Raise your hand if you’ve been invited to a potluck holiday party this year? OK., Now raise your other hand if you’re stressed out and you can’t decide what to bring. Well, pump those arms, raise the roof and give us a little “woot, woot” cause we’ve got a few tips that’ll help send those potluck blues packing and get you on the road to recipe bragging rights.
Don’t Forget Your Heritage: If you’re lucky enough to have learned a secret family recipe at your grandma’s knee, share it! Chances are, if it made it from generation to generation in your family, your friends and co-workers are going to love it.
Do Consider Assembling, Not Cooking: Suppose your mother ordered out all the time and you have no clue how to hold a knife. You’re not alone, and you can still help. Put together platter with holiday ham, gourmet mustards and rolls; prawns and cocktail sauce or even a few of your favorite local cheeses.
Do Dress for Success: Avoid wilted greens and soggy veggies by packing dressing separately in an airtight container. Or, pick dishes that benefit from a little extra marinating like pickled vegetables, pasta salads and slaws. Dress at home and factor the travel time into your recipe.
Do Finish with a Flair: Bring a garnish of chopped herbs, zest, spices or seasoning salt to top off dips and other dishes with a personal touch. Lemon Rosemary Seasoning by Fogg City Spice Company is sure to add a great hit of flavor to seafood dishes or even a white bean dip, while Whole Spice All Purpose Salt Seasoning may be just what your pasta salad needs to set it apart from the rest.
Don’t Be Cheesy: Cold pizza may be the world’s greatest post-party breakfast, but it’s not meant for the buffet line. Same goes for quesadillas or any other melted cheese favorites. Potluck foods sit. It’s best to avoid foods that deteriorate quickly as they wait.
Do Go with the Grain: Whole grain salads–both warm and room temp–are perfectly suited for holiday potlucks. They can sit out without wilting and with all of the different types of grains available these days–from red quinoa to black rice ro golden wheatberries–they can add a splash of color to the table. In addition, grain based salads offer a healthy departure from the rich foods that are otherwise most often provided.
Do Mark Your Meal: With so many food sensitivities these days, it’s hard to pick a recipe that won’t interfere with someone’s dietary needs. Rather than allowing those dietary restrictions to dictate what you bring, simply prepare your favorite dish and place a card in front of it indicating the ingredients used. This way, you’re free to cook what you love.
What’s your fav dish to bring to the party?