What to Bring to a Potluck Party

by Julie Richards Google
Potluck dinners let the chefs of the group show off their talent.

Potluck dinners let the chefs of the group show off their talent.

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Potluck parties bring church and other organization members together for a time of good food and socializing. Often the members bring the same traditional dish every time. Add fresh flavors and interest to the gathering with recipes not normally seen on the potluck party table. Give the group an extra treat by supplying recipe cards printed with the instructions.

Appetizer

Take an appetizer sure to please every palate in attendance. Savory cream puff appetizers, stuffed with chicken, tuna or ham salad are bite-size creations made from common kitchen pantry ingredients. The pastry is simply water, butter, eggs and flour, baked to a puffy golden brown, and then stuffed with your favorite filling. If you prefer a dip, try a shrimp-cocktail dip made with a can of salad shrimp, cream cheese and sour cream. Mix the ingredients together and add cocktail sauce into the mixture according to taste. Spread the dip in a bowl, top it with more cocktail sauce and surround the bowl with crackers.

Salad

For salad lovers, Cobb salad mixes salad greens, grilled chicken breast, bacon, boiled eggs and avocados for a tasty salad . Add chunks of bleu cheese and tomatoes to the bowl or platter. Serve the salad either layered in a large bowl or use a serving platter with the ingredients placed in a pattern on a bed of mixed greens. Top with a light dressing made from mayonnaise, the juice of a whole lime and a pinch of sugar. If you prefer a spicier salad, fill lettuce cups with individual servings of antipasto salad. Make the antipasto yourself so you can choose which ingredients to include.

Entree

Traditional holiday casseroles, such as green bean casserole or goulash, are always at the potluck parties. Spice things up with a green pepper casserole. Cut large chunks of green peppers and mix with ground beef, rice and chopped tomatoes and onions, or your favorite stuffed pepper filling. Place the mixture in a casserole dish and top with tomato or marinara sauce. Bake at 350 F for an hour, until the ground beef is fully cooked. Create a simple, inexpensive pasta dish from two packages of chicken-flavored ramen noodles, a can of mixed vegetables and 1 lb. ground pork, turkey or beef. Brown the meat, and then add the drained can of vegetables and heat. Cook the noodles, drain and then toss with the meat and vegetable mixture. Season the dish with a few dashes of sesame oil and soy sauce. You can add sliced water chestnuts and bamboo slices for more of an Asian flair.

Dessert

Pies and cakes of every description abound at the typical potluck dinner party. Add a twist to a traditional apple pie by making a silky smooth apple custard pie. Make the crust and filling from scratch or start with a store-bought version. The filling recipe contains sour cream, apple juice, cinnamon and vanilla, mixed with sweetened condensed milk and an egg. Once the custard bakes and cools, top with apple pie filling.

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