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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.

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  1. Maybe an avocado chicken or egg salad.

    1. 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. 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. 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

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

          2. 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. 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

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

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

                2 Replies
                  1. re: Lillipop

                    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.

                1. 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. Cold avocado soup with interesting garnishes

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


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

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

                                  1. What did you make last time?

                                      1. 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

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



                                        2. 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. 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.