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Potluck for a Crowd Request

O.k., o.k., I've been poring over the potluck threads but I still can't make up my mind. We're going to have a house concert later in September and we usually start them with a potluck. We make a main dish kind of thing and everyone brings everything else. In the past we've done pulled pork, a mixed grill of sausages, coq au vin, that Will Owen (is that right?) pork recipe, cassoulet and probably something else I can't remember. The pork dishes are good because you can spread cheap pork a long way....money is always a consideration. At Christmas I've done a big ham but that doesn't seem right for this time of year. It's best if it can be done totally ahead because we're usually dealing with the band and people getting here and the like. I like to have something I'm excited about...and that lots of sides go with...I just can't come up with anything. Oh, and we usually have 50 people or so---I figure on about 40 servings as there's lots of stuff....

Any ideas?

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    1. re: smtucker

      Peter Case...he was in the Nerves, then the Plimsouls (ever seen Valley Girl?) and has had a ton of great solo albums out!

      1. re: thesandwichlife

        Plimsouls! I want o go now..I'll bring a dish....

    2. different kabobs might be nice, we love bacon wrapped chicken. I think it's a nice way to stretch out meat or seafood or fish by added some veggies too. Do some beef, some chicken, some shrimp or swordfish, et.c or stick with chick, beef and pork.

      1. i have satellite radio in the car, and whenever i catch "A Million Miles Away" on the 80's station i can't resist singing along! :)

        some random ideas that won't break the bank:
        - Moroccan-spiced chickpea stew
        - Chicken Marbella (or Apricot Chicken - Dave Lieberman's recipe is great)
        - Chicken Cacciatore
        - Enchiladas
        - Chicken or Pork Chile Verde
        - Tamales

        i also like lexpatti's kabob suggestion.

        1. I make chili with boneless country ribs which I cube into bite-sized pieces. Some of the excess fat is removed before the meat is cubed. I never use ground meat for chili. BTW, I consider chili as an all season dish.

          1. Thanks guys....and hey---if anyone is driving distance to Central Illinois--you're invited. Just go to thesandwichlife.com and email me!!

            3 Replies
            1. re: thesandwichlife

              Anywhere near to U of I, my alma mater? I live only 800 miles from U of I now, but all 3 kids were born in Carle Clinic. The oldest will be 50 in December.

              1. re: ChiliDude

                Right smack dab in the midst of your alma mater! We live in Champaign, I work for the University and my 8 and 10 year old were born at Carle as well!

              2. Great big pans of chicken and sausage jambalaya garnished with shrimp would be outstanding.

                3 Replies
                  1. re: mamachef

                    and a good way to do it would to be cooking the trinity at home and making the rice ahead, then grilling the additional meat items on-site. yes, it will lose a little flavor but not much. Other option would be to do all the prep up to and including the making of the rice and grilling of the other items, then transporting them wrapped separately to be mixed at the site and re-heated in large metal pans on the grill. You know this, I'm sure, but don't half-cook your meats intending to finish them there - "party host sickens 5 with salmonella" is not a blurb any of us wants to see in the paper. Have a good time, y'all. Wish I could be there.

                    1. re: mamachef

                      oh...wonderful ideas you guys!! Thank you so much. This is good as I have a couple of more of these planned---one in fall and one at Christmastime. I will definitely do a chili at one them----maybe the late October one and I like the idea of jambalaya for Christmas time. Chicken cacciatore would be good as well---don't know why I didn't think of that. The Moroccan spiced chickpea stew sounds good---any particular recommendations for a recipe?

                      I just got back from the farmers' market and am now thinking of possibly a huge batch of ratatouille as September is the perfect time of year for that with all the eggplants, squash, peppers and tomatoes. Then I though perhaps I'd do a slow roasted pork shoulder with some mediterranean spices----like fennel, thyme and garlic. The ratatouille could be made the day ahead and served room temp and the pork would be put in the oven in the morning so we'd be free for last minute cleaning and visiting, etc. What do you think? More ideas welcome as I hate to repeat things....