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Need Potluck Cold Main Dish

alcoholic29 Mar 15, 2013 05:20 PM

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.

  1. letsindulge Mar 17, 2013 07:56 PM

    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.

    1. ChristinaMason Mar 17, 2013 06:01 PM

      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.

      1. Bada Bing Mar 17, 2013 06:01 PM

        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...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bada Bing
          ChristinaMason Mar 17, 2013 07:28 PM

          Oooh, good idea! Go for the tortilla espanola and a nice roasted red pepper or green herb sauce. Here are two helpful links:



        2. bards4 Mar 17, 2013 05:52 PM

          This is delicious.

          1. LaLa Mar 17, 2013 05:41 PM

            What did you make last time?

            1. j
              JennX Mar 17, 2013 05:15 PM

              Oh and the obvious is guacamole, fresh salsa and chips?!

              1. j
                JennX Mar 17, 2013 05:14 PM

                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?

                1. p
                  piccola Mar 17, 2013 04:55 PM

                  How about rice paper rolls? They're fairly easy to make and the wrapper would keep the avocado from turning too brown...

                  1. l
                    latte4me Mar 15, 2013 08:58 PM

                    I've had good luck with Nick Stellino's spinach pie recipe, which can be served at room temperature:


                    1. firecooked Mar 15, 2013 08:46 PM

                      California rolls..

                      1. s
                        sedimental Mar 15, 2013 08:15 PM

                        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.

                        1. Lillipop Mar 15, 2013 07:48 PM

                          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.

                          1. p
                            Pwmfan Mar 15, 2013 07:36 PM

                            Cold avocado soup with interesting garnishes

                            1. s
                              sandylc Mar 15, 2013 06:31 PM

                              An asian noodle salad with lots of vegetables? Throw in meat and it's not really a salad, so you're following the rules.

                              1. Ruthie789 Mar 15, 2013 06:17 PM

                                My niece makes wraps using smoked salmon, lettuce, capers and some cream cheese. Rolled and sliced into bite size pieces.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Ruthie789
                                  Lillipop Mar 15, 2013 07:55 PM

                                  Ruthie that sounds so delicious.

                                  1. re: Lillipop
                                    Ruthie789 Mar 16, 2013 06:03 AM

                                    It is and so easy and it looks lovely on the plate. The possibilities of the wraps are endless, different colours, different combinations, ease of preparation.

                                2. j
                                  juster Mar 15, 2013 06:09 PM

                                  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:

                                  Artichoke hearts
                                  Roasted peppers
                                  Toast the nuts
                                  Beans (white?
                                  Red cabbage or arugula instead of radicchio
                                  Soak radicchio in water (with lemon?) to reduce bitterness
                                  White balsamic imstead of regular
                                  Grill the radicchio
                                  Green onion
                                  Cherry tomato
                                  Red pepper flakes
                                  Serve over greens
                                  Oil first so vinegar doesn't soak in
                                  Cook orzo in broth
                                  Less oil
                                  Blue cheese
                                  Lemon zest
                                  Warm or cold (hot?)
                                  Roasted garlic
                                  Sunflower seeds
                                  Dried apricots
                                  Dried cherries
                                  Roasted butternut squash
                                  Cilantro instead of basil
                                  Grilled eggplant
                                  Lemon juice instead of vinegar
                                  Grilled or sauted zucchini
                                  Other pasta (tortellini, couscous?)
                                  Cooked mushrooms
                                  Smoked turkey
                                  Garlic into hot orzo to mellow
                                  Red onion

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: juster
                                    ChristinaMason Mar 17, 2013 06:02 PM

                                    Wow! Lots of good ideas. I like your style.

                                  2. MsMaryMc Mar 15, 2013 05:45 PM

                                    How about a savory cheesecake, like this one...

                                    Southwest Cheesecake

                                    You could probably garnish that with avocados (although you'd need to slice them just before you serve it).

                                    1. Breadcrumbs Mar 15, 2013 05:43 PM

                                      Personally I'd avoid avocados because they quickly brown when exposed to air. How about something else you and your colleagues like. What kind of food tends to go first at your potlucks?

                                      Do you have access to a fridge?

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                        Bada Bing Mar 17, 2013 05:54 PM

                                        Agreed about time factor and avocado. Asking for headaches, if not failure.

                                      2. c
                                        charlesbois Mar 15, 2013 05:40 PM

                                        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.

                                        1. pinehurst Mar 15, 2013 05:40 PM

                                          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.

                                          1. f
                                            foodie06 Mar 15, 2013 05:27 PM

                                            Maybe an avocado chicken or egg salad.

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