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Potluck Dinner Party Help?

I'm attending a potluck dinner party later this week. It'll be a small gathering (maybe 6-8 people), and I'm bringing a meat main dish. We're all decent cooks, and the guest of honour is a new mom, so I'd like it to be something a little bit decadent, a little bit impressive.

The dish will have to be cooked the night before and suffer a long long commute. Someone else is bringing a vegetarian lasagne, so pasta is out. I was thinking perhaps Beef Bourguignon, but I'm not sure if I've ever seen pearl onions at my grocery store. Another option would be a hearty beef & potato stew, but I'm feeling waffly on that one.

Does anyone have a killer dinner party dish that can withstand (or is improved by) reheating the next day, and isn't too messy to transport? It doesn't have to be beef either.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Prepare a basic bechamel, without the nutmeg. Season it with Mace and S&P to taste. Set aside to cool. Prepare a stack of crepes and cool them. Prepare a mixture of cold shredded cooked chicken and shredder cheddar cheese; a bit of finely chopped onion if you like. Combine the chicken/cheese with some of the sauce and roll some of the chicken/cheese/sauce mixture in a crepe, repeat until you've used up all the crepes. Lay the rolled up chicken crepes side by side in a baking dish, cover and refrigerate. When ready to cook, drizzle more of the sauce over top, sprinkle with more shredded cheese place in oven and heat oven to 350 degrees; bake until heated through and lightly browned. Serve with additional sauce available to drizzle over top if desired. You can use just about any type of meat, poultry or fish to substitute for the chicken if you like. Tuna works well.

    1. how about chicken cacciatore served on polenta.

      1. It's similar in concept to todao's suggestion, but chicken enchiladas are pretty simple to make and generally reheat well in the oven. I use Bayless' recipe in Everyday Mexican and everyone's always impressed, heh.

        1. Teriyaki pork or beef. Make ahead and serve at room temp.

            1. re: TorontoJo

              I second the braised short ribs for impressiveness and improving the next day (just be sure to skim the fat before you leave).

            2. While you might not be able to find fresh pearl onions in your store, they should have frozens ones. They also come in a jar.

              1 Reply
              1. re: pemma

                Thanks, I didn't realize they came frozen too! Are the jarred ones pickled though?

              2. Thank you everyone! So many delicious ideas... so little time. Fortunately there is another dinner party next week that I'm half-hosting, so you guys are apparently doing all the legwork for me. :)

                Keep the great suggestions coming; I tend to see potlucks as contests that I must win, so I'm always looking for great dishes to add to the arsenal...

                1. Since I just made it for a potluck yesterday, I'll nominate the Chicken Marbella recipe.
                  With some good noodles or rice to put some of the juices over, if desired. This can be made ahead, is easy and can be reheated in a low oven.

                  Here's a link to the recipe: http://leitesculinaria.com/5348/recip...

                  1. I'm a big fan of this Moroccan-style beef stew. Easy to make, and always better the next day. I serve with either pearl couscous or basmati rice.

                    1. Nothing holds up as well as a pot of chili. You can make it vegetarian, or with meat, or meat and beans. There are many good packaged mixes for chili on the sauce/gravy shelves in the grocery store. Just follow the directions, even add a little touch of your own seasonings and it's bound to be a hit.