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Need your best make-ahead potluck recipe!

I'm still on the hunt for a good main dish to bring to a parents' group party/potluck. I got a great suggestion for mac & cheese, but am hoping for other ideas. It's got to be easy/quick to prepare & ideally, can be served at room temp-any ideas?

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    1. re: Emme

      I have no idea really- but it looks like there are several of us assigned to bring a main dish. If I remember correctly, it's probably around 50 (counting both parents and toddlers).

      1. re: sweet ginger

        If it were me, I'd make something like a strata or quiche egg-based thing that is good at room temperature and can be made ahead like http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...
        This way, kids/toddlers can eat it too, so long as there aren't too many "icky" ingredients, and those "icky" ones get hidden anyways.

        Otherwise, I might do a pasta salad that needs to be made ahead, so that the flavors marry and meld.

    2. Chili:

      A piece of beef, maybe chuck, maybe 1-1.5 pound
      A can of kidney beans
      A can of whole tomatoes
      One yellow onion
      3 sweet green peppers
      Half a head of garlic
      Ground cumin
      Red pepper flakes
      Course ground black pepper
      Olive oil
      Salt

      Quickly brown the meat on both sides, cut into bite sized pieces.

      Seed and slice the green peppers into strips, roughly chop the onion, finely chop the garlic. Wash the beans until free of packing liquid (or just rehydrate dried beans), drain and roughly chop the tomatoes.

      Cook the green pepper, onion, and garlic in maybe 5 Tbs oil at medium high for a few minutes - don't let the garlic brown. Add beans and tomatoes, maybe some water to let things mix. Add red pepper and cumin to taste (I tend to use a lot of cumin, also add a chipotele pepper if you have one) and cook over low heat for around two hours until things are looking good. Regarding the beef, if you add it too early it could get overcooked, so I wait 'till near the end as it's already been browned.

      Serve with chopped scallions, grated cheddar cheese, and crushed nacho chips.

      1. I love putting together Southwest Rice with Chicken... was a huge hit at the last potluck I was at.

        Ingredients: brown rice, whole roasted chicken, can of black beans, cherry tomatoes, 6-8 green onions, 2 limes, few spoons of honey, cumin

        Take all the meat off the chicken and shred it into bite sized pieces. Add to serving bowl. Prepare brown rice as you normally do, let cool somewhat and add to the chicken. Rinse and drain the beans and add to the rice. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and add to the rice. Slice green onions finely and add to the bowl.

        Make dressing: squeeze the limes, add honey to taste (til the sharpness of the citrus is mellowed) and add about a half teaspoon of cumin. Whisk well.

        Pour the dressing over the rice mixture and toss to coat. Make more dressing and add if the mixture gets a little dry (rice tends to absorb dressing). Can be made the night before (in fact, it tastes better after a day, flavors come together) Serve at room temp.

        1 Reply
        1. re: amandine

          Except for the limes, I usually keep these ingredients on hand all the time, so I went ahead and tried this recipe- I doubled it, so my rice ended up a little mushier than I would have liked, and I really increased the amount of dressing & seasoned the whole thing really well- the flavors were good, the recipe was simple, and I would certainly try it again and play with the ingredients/ratios a little more to suit my family's tastes. Thanks amandine!

        2. After reading a thread here about pork shoulder, i've made it twice. It is absolutley delicious and couldn't be easier. I remember from your previous post about this that you have two events that day. You can season the roast, pop it in the oven at 450, jump in the shower. After 45 minutes turn the heat down to 250 and let it cook all day while you head off to your first event. My 4-5 pounder cooked for about 9-10 hours, I think. It came out incredibly tasty, very moist and tender. We did not eat it piping hot as it was ready before we were and it was still wonderful.
          I used loads of fennel seed, garlic and fresh sage to season it.
          Couldn't be easier. Everyone, kids and adults alike, kept wandering over to the pan to grab "just one more" little bit of the crispy skin or tasty meat...it was addicting.
          The price is right, too. Not an expensive cut.

          1. How about roll up sammys ?? Use very large flour tortillas or fresh lavosh. Make several types. Tuna, turkey, chicken tenders, vege -hummus and roasted pepper, meat, bacon, etc....Make them fat and slice in half on the diagonal, then line up in a baking dish and you're off. Great for the kids and adults alike. Self serve and at room temp. Go to your favorite deli and add potato salad, slaw and/or salsa ?? I also keep a 1.5 qt size crock at hand for chocolate fondue but, you could probably make an easy cheese sauce -melt velveeta or ?, then your "eaters" could pour warm cheese and a little salsa over the sammy's. Fun eating! :)KQ