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Potluck Ideas that don't Suck?

k
kellyhay Nov 28, 2011 02:45 PM

Hey CHers,

My friend and I have been invited to a potluck. Which is basically a euphemism for a cornucopia of guacamole, hummus, and salsa. Anyone got any original ideas for something to make? Don't want to do any prep once there, except maybe stick something in the oven. But even that can be tricky.

Anyways. Thoughts??

  1. woodleyparkhound Nov 28, 2011 03:10 PM

    Here's my favorite thing to bring to a potluck. I always get a lot of compliments on it and requests for the recipe.

    http://community.tasteofhome.com/comm...

    Funny story ... I went googling for this recipe and found this. I don't know who Hillsmom is and have never heard of "Taste of Home", but I'm the person who wrote this recipe originally (I recognize my own verbiage) and posted it who-knows-where, where it was apparently seen by Hillsmom. Small world! So weird to see my own version of this recipe posted by someone else on a strange site!

    4 Replies
    1. re: woodleyparkhound
      t
      Titus0327 Nov 28, 2011 03:25 PM

      That is interesting.... Taste of Home is a major magazine with over 3.5 million subscribers (according to Wikipedia). The magazine has been around since 1993.

      1. re: Titus0327
        woodleyparkhound Nov 28, 2011 03:40 PM

        Sorry, I've never heard of it. So shoot me.

        1. re: woodleyparkhound
          s
          sandylc Nov 28, 2011 06:40 PM

          I admire the fact that you haven't heard of it. While a few good recipes can occasionally be found at TOH, it is in general very substandard.

        2. re: Titus0327
          viperlush Nov 28, 2011 04:25 PM

          It was posted on the Community page by a reader/subscriber not by the magazine itself.

          This recipe looks good, I'll have to keep it in mind for next year's holiday party.

      2. goodhealthgourmet Nov 28, 2011 04:09 PM

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/790806
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/717647
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/714510
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/747343
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/783017
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/464340
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/808597
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/489111
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/761765
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/746260

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/496297

        3 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
          h
          hamboney Nov 28, 2011 05:43 PM

          GHG, that might be your best one ever!

          1. re: hamboney
            viperlush Nov 28, 2011 06:31 PM

            GHG better watch it, soon people aren't even going to search anymore because she does such a good job compiling lists of threads. :)

            1. re: viperlush
              goodhealthgourmet Nov 28, 2011 07:25 PM

              noooo! if you all get too spoiled i'll have to disappear for another couple of months, and i was just regaining my CH momentum!

              oh, and @hamboney, i've done better ;)

        2. q
          Querencia Nov 28, 2011 05:54 PM

          A slow cooker expands your potluck horizon to infinity: curried lamb, barbecued beef, African chicken (in a spicy tomato sauce with a little peanut butter and some peppers), red beans & rice with andouille (Creole sausage), beef cooked in beer with onions and Portobello mushrooms, etc etc. Transport: set pot full of cooked stuff in cardbox in trunk of car in case it sloshes. On arrival, plug in pot to keep contents hot and let people serve themselves direct from the pot.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Querencia
            porker Nov 28, 2011 06:58 PM

            slow cooker, AKA crockpot, totally a-gree.
            Transport: duct tape lid down (I started doing this after a whole crockpot full of etouffe turned over in our brand new chevy impala (less than 300km on the odometer). Note etouffe is butter-based and I rarely saw mrs. porker so angry, but I digress)
            As for a dish suggestion, I like bringing curry goat. Again, the missus always rolls her eyes, but goat is not only 1. cheap and 2. tasty, but makes for a great conversation piece...

          2. m
            MRS Nov 28, 2011 07:04 PM

            chicken pot pie? shepard's pie of some sort? easy to transport. easy to heat. easy to cut big or small portions.

            1. Chocolatechipkt Nov 28, 2011 07:05 PM

              This recipe for Israeli couscous with apples, dried cranberries, and almonds is one of my new favorites, and every time I've made it people have asked for the recipe.

              http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gi...

              1. l
                luciaannek Nov 28, 2011 08:50 PM

                It's cold outside; make an awesome mac and cheese. Use super good cheese, and lots of it. I like a blend of swiss and cheddar. Young beemster is awesome for melting too. I add a little cayenne, sage and nutmeg to my bechamel before adding the cheese, but you do you. Top with buttery panko with parmesan in it.

                It's classic church basement potluck fare, hearty and warm, but you can really elevate it with nice cheese.

                1. j
                  jkling17 Nov 28, 2011 10:00 PM

                  People often don't make things they love for themselves because of the guilt factor. So make something truly decadent and yet EASY. You'll be praised by all.

                  Pulled Pork. It couldn't be easier. If you have a crock pot, just toss it in, fat side up, with a bit of water, cover with foil, poke a few holes in the foil then put the lid on, set to low and walk away for about 7-8 hours.

                  If you don't have a crock pot, you can use your oven set to 225. If you do that, pre-rub with oil, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. When the meat hits 155, wrap the top of it with foil.

                  Regardless of which method - just remove when meat is 200 degrees and the thermometer slides right in. Then shred it, and toss with extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. If you want it to have some zing, add sirachi hot sauce or the same brand of chili paste.

                  That's it. I do this about once a week and we'll pick at it here and there. It's awesome.

                  1. KarenDW Nov 29, 2011 12:09 AM

                    tourtierre, but hand pies rather than a "pan" pie. Easy to serve at room temperature. Easy to make ahead. Doesn't crumble during transport.
                    Would be helpful to know how you are getting to the party (transit? private car? taxi?) and back again.

                    1. mcel215 Nov 29, 2011 02:17 AM

                      I usually bring Ina's Roasted Veggies with Orzo and Feta. It always gets raves and it is served at room temperature. I just cut the dressing in half, because it seems to be excessive.

                      You can adapt the vegetables to any you like or in season.

                      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                      1. natewrites Nov 29, 2011 07:22 AM

                        A few things need to be taken into consideration. Is it outdoors or indoors? Weather a factor? Are there mostly foodies there or non-foodies? What are the people who are in attendance like (vegetarians, older meat-n-potatoes kinds, ethnic food lovers, etc.)? After you do that, you can make a good judgement call on what to bring. Is it an appetizier pot luck, or a dinner one?

                        1. good baked beans that you've previously slow-baked in a bean pot in your oven with bacon, molasses, etc.
                        2. appetizer, cold, non-baked veggie pizza is very easy
                        3. Swedish meatballs in a crockpot
                        4. Smokies in a crockpot
                        5. layered Mexican dip (though this is very popular, and others might be bringing this one)
                        6. Chili in a crockpot and a carton of sour cream and bag of shredded cheddar
                        5. 7-layered salad in a 9 X 11 casserole dish
                        6. a homemade cheeseball with veggies and crackers arranged around it.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: natewrites
                          s
                          sueatmo Nov 29, 2011 08:45 AM

                          I second the chili suggestion. That's what I want at a potluck during cold weather season. Toppings are nice, but what is really great is vibrant tasting chili with a little nuance and a little heat that you could happily eat with just a few corn chips. But others in the group probably will prefer sour cream and/or cheese on their bowls of red.

                        2. Terrie H. Nov 29, 2011 07:49 AM

                          One the more popular things I take to pot lucks are little muffuletta sandwiches. I've made them on kaiser type rolls that I cut in quarters and on long Italian sub rolls. It's great because you make them the night before, wrap well and weigh down in the fridge to compress a bit over night.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Terrie H.
                            t
                            tonifi Nov 29, 2011 08:00 AM

                            Terrie H., you beat me to it! I made a big muffuletta for a party recently and people swooped down on it (we cut it into fairly small wedges). The Taste of Home reference is making me laugh. My friend Sarah and I are both good cooks, and I guess we've become a bit snotty about good food...for her wedding her aunt gave her a subscription to Taste of Home magazine so she could get in touch with 'how the proletariat eat'. Taste of Home is much more popular in rural areas, and their recipes, which sometimes lean heavily on pre-packaged ingredients (frozen hash browns, canned soup) are understandable if you consider that their target reader often lives 30 miles from a grocery store or market, and sometimes relies much more heavily on pantry-ingredients.

                            1. re: Terrie H.
                              t
                              tonifi Nov 29, 2011 08:04 AM

                              Oops...lost my dog, there...I was going to add that a big sandwich is sometimes very welcome at a potluck. You can do anything at all; meatballs on a loaf of Italian with marinara and cheese, veg & cheese on a baguette, muffuletta, cubano...just build the sandwich on a big hunk of bread & slice it on the platter once you get to your destination. They're easy to eat, and a nice foil for the glut of dips & vegetable trays you seem to get a lot of.

                            2. c
                              cgarner Nov 29, 2011 09:39 AM

                              sausage stuffed mini peppers or sausage stuffed peppadews

                              if you don't have access to an outdoor grill, do them indoors on a grill pan.
                              if using mini peppers, cut off the tops and scoop out any seeds, peppadews are generally already seeded.
                              buy a really good, strongly flavored bulk pork sausage, Wegman's used to carry a brand with garlic and cheese, but I haven't seen that around lately. do one set with sweet sausage and one set with hot sausage. with your fingers, stuff the sausage into the hollowed out peppers and leave a little cap of extra sausage on top.
                              Grill, turning around on all sides, until the sausage is cooked and the pepper is slightly charred.
                              these are great warm or at room temperature they're substantial and they get completely eaten every time we bring them anywhere.

                              1. r
                                raisa Nov 29, 2011 09:58 AM

                                A quiche? Or maybe small quiches made in a muffin pan? Buffalo wings? Tuna pasta salad, potato salad, etc. Meatloaf. What about dessert? You could do a brownie or a pie or some cupcakes?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: raisa
                                  BananaBirkLarsen Nov 29, 2011 10:07 AM

                                  Mini quiches are my go-to for potlucks. I always do half with spinach and mushroom and half with ham and broccoli.

                                2. Hank Hanover Nov 29, 2011 10:45 AM

                                  Main Dishes:
                                  Chili (one of my favorites)
                                  Sausages either in BBQ sauce or with sauce on the side (one of my favorites)
                                  BBQ beef brisket (one of my favorites Hey... I'm in Texas)
                                  Pulled pork (one of my favorites)
                                  Lasagne (one of my favorites)
                                  Enchiladas (one of my favorites)
                                  Gumbo
                                  Jambalaya
                                  Ham Hocks and beans (call it ham and bean soup north of the Mason Dixon line)
                                  Your favorite casserole (Just too many to list)

                                  Sides and Appetizers
                                  Jalapeno poppers
                                  Stuffed potato skins
                                  Twice baked potatoes
                                  Rice Pilaf
                                  Baked beans
                                  Red Beans and Rice (one of my favorites)
                                  Flautes (one of my favorites)
                                  Egg rolls (one of my favorites)
                                  Deviled eggs (one of my favorites)
                                  Buffalo wings
                                  Hasselback potatoes
                                  Baked potatoes in foil especially if you have some toppings
                                  Chicken fingers

                                  Desserts
                                  Key Lime pie (one of my favorites)
                                  Brownies (one of my favorites)
                                  Cakes (even better cupcakes)
                                  Trifles
                                  Cookies
                                  Lemon Bars would be great

                                  Gosh... I sure would like to attend the potluck where all of it is served.

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