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Nov 30, 2008 08:41 AM

Main Dish without heating for potluck

Need to bring main dish for 10-12 on Thursday for office potluck lunch. We have a small refrigerator that will be packed with everyone (90 people!) stuff. There is only a small microwave, so no heating possibility. I could keep a salad or some such dish cold in my car (it's 20-30 F here). The only think I can think of is a cesar salad with grilled chicken. Would like something a little more interesting and unusuual. Any thoughts? Thanks!

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  1. One of my favorite prepared food establishments makes a great pasta salad they call Chicken ceasar pasta salad. They use fusili or penne, and toss it will shredded grilled chicken, red and yellow peppers, green onions, cherry tomatoes, perhaps some fresh arugula, and a garlic-y ceasar salad dressing, topped with lots of fresh grated parmesan.

    I have copied this recipe many times, varying the ingredients based on what was looking good in the market and every time I serve it every drop is gone. It is fresh, tastey, filling and different.

    I have also served Ina Garten's roasted vegetable pasta salad with shrimp and feta cold, at room temp, or warm and it also gets eaten up quickly.

    1. How about one of those hollowed-out bread rounds, inside lid and bottom slathered with pesta and/or tapenade, then layered with mortadella, genoa salami, roasted red peppers, ham, deli chicken or turkey, provolone, sliced mozzarella, whatever combo you like. Put the lid back on, wrap in plastic wrap, weight it overnight in the fridge. It's great at room temp. Easier to cut if you have an electric knife.

      I've used long loaves before, but the round seems to hold together better. Stick a small skewer in each slice if necessary.

      Or how about something in a crockpot? Corn/potato/bacon chowder. You could take containers of cold soup, but them in the crockpot on low in the morning, and by lunchtime it should be warmed up. Check at 11:00-ish and turn up a bit if it's not quite there yet. I bet folks would appreciate something warm. Don't forget to take a ladle. I hope the office is supplying plates, flatware, and in this case styrofoam cups.

      2 Replies
        1. re: chowser

          great idea and doesn't even need the fridge - the flavors meld so nicely and since there is no mayo - ok at room temp. We do this for camping trips, just wrap tightly in saran wrap.

      1. Do you have a crock pot? I've brought mine into work and used it to reheat chili, swedish meatballs, stew and sausage and peppers for potlucks.

        1. Braided bread stuffed with antipasti, or whatever cold cuts you want. It looks like this:

          You can be as creative as you want, use tapenade, different cold cuts, cheeses. It's good with whole hard boiled eggs.

          1. What about a Thai-style beef salad? A little more unusual than chicken Caesar.