Pitch-in/Potluck Cold Entree Suggestions?
I am on the list to bring an entree (or a side, I suppose) to what people in my new town call a pitch-in, but which I would call a potluck. It's a lunch thing among co-workers, and I just don't have any idea what to do.
Here's the main problem: there is nothing to warm food with except a small microwave, and I don't currently have a working crockpot/slow cooker, so I need something that I can make the night before and serve cold or at room temp. (There is plenty of fridge space.)
I rarely make cold food, and I just don't have any ideas off of the top of my head. A nice salad of some sort is all I've been able to come up with (pear, walnut, feta, balsamic; whatever), and even then I'm not thrilled about that, as I'd rather make something more interesting. Cold entrees just aren't my forte.
I will be cooking for non-Chow types, so I'm probably not looking for anything too esoteric, but good food is good food and I'd like to bring something in I can be proud of.
Potlucks are not my favorite. . .
Some room temperature entrees:
- quiche (cliche but really good if made entirely from scratch)
- tart (muchroom/fontina, leek/onion)
- salmon mousse or pate served with breads and crudite
- terrine (vegetable, roast pepper, asparagus/egg, salmon/cod, chicken/pork)
- rolled sandwiches
Hope this helps. Good luck and good eating!
Much appreciated! That's certainly a good start. (Why didn't I think of quiche?!) I've never actually done a potluck before, although I've participated in numerous holiday-related feasts where I coordinated with a couple other people to get the meal on the table. I wish had gotten to the signup sheet in time to snag a dessert slot. :P
sesame chicken wings are good at room temperature. for all that, so are sesame, peanut butter noodles.
cold shrimp? chilled salmon with horseradish sauce?
sliced pork tenderloin with a couple of good sauces is a nice room temperature dish, too.
I think that a roasted beef or pork tenderloin sliced really thin is BETTER cold than hot. It loses that mushy over-tenderized thing some tenderloins have. I'm thinking cold beef tenderloin on arugula salad, with some kind of balsamic vinaigrette? Super-simple, but adventurous enough for non-foodie-types, I think.
Apparently, I missed the nineties fad of "chopped bread," because I just recently heard of it. Here's a link to the basic recipe.
It can be as loaded as you want I guess, and can be served at room temp. The stromboli or pizza varieties seem like they would work for you. Sort of a muffaletta only without the olive salad and chopped up. Maybe tomato sauce on the side so folks could serve themselves a dollop on their plate for dipping.
You could make an asian noodle salad with chicken. Noodle salads are filling. A giant loaf sandwich would work too- I have seen giant Muffeletta recipes
My go-to for potlucks is cold buckwheat noodles -- similar to sesame noodles but without the heavy thick sauce. Sauce consists of soy sauce, sesame oil, peanut oil, splash of chinese (or balsamic) vinegar, a little chili oil, some sugar and salt to taste. Tossed with thinly sliced scallions and served room temp, it's delicious.
We do a great simple pasta salad that's always a hit...
1 lb rigatoni cooked and drained
less than 1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup *seasoned* rice wine vinegar
2 cups chopped tomatoes, or amount to taste
a handful of chopped, julienned sundried tomatoes
1 cup or so grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all and refrigerate 2 hours or even better overnight.