LOOKING for: Christmas - Church potluck dinner?

JoAnn_FlaDecember 5, 2007

If you were at a church potluck dinner, what dish would you be happy to see? We have a very small group of church people so I am thinking a main dish. I need some new ideas, thanks.

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Depends on when the dinner is....we usually hold ours after church, so anything has to be either room temp or able to be held in the oven...or in a crock pot.
I made ham loaf for the last funeral lunch I did....and it was very well recieved. The recipe makes 2 big loaves...feeds 35 or so people.....but you could bake both and freeze one for your self.

Recipe for ham loafÂ
2 ½ pounds ground beef
2 ½ pounds ground ham
2 1/2 or more cups bread crumbsÂ
2 cups sautéed chopped onion
1 cups beef or chicken broth with 1 T Worcestershire
2T Dijon mustard
2 heaping T brown sugar
¼ cup catsup and
5 eggs mixed up and added to the meat, bread crumb mix.
Make into 2 skinny loaves and place in big steel baking pans in individual foil slingsÂbake until internal temp is 160Â.about 1 ¼ hours at 375. Baste several times with mix of brown sugar, prepared Dijon mustard and a little cider vinegar.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 11:27PM
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To augment the various casseroles that get brought, it is nice to have a platter of plain meat--real, sliced roast turkey breast; real ham just off the bone; a pile of slices of roast beef. An accompanying basket of rolls makes it easy for someone to make a sandwich or not.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 1:37AM
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Chicken Marbella from the Silver Palate is a great potluck dish. This dish can be served warm or room temp. Quote from the Silver Palate " The chicken keeps and even improves over
several days of refrigeration".

Don't be put off by the ingredient list, people just love this dish!

Chicken Marbella - Serves 10-12

9 pounds chicken - either whole birds quartered or a combo of thighs and breasts (If using breasts be sure not to overcook)
1 head garlic peeled and chopped
1/4 cup dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup pitted Spanish olives
1/2 cup capers and a bit of the juice
6 Bay leaves
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped

Combine chicken garlic, oregano,salt,vinegar, oil, prunes, olives. capers and bay leaves. Marinate & refrigerate overnight.

Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large baking dishes. Spoon marinade over evenly. Sprinkle chicken evenly with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.

Bake in a for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 350. Do not over cook.

Transfer chicken and prunes etc to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Pass the remaining sauce in a sauceboat.

If preparing a few days in advance refrigerate cooked chicken in the sauce and allow to come to room temp before reheating, just until warmed through.

If serving cold allow to come to room temp before serving.

This is another tasty dish for a group and it reheats well too.

Chicken Cacciatore

8 Chicken breasts or a combo of breasts and thighs
1 1/2 T Olive Oil
1 1/4 c Onions,Chopped
8 oz Mushrooms,rinsed, drained , and quartered
1 1/2 t Garlic,Minced
1 t Dried Oregano
2 T Parsley,Chopped
2 c Tomato Sauce
1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 c Kalamata Olives, pitted and quartered (optional but I think they really add to the flavour))

Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Pour 1 tbsp oil into a 10-12" nonstick pan over med-high heat. When hot,add the chicken and brown well(work in batches if it won't all fit). As chicken pieces are browned, transfer to a foil pan (8-9" square). In the
same pan, add the remaining oil and the onions, mushrooms, garlic, oregano and parsley. Stir often over med-high heat until vegetables are limp (12-15 minutes). Stir in the tomato sauce and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often; reduce heat, cover and simmer
about 20 minutes to blend flavors. Add olives to sauce, remove from heat and pour over the chicken in the pan. Seal pan with foil and bake, covered, in a 375°f oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 7:50AM
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You could slice a baguette into smaller than a full sandwich size since you'll probably have more main dishes & this is always a hit.

2 cups water
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 whole peppercorns
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp garlic powder (had none so used 1 minced garlic clove)
3 lb boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed
8 French or sourdough rolls, split

Combine water, soy sauce, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme & garlic in a slow cooker, stirring until well blended. Place roast in cooker & cover.
Cook on high for 5-6 hours or until beef is tender. Remove meat from broth & shred with a fork. Serve beef on rolls. Pour broth in small bowls for dipping.~~ Good topped with Swiss cheese or sauteed onions, peppers or both. I like mustard on the rolls, too.~~

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 3:54PM
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Here are a couple of Mexican casseroles:

Mexican Casserole

A creamy twist to a spicy dish.
2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
8 ounces mild taco sauce
10 ounces mild enchilada sauce
2 cups plain yogurt
4 ounces green chilies, diced
12 tostado (flat taco) shells
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
10 ounces mild salsa
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
Preheat oven to 350F. Brown meat, onion, green pepper and garlic. Drain off fat. Season with salt and pepper. Add taco and enchilada sauce. Heat yogurt and chilies in a separate saucepan. Add to meat mixture. Blend well. In a 9x12 casserole dish, line bottom with 6 tostado shells, broken in quarters. Add half of meat mixture, cover with cheese. Top with salsa and repeat tostado, meat and cheese. Bake for 35 minutes.

Yields: 8-10 servings from Recipe of the Month at www.stonyfield

Mexican Casserole
"For those of you who may not know, the tortilla chips form a crispy crust on the bottom of the casserole".
1 1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips
1 pound shredded cooked chicken meat (from a small roasted chicken)
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) kidney beans, drained
1 can (15 1/4 ounces) corn kernels, drained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 cup prepared salsa
1 cup chopped red onion
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese
6 ounces grated sharp Cheddar cheese
2 cups diced (1/4-inch) ripe tomatoes
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13x9-inch baking dish, then scatter the crushed tortilla chips evenly on the bottom.

2. Combine the chicken, beans, corn, tomato sauce, salsa, onion, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Place half the mixture evenly in the baking dish. Combine the cheeses, then sprinkle half over the mixture.
3. Cover with the remaining half of the chicken-and-bean mixture and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
4. Bake for 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serve the garnishes in bowls, so guests can top their portions with diced tomatoes, sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro.
Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 440 calories, 33g carbohydrates, 36g protein, 18g fat, 90mg cholesterol.
Nutritional Breakdown: New Wellness, Richmond, Va.
Simply Delicious® by Sheila Lukins PARADE® September 2002

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 11:28PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Well, I do like homemade fried chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits...that sort of thing. Not unique, but when done right, always appreciated.

It sounds like I eat at KFC! But I've only been once in the last decade.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 11:44PM
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Ginger's French Dip is always good or how about a brisket? I like to cook that when we have a potluck and men especially go for it. I just season it and wrap it in foil, then bake it at 325° for 5-6 hours til tender.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 8:03PM
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The one thing that always seems to be missing at church potlucks are interesting vegetable dishes. Generally, there's a tray of veggies with ranch dip or maybe a green salad, but I love my veggies and as good as casseroles are, they need sides too.

My solution is to make vegetable salads, as keeping vegetables warm in a crock pot or chafing dish makes them unappealingly overcooked quickly.

An easy and different slaw is good:

Spicy Slaw

One small head green cabbage
One small head red cabbage
1/2 small head Napa, or Chinese cabbage
3 carrots
3 stalks celery
1/4 pound snow peas
1 red bell pepper
Pecans-appx.1 cup, after chopping (or other nut)

lemon or orange juice
extra virgin olive oil
black pepper
cider vinegar

Thinly slice the cabbages, as for regular slaw. Coarsely grate the carrots. Thinly slice the celery. Thinly slice the red bell pepper, then chop the slices into small pieces.

Blanch the snow peas in rapidly boiling water for 30 seconds, then rinse with cold water. The snow peas should be cooked enough to be bright green, but still quite crisp. Slice them on the diagonal into 1/4 inch pieces.

Chop the pecans quite coarsely...to get an idea of the size, break a pecan half into 4 pieces. Toast the pecans in a heavy pan, stirring constantly over a medium high heat until fragrant but not burnt. Timing varies depending on how old the nuts are, but it shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes. Set aside.

Make a vinaigrette by mixing equal parts of lemon or orange juice with cider vinegar, combining this mixture with half as much olive oil...2 parts juice/vinegar, one part oil.

Whisk in black pepper, sugar and salt to taste. I like quite a bit of pepper myself, but for a large group of people, with varying tolerances for spicy foods, it's better to take it a little easy, though you really should be able to taste it.

I don't provide measurements for the vinaigrette because cabbage heads vary in size, and the sugar will vary depending on whether you use lemon juice or orange. But I like to dress the salad with a fairly light hand, and provide a cruet of dressing on the side for those who like more.

The salad can be dressed a couple of hours before serving, as the fruit juice and vinegar will "wilt" the vegetables just enough to be tender during that time, but shouldn't sit in the dressing longer than that if you want to preserve the fresh flavor. Toss the pecans in just before serving, reserving a few to sprinkle on top.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 8:25AM
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So what did you wind up making?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 3:56PM
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I haven't made it yet, but I decided on a Hashbrown Casserole and a Red Velvet cake, maybe something else too. Thanks for all the suggestions.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 1:20AM
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