I'm a 20 year old student, and I'm heading to a potluck for a girl's birthday tomorrow. I want to bring something that everybody will LOVE, not necessarily anything extravagant or expensive either. The key is, I want it to be portable, crowd pleasing, and interesting.
+ 1 - make more than you think you need... it always goes FAST. when i make it, i don't stir in the celery anymore, and serve it on the side with bread and other veggies for scooping. most often i use ranch dressing, and cheddar/jack blend of cheese, but depending upon the crowd, you may prefer to use blue cheese dressing, or blue cheese to stir in. happy birthday to your friend!
Look at the Ore-Ida website for "cheesy potato casserole". Full of processed foods, but, sadly, a winner at potlucks. Also, expect the cooking time to be almost doubled than what the recipes calls out (90 minutes vs 45 minutes).
Portable??? Do you mena easy for you carry to the potluck or easy for people to walk around and eat?
Deviled eggs - depending on clime and how far you have to go. Lots of interesting toppings to change it up. Our back up is homemade salsa w/ good chips cuz' we're heading into home grown tomato season here. Since it's a birthday consider cookies or cupcakes if you know they won't have dessert.
It's a challenge to make protein/main dish-y things that don't have to be kept hot, so there aren't usually enough of those at a potluck. That's why I like to bring this. It's really tasty, and very portable. Using a grocery store rotisserie chicken makes it even easier to prepare. I usually kick up the cayenne a good bit more than 1/4 tsp!
Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing
1 cup white rice, uncooked
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 Tbl. vegetable oil
2 Tbl. soy sauce
1 Tbl. sugar
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 tsp. cayenne
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1-1/2 cups fresh spinach, cut into thin strips
Cook rice as directed on package. Transfer to a large bowl. Whisk together peanut butter, vinegar, oil, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic, and cayenne. Add peanut sauce, chicken, cucumber and onion to rice and mix well. Chill. Just before serving, stir in spinach. Serves 6.