? I'm def. open to ideas, but was thinking about a zesty, garlicky artichoke dip (have a bag of frozen artichokes) served w/ toasted baguette slices and veggies (blanched asparagus and baby carrots from the farmer's market). Anyone have a good artichoke dip recipe? Thanks a bunch for any ideas and recipes!

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  1. I would suggest you bring Bonnie's Buffalo Chicken Dip, and I guar-AN-tee you'll be the hit of the party...I've posted the recipe on this board before but if you cannot locate it, I can re-post. I know you requested a veggie dip...others I know have brought this to cook-outs also and it is gone in a short while. Mostly the guys go crazy over it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Val

      Definitely make the Buffalo Chicken Dip. I made it for the first time in January for my husband's family gathering. Everyone loved it. A month later, we had the Chicken Dip again at another family gathering because everyone loved it so much.

      1. re: Cecilia

        Thanks for this suggestion. Found the recipe and linked below for those who are interested. While it sounds like it belongs in the CH annals of crowd-pleasing recipes along w/ GG's pear tart, I'm gonna pass for this event since it has chicken. Really want to keep it veggie-friendly this time.

        Thanks for everyone's suggestions so far! I'm now thinking grilled veggie platter OR pita crisps and veggies w/ baked artichoke or caramelized onion dip. So true about how people always flock to the guilty pleasure items first!

        Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        1. re: Carb Lover
          j
          jennyantepenultimate

          The rule of thumb for potlucks that I've found true is that if it contains cream cheese, it'll get eaten up fast, sweet or savory. You can process together just about any flavorful ingredient with it and it'll come out potluck-ready.

          I've had good results with smoked oysters/garlic/black olives with cream cheese but since you wanted a veggie option, how about adobo chipotle/minced shallots/artichoke hearts with cream cheese? I would hand chop the shallots and artichokes and then mix into the blended chipotle and cream cheese. Include a nice array of veggies and crackers and you're set.

          1. re: Carb Lover

            I don't know if the Buffalo Chicken Dip is for the Potluck you described but I have substituted the Boca 'Chicken' patties for the chicken in this dish and it worked just fine. (in fact I liked the meatless version better)

      2. LOL! I hate them too... To put so much time and effort into a dish and have it served along side super market fried chicken. I would rather just relax myself and buy some interesting things TJs and bring that...

        The artichoke idea sounds PERFECT! Also, based on my Potluck experience, the salads will most likely be of the potato and pasta type. Perhaps bring an interesting Veggie plate and dDip. Some toasted pita chips and hummus.

        On that same note, marinated roasted veggies are always a hit. As are sesame grilled tofu sticks (Which taste just as yummy cold as fresh off the grill!)

        Regardless of the potluck thing, I hope you do have fun with your get together! :D

        --Dommy!

        1. What about a big platter of roasted vegetables? They will hold for hours, taste great at room temp, can be dipped or eaten plain. You could even add goat cheese or feta. Olives. Starting to sound like antipasti.

          Artichoke dip is always a huge hit, too. People always say they are into healthy stuff, but get them near a potluck and they'll go straight for the cheesiest, creamiest, fried things they can find.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Jess

            Just had a potluck Saturday night where my dish was simple roasted vegetables. I used a color theme of purple, orange and green (purple fingerlings, maroon carrots, brocolli, zuchinni, regular carrots and orange peppers. Fresh garlic and rosemary. Was surprised how quickly the bowl emptied. Also didn't have to worry about the temperature. Just don't overcook!

            Another item that seems to go quickly is my artichoke rice salad (can be served room temp).

            1. re: Mickie

              Can you post the artichoke rice salad recipe, please? Thanks.

          2. I LOVE potlucks...it's practically a sport in the mennonite culture - and a full contact sport at that! I'm going to one on Sunday, with a lot of elderly folks that I have never met, so I am making my favorite dead easy everyone eats it thing...

            Smush a package of creamcheese and a log of goat cheese, mix in 2 cups of chopped grapes and a handful of chopped toasted almonds. Smear on a tortilla, add a little lettuce, roll and cut.

            I find that less is more at the potluck...too true that people will head for the cheesiest, fattiest deep fried battered overstuffed thing they can find :-)

            I love the grilled veggie idea and the artichoke dip...I may have to reconsider :-)

            1. I baked and brough galleygirl's much talked about pear tart to a potluck and it was a hit.