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Nov 3, 2012 11:31 AM

Cocktail inspired vegetarian dishes

I'm attending a potluck tomorrow night (eek!), and the theme is cocktail inspired foods (e.g., white russian cupcakes or rum & coke pork loin). I could come up with a ton of desserts and meat dish ideas, but those dishes are already claimed by other attendees. I'd like to bring two vegetarian dishes, either two main dishes or one main and a vegetable side.

The best I've been able to come up are tequila sunrise glazed carrots, but I'm not wedded to it. My problem is that I never drink cocktails, so I'm concerned that I might be missing the essence of a cocktail by haphazardly building a dish based on cocktail ingredient lists.

In the cabinet are grand marnier, cheap vodka, and cognac, but I'd be willing to spend up to $20 in new booze for the occasion. I can do some last minute prep at the event but the bulk of work should be done at home.

Any ideas from cocktail-minded readers?

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  1. Not exactly seasonal this time of year but you could make a Bloody Mary gazpacho using V-8 juice with horseradish or wasabi instead of jalapeno. Or a cream of mushroom soup laced with Frangelico.

    The bitterness of pomegranate works well in a salad dressing- you could try one made with Campari.

    Maybe Hot Buttered Rum mashed sweet potatoes?
    Melonball melon balls, though that's not very imaginative...

    A chef friend of mine used to make a chocolate pasta that was a big seller back in the 90s- you might do Mudslide fettucine.

    For a dessert: Appletini turnovers. Or an eggnog rice pudding, with nutmeg and bourbon.

    4 Replies
    1. re: eclecticsynergy

      I'm really liking the Mudslide chocolate pasta idea, and actually have a chocolate pasta recipe from Guliano Bugiali. I'll need to think of ways to play off of the bitterness of cocoa, rather than making a sweet dish.

      1. re: hyperbowler

        Thanks for the advice. I couldn't think of a good way to make a chocolate pasta's flavors echo a mudslide, but I liked the idea of a dark pasta and made a coffee pasta instead. I'm sure there's some sauce out there that would pair well with it, but the whiskey based one I made wasn't a perfect match. It was worth a try though, and the dark speckled pasta was gorgeous with a smooth leathery texture.

        1. re: hyperbowler

          Well, gosh, a coffee pasta puts you half-way to a Black Russian: all you need is a vodka based pasta sauce. Maybe like this, (leaving out the scallops, of course).

          1. re: hyperbowler

            My pal used Alfredo as a base for her chocolate sauce, and served it over plain white pasta.. Sounds a bit strange, I mean parm & garlic with chocolate? But she made it work.
            Sauce was sweet, BTW. Big hit with the coeds in a multi-college town.

      2. Glazed carrots with some Grand Marnier , maybe even flambeed, would be wonderful in my book, or sauteed mushrooms with a splash of cognac.....