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Poker Party

Okay I got a good one for you guys! My husband invited some friends over for a poker night tomorrow night- They are coming around 7:30-8 and I dont get home from work until 6:30. We are having a dinner party tonight so I wont be able to prep then either. My options are some really quick but great poker eats that i can whip up in about an hour or something i can prepare early that morning before work.
What do you guys think? Everyone loves coming to our house because they know they will get good food- I dont want to resort to ordering pizza!

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  1. Are you asking for recipes, or just menu suggestions?

    1. are nachos too obvious? or 7-layer dip? guacamole
      we made "buffalo style" chicken fingers in a recent chef class that were delicious (and very unhealthy, so perfect for poker) - basically they were fresh chicken breasts cut into strips and then breaded and deep fried and as soon as they came out of the fryer, we tossed them in white vinegar, hot sauce and butter.
      Muffaletta sandwiches is another easy option - although it's better if it's weighed down in the fridge for several hours before served.

      2 Replies
      1. re: pescatarian

        Im looking for both- Menu suggestions and of course recipes are always welcome! :) I love the sound of the chicken fingers.... We are suppose to be watching our weight but it is poker after all... :)

        1. re: gastronomy

          They were really delicious and super simple. About 2:1, Frank's hot sauce to white vinegar, with a dollop of butter on the hot chicken fingers.

      2. Those guys would LOVE Bonnie's Buffalo Chicken dip (I think)...personally, I would cook the chicken breasts in crock-pot on low overnight, (caveat--I have a 70's style crockpot that tends not to overcook foods) then assemble it in the morning and bake it...Just reheat it in the evening before they arrive. If you cook & shred the chicken ahead of time, then the rest is just assembling and baking the dip.

        1. Sometimes I find frozen fully cooked meatballs in my local supermarket (2 pound packages), I would get some of those, throw them in a pot with some red sauce, and serve with mini-sub rolls, or sliced sub rolls, with some sliced provolone, for mini-meat ball sandwiches.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ChinoWayne

            I make this a lot for friends' potlucks and these things get gobbled up. Something about meatballs - guys love them. This is a perfect crock pot dish - throw them in on high for about four hours and you're good to go.

            Seven layer dip does well too.

            Men love simple stuff, especially during football games and card tourneys. Don't sweat it with fancy stuff, it won't matter.

          2. POKER = SANDWICHES!
            No dip, no finger foods, not even any runny ingredients. Heckm, don't even use over sized rolls or hand cut bread.

            Poker players need CLEAN hands to keep the cards from getting messy!

            Splurge on the BEER or other libations, but stick to simple top notch cold cuts and sliced cheeses.

            Yu might feel like a culinary cop-out, but you will be a hero to the card players!

            1 Reply
            1. re: renov8r

              LOL I hear ya but we are poker player that like to eat! We will take a break for food so no mess on the cards- I usually make the buffalo chicken dip for football sundays so i know how good it is! :)

            2. This sounds like a time to look to our friends at Top Chef -- in episode 11 of season one, they had to prepare food for poker players, inlcuding Phil Hellmuth. The non-messy, non-greasy finger food won -- you can't really sit down to eat stuff with a plate, fork and knife, and messy/greasy foods will mess with the cards.

              I think that sandwiches would work best in this situation.

              1. If you are looking for sandwiches, how about reubens, with grainy mustard, melted swiss and caramilized onions on pumpernickel?

                2 Replies
                1. re: pescatarian

                  that does sound really yummy! Makes the sandwich interesting

                  1. re: pescatarian

                    I also do a version with turkey, sauerkraut, melted swiss & 1000 island on rye. Or turkey and cheddar with guacamole on thicker white bread.
                    I find my 2 burner griddle is perfect for reubens. You can make a few at a time and they are super quick.

                  2. how about roasted shrimp with barefoot contessa's thousand island dressing as one of the dishes? so quick, can be one of the things you whip together in the morning, and simply roast the shrimpw hen you get home?

                    1. I can't believe I am admitting the things I make for poker night - but I almost always have a rotation of foods that include mini pizza bagels, sandwiches, wings, quesadillas, stuffed potato skins. I am always surprised at how much gets eaten from a vegetable platter but it's really easy to grab a carrot, I guess. I have varied on what I have at our poker game but these are the most popular...I guess bar food and beer go together for a reason.

                      1. If you want to go the tapas route, a short trip to the grocers can help you "cheat" your way to passable chow.
                        Ore-Ida roasted seasoned potatoes with quick chipotle aioli = patatas bravas
                        Prepared mashed potatoes mixed with egg, herbs, filled with ground rotisserie chicken and fried = croquettes
                        Cooked meatballs heated in a sauce of herbs, stock, onions, garlic, sherry vinegar, wine and saffron = albondigas
                        Crusty bread filled with roasted peppers, sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, Virginia ham, bacon, arugula, olive oil, sherry vinegar = great matching sandwich

                        Two things on the stove, one in the oven and one on the counter should be a good use of your space and time; though my preference for poker food is decidedly more down-rent.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: JungMann

                          The tapas you are saying do sound wonderful however I think I will go the more barfood rout. I love the mini pizza idea, pigs in the blanket, wings and maybe good old guacamole... thanks everyone!

                          1. re: gastronomy

                            you'll have to let us know what you ended up making and how they went over -

                            1. re: missjeanne

                              Okay guys Poker is over and I lost :( but my DH won :) so really we both won.... The food was great- I made mini pizzas, pigs in a blanket, yummy yummy pork gyoza, mini strombloies w/tomato dipping sauce, quacamole and salsa mixed with cream cheese. Every thing went so I am happy and going to bed as i have a meeting very early. Thanks for all your help! :)

                        2. Also in the finger food direction, I love serving bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with parmesan (on a little toothpick so it doesn't grease fingers) and some simple quesadillas with interesting fillings (only takes a couple of minutes to cook on the griddle or pan).