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May 31, 2006 01:22 PM

Best cold potluck dishes

  • k

What are the ones that people have just loved when you took them to a potluck, or what have you had that was great? I'm looking for something that doestn't need to be warm. It would also be great if it was finger food, but something that needs a fork would be okay.

I'm sure potlucks must have been discussed here before, but a search didn't yield what I'm looking for.

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  1. Cold spring rolls with peanut sauce (mine had vermicelli noodles, avocado, red pepper and fresh basil wrapped in rice paper) seem to be a hit, so was the guacuamole (especially if you make it fresh with a hint of hot chilies) and tortilla chips. Devilled eggs is still interesting for many (not myself personally but others there were!) and avocado and honeydew melon wrapped with a slice of prosciutto ham.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Fickle
      Robert Lauriston

      I agree, deviled eggs are always a surprisingly big hit. Almost everybody loves them and hardly anybody ever makes them.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Best deviled eggs:
        1) Mayo, curry powder, tiny bit minced celery & scallion, currants. Of course paprika on top.
        2) Creme fraiche, chives, salmon eggs, tiny bit celery, lemon zest.
        Sprinkle top with a few salmon eggs & chives.

        1. re: Niki Rothman

          Deviled eggs made with Quail eggs are really fun. They are a great size (small)and a real novelty.

          1. re: deborah
            Niki Rothman

            Making enough of them to feed a crowd would be a major bitch. But still, what a brilliant concept!

            1. re: Niki Rothman

              I think I'd rather hand paint M&M's than stuff quail eggs.

          2. re: Niki Rothman

            Don't want to get into another theological argument here, like the one(s) about what is or isn't barbecue, but any devilled food is I believe required to have some mustard in it. My mom's recipe (and mine now) is basically the yolks, S&P to taste, mayonnaise and Coleman's dry mustard, mashed and blended with a fork to a fluffy consistency. A dash of vinegar will add tartness but diminish the mustard's sneaky heat, so I either leave it out or do a small dash of Tabasco instead.

            1. re: Will Owen

              so what would you call her recipe then?

              1. re: Will Owen
                Niki Rothman

                From "The Joy of Cooking" (Rombauer & Becker):
                (Ingredients for) Devilled Eggs:
                French Dsg. or mayo
                sour cream
                soft butter

                PLUS - (your choice)
                One or more of the following:
                a little dry mustard
                A dash of: cayenne, curry, or hot pepper sauce
                Worcestershire sauce

                For the record: my caviar eggs recipe - stuffed or devilled - you be the judge, should have some lemon juice mixed in, which I don't think I mentioned.

          3. re: Fickle

            How do you keep your spring rolls from drying out in the hours before they're served?

            1. re: kelly

              Cover with a damp kitchen towel, get it wet and wring out well, and if it is going to be a several hours, a little plastic wrap over that helps

            2. re: Fickle

              Cold, I prefer summer rolls to spring rolls. For some reason, spring rolls tend to get a bit soggier when cold.

              1. re: Karl S

                It's my understanding that that's what the poster is talking about, not the fried ones. I've seen them called summer rolls in magazines like Bon Appetit but the Vietnamese restaurants I go to just call them spring rolls (you can also get fried spring rolls).

                1. re: kelly

                  Well, spring rolls are supposed to be fried, so they are golden; they are thereby a food to welcome spring at the Lunar New Year in Jan-Feb (for east Asia, like much of Europe before the modern age, spring begins in what we now think of as mid-winter).

                2. re: Karl S

                  Agree, it is the summer rolls that are cool and in moist rice papers. I love the spring rolls and will make dozens at a time. They freeze beautifully and crisp right back up in the oven. Give them some nice tender lettuce to wrap them in along with mint, cilantro and other herbs and a good fish sauce based dipping sauce and i am in heaven. Hmmm spring rolls this weekend or more chive dumplings, those chives are prolific!

              2. This sounds like a job for the chowhound chefs - try asking on the home cooking board. My biggest potluck hit is my lox spread. You need a food processor, #1 smoked salmon, 1 medium onion, 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese (Philly). Chunk the onion and then buzz everything until the lox is about 1/8" or smooth, whichever you prefer. Serve with sliced bagels and crudites. Another is medjool dates - slit & stuff with a little dollop of cream cheese into which you've mixed orange zest, and then a toasted almond (those smokehouse ones would be OK and easy).

                1. Seven Layer Dip

                  1. Endive spears stuffed w/smoked samon & capers w/a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime & a sprinkling of minced fresh dill. I've also done this dressed tuna tartar. Big hits.

                    1. One favorite is an orzo salad. You can make as much or as little as you need. It doesn't quite make the finger food category but is always a hit. I'm not a fan of most pasta salads but for some reason I love orzo.

                      1. I use whatever fresh herbs and vegetables I can find along with some standbys for crunch and color. Right now, I would make one with fresh peas and asparagus, fresh chopped mint (just a little), dill, and/or curley parsley, halved cherry tomatoes, diced red onion and pepper, celery, olives and feta. Dress lightly with some good olive oil, an herb vinegar, and salt & pepper. This can be served cold or at room temperature.

                      2. Another one I like to make uses a variety of sliced mushrooms (button, shitake, portobello, crimini) sauteed in olive oil and garlic. Toss with orzo and a good amount of chopped flat parsley, salt & pepper. This can be served warm or at room temperature. This one goes especially well with grilled meats.