Need Potluck Cold Main Dish
Need some ideas for a pot luck. The last potluck I brought a subpar item. My reputation took a hit, so I want to step it up this time.
Ingredients - open although I'd like to use avocados
There will be no stove/oven. Item will be brought to work in morning. Then at lunch time, all items will be brought out.
Can't be a salad. That category was already filled.
You could halve the avocados, and scoop out the innards, dice them up, toss them in lemon juice, and then toss with chicken, minced bell pepper, tomatoes, and a little bit of feta and s&p. Maybe a nice fresh chop of parsley on top. Bring spoons.
Avocado and chilled shrimp pair really well for a small bite type appetizer. Slice of avocado, chile-dusted shrimp and lime crema layered on a tortilla chip. Bonus points if you get fresh chips from a local tortillaria.
This is awesome warm or cold, and so easy: orzo with everything. It's a vinegary pasta salad with pine nuts, parm, basil, garlic, radicchio, etc.
Here are some of my ideas and some gleaned from the comments, of ways to change it up, depending on what you like or have on hand:
Toast the nuts
Red cabbage or arugula instead of radicchio
Soak radicchio in water (with lemon?) to reduce bitterness
White balsamic imstead of regular
Grill the radicchio
Red pepper flakes
Serve over greens
Oil first so vinegar doesn't soak in
Cook orzo in broth
Warm or cold (hot?)
Roasted butternut squash
Cilantro instead of basil
Lemon juice instead of vinegar
Grilled or sauted zucchini
Other pasta (tortellini, couscous?)
Garlic into hot orzo to mellow
An asian noodle salad with lots of vegetables? Throw in meat and it's not really a salad, so you're following the rules.
I have been experimenting with home made pizza dough and making simple vegetarian style pizzas with a bit of cheese. I also found a recipe for *no knead baguettes* that you shape and hit with olive oil...oregano fresh or dried basil cherry tomatoes great olives or anything you want. Super simple delicious chewy crispy hot or cold and you could feasibly incorporate your avocado onto them.Or just make some shrimp and avocado mix for sandwiches. People love luxurious finger foods.I detest avocado and I have a fruit bearing 65 year old avocado tree taking over my little back yard...I know it pairs well with citrus......bacon.....scallion.....red onion...cream..you should be able to make a creamy cold avocado soup with a bacon and scallion garnish.
What about a room temp Moroccan flavored cous cous dish...olives, lemon, sun dried tomato, etc. everyone usually likes that and is a little unusual for a potluck.
How about rice paper rolls? They're fairly easy to make and the wrapper would keep the avocado from turning too brown...
Doesn't include avocados but one of my fave potluck items is spanakopita (or anything in phyllo really). Lots of recipes out there. Prepare the morning of and then it can sit and come to room temp by lunch??
Super easy cheese and charcuterie platter?
Tapenade and baguette?
I vote that you try one or another national version of an awesome room temp but hearty food: quiche (French), Spanish tortilla/omelette (Spanish), or frittata (Italian).
They're all variations on a theme involving egg, usually cream and cheese, and sometimes a substantial starch (most often day-old cooked pasta and/or potatoes in the Italian and Spanish forms).
They really rock in flavor at room temp. And require no attention. If this is a good idea for you, follow up, and we'll help with specific recipes.
edit: p.s., plays great with cool green salads...
How about Ina Garten's orzo with roasted vegetables, to which you could add some nice-quality cooked, sliced sweet Italian sausage?
ETA: Or, a soba-noodle salad with a spicy-sweet peanut-soy-rice wine dressing (which you'd add just before serving), cucumber, scallion, bean sprouts, grilled chicken, halved grape tomatoes....bring all the ingredients prepped in separate baggies and combine just before serving. Top with chopped peanuts.
How about a turkey with Swiss, or roast beef and cheddar sub on a whole French bread loaf. I'd add the avocado prior to serving.