Favorite cold main and side dishes
I have an event to go to in a few weeks and I need to bring either a main or side dish that can travel on ice in a cooler and be served either cold or at room temp. There will be no heating or prep facilities.
I don't really want to bring seafood or fried chicken. I may make a spaghetti salad or gazpacho but in addition would like to bring something else too.
Broccoli salad made with 2 heads of chopped broccoli flowerettes (include some of the stems but try to use as many flowerettes as you can), 1/2 large red onion, finely chopped, 1 cup of currants, 1/2 pound bacon (cooked crisp and chopped) 1/2 cup nuts (I like cashews) chopped. Combine 1 cup Best Foods/Hellmann's mayonnaise with 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar and 1/3 - 1/2 cup sugar (start small and add more to taste).
Mix it all together, chill for a few hours.
You can use a single head of broccolli and chop it all quite fine, but I like it best when the flowerettes dominate the bowl.
Avoid using a food processor to make this one unless you're very watchful to ensure the solids aren't over processed into a powder.
Whether you call it a Nachitoches meat pie, UP pasty, Jamaican meat pie, or empaneda, they were all originally designed to be eaten cold at the job site. All vary in their crust and filling, thus giving you lattitude to go along with the theme of the gathering. Insert none soggy fruit for the filling, and you have a dessert that travels well cold.
I prefer a Jamaican jerk sauce for dipping, number of habaneros at your discretion, and a brown sugar and sour cream sauce for the fruit filled desserts.
Panzanella salad, quinoa salad, bean salad, etc. Any salad with lots of fresh veggies, some cheese and a little bit of starch & a vinaigrette. You can add chicken and or chopped hardboiled eggs for protein. You could also add roasted new potatoes and hold them at room temp so they don't soften.
I recently had a lovely salad with watermelon & feta and a mint vinaigrette and I practically licked the plate it was so good (it also had little lamb chops, but that wouldn't work here for you).
Panzanella doesn't hold up over time, so if it's for a buffet, it's not the best choice. The bread gets soggy and gross really quickly.
Same goes for the watermelon salad -- the salt in the dressing leeches out the water and turns the whole thing into a wet mess.
That said, both are great for dinner parties where the food is eaten immediately.
I thought I was the only one who suffered from this. Every year the day after Easter my mother would whip up this concoction called "Ham and Cheese Fondue" which was NOTHING like a fondue. It basically consisted of giant hunks of wet soggy bread soaked in milk, a sprinkling of cheese (never enough cheese), and cubes of leftover ham baked in the oven. Makes me shudder to this day.
One of the best impluse buys I made was this type of Pyrex container. It comes in handy w/ this sort of situation because you can make hot or cold, easy to transport, all self contained.
Other than that, I had the same thought as Lynnlato on the panzanella and different salads. I love this israeli couscous salad but improvise on vegetables:
I also like to make braided bread for things like this. I usually make several loaves, different fillings. Something along these lines:
I've tried all different variations but the most popular (which always surprises me) is something w/ bacon, cheese and sometimes hard boiled egg. I'll add oven dried tomatoes to it sometimes. I love this one:
There is also torta rustica. I make it in a springform pan so it's easy to transport.
I love the layered colors in King Arthur's but don't like that dough.
I like the pizza rustica dough:
That said, I usually improvise with this, too, and add what I want.