I managed to dig out the file of some of of the recipes that have been popular at these potlucks. (Unfortunately, the file of my own recipes, which were stored separately, is missing, and I think it may have gone in a disk crash a year or so ago.)
However, the only thing I've ever brought that was an unqualified success was a dessert: Lamingtons -- a ubiquitous Australian cake, a staple at every Down Under bake sale -- which are something like pound cake, rolled in chocolate icing and coconut.
Other offerings, including cold sesame noodles, barley and basil salad, tea-smoked turkey, and Caribbean roast pork, served cold with mango salsa, have drawn decidedly mixed reactions. A few people raved; others thought they were too weird. (My husband appreciated the leftovers, so that wasn't too humiliating.)
Anyway, here are some recipes for things people really liked.
Barb Kelly's deviled eggs
1 dozen large eggs
4 teaspoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon pickle relish
1/4 teaspoon white vinegar
Finely chopped celery or onion (optional)
8 to 10 pimiento-stuffed olives, sliced
In a large saucepan, cover the eggs with water by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Cover, remove from the heat and let stand 20 minutes. Run under cold water to cool for easier peeling. Peel the eggs and cut them in half, removing the yolks to a bowl.
With a fork, mash the yolks with the mayonnaise, mustard. relish, vinegar and celery or onion.
Fill each egg-white halves with 2 teaspoon of the yolk mixture, then pile on a bit more. Sprinkle with paprika and top each with an olive slice. Store covered and refrigerated (toothpicks will help keep plastic wrap off the eggs.) 12 servings.
Preston Adams' spinach balls with sherry sauce
"This recipe entails a good deal of work," Adams says, "but it's well worth the effort. It's a fantastic Italian appetizer." He says he got the recipe from his landlady, but notes that she clipped it from a Lerner newspaper some years ago.
2 packages frozen chopped spinach, cooked according to the package directions
1 pound ricotta cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes
1 8-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup dry sherry
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Prepare the spinach balls: Cool and drain the spinach; press with your hands to remove all liquid. Combine with the cheeses, breadcrumbs, eggs and spices in a bowl. Form into balls the size of walnuts. Place in a single layer in the freezer while you assemble the sauce.
Make the sauce: Saute the onion, garlic, parsley and basil in the olive oil over medium-high heat just until slightly brown. Put the tomatoes in a blender or food processor and puree; add to the onion mixture. Dissolve the tomato paste in the sherry and add it, along with the bay leaf. Cook until slightly thickened, about 45 minutes.
Assemble and bake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove the spinach balls from the freezer and roll in flour. Let them stand for a few minutes and roll them again in flour. (This helps them to hold together.) Drop the balls into boiling water, a few at a time, and cook a few minutes until they rise to the top. Remove with slotted spoon and place in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. (Do not crowd. Leave room between each ball in order to spoon out easily.)
When the sauce is done cooking, spoon it over the spinach balls; sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese. Bake 30 minutes. 10 to 12 servings.
Pat Sullivan's lasagna
"All these measurements are approximate," Sullivan warns, "but close." She starts this recipe the day before serving: "Lasagna is always better the second day, so you get the second-day taste the first time you serve it this way. Also, if you're having guests, you do the cooking and make the mess the day before, and just have it to stick it in the oven the next day while you make a salad and garlic bread or whatever."
2 tablespoons roasted-garlic olive oil
1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped
1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 pound ground beef
1 1/2 pounds mild italian sausage, casings removed
3 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, slightly crushed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground multicolored pepper blend
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
12 ounces fat-free cottage cheese
1 large egg
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 pound lasagna noodles
1 1/2 pounds sliced mozzarella cheese
Make the sauce: Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat, add the onion and mushrooms and cook till the mushrooms are limp. Remove them from the pan, and brown the ground beef. Remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and pour off the excess grease. Break up the sausage meat and brown it over a low to medium flame so that it doesn't burn. Remove it from the pan with the slotted spoon and pour off the excess grease.
Return the vegetables and browned meat to the pan. Combine the tomato sauce, tomatoes, oregano and basil in the pan. Season with the pepper and parmesan cheese. Over medium to low heat, simmer while the pasta cooks. (If the sauce looks too thin, add a little tomato paste.)
Assemble the lasagna: Mix the cottage cheese, egg and 1/4 cup of the parmesan together in a bowl. Set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the noodles al dente according to package directions. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
When the pasta is cooked, put a little of the sauce on the bottom of a 11-by-13-inch pan. Arrange a layer of noodles, lying flat, on top. Drizzle with sauce, then layer mozzarella slices over that. Then more noodles, sauce, cheese, noodles. Spread the cottage-cheese mixture evenly over the noodles, then continue layering noodles, sauce, mozzarella, noodles, sauce and mozzarella.
Sprinkle more freshly grated parmesan over the top and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes -- just till set. (The cheese on the top will have melted somewhat but will still be white.)
Cover it with foil and refrigerate it till the next morning. A couple of hours before you plan to serve it, take it out and let it warm up a bit, then bake it again for about 45 minutes or so at 400 degrees, till the top browns and it's hot all the way through. 10 to 12 servings.
Anna DiBari's sweet-and-sour meatballs
2 pounds ground beef round steak
1 1.5-ounce envelope onion-soup mix
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
3 eggs, beaten
1 16-ounce can sauerkraut (do not drain)
1 16-ounce can jellied cranberry sauce
1 12-ounce bottle chili sauce
ta1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mix the ground beef, soup mix, breadcrumbs and eggs. Form into meatballs and place in a single layer in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch pan.
Mix together the sauerkraut, cranberry sauce and chili sauce and pour over the meatballs. Bake uncovered for 1 hour and 45 minutes. 8 servings.
Rob Mandik's turkey chipotle chili
Note that it doesn't produce the familiar-looking red chili -- it's green.
2 canned whole chipotle chilies in adobo or to taste
2 26-ounce cans whole tomatillos, drained
2 large onions, chopped
8 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons ground cumin
4 pounds ground turkey
2 14-ounce cans chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 4-ounce cans chopped mild green chilies
1 tablespoon cornmeal
2 15-ounce cans white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Sour cream, limes, tortilla chips as an accompaniment if desired
In a blender, puree chipotle chilies and drained tomatillos and reserve the puree. In a large heavy pot, cook the onions and 6 of the garlic cloves in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the onions are softened. Add the cumin, and cook the mixture, stirring, for 30 seconds.
Add the turkey and cook the mixture, stirring and breaking up the lumps, until the turkey is no longer pink. Add the reserved chipotle-tomatillo puree, the broth, the bay leaf, the oregano, and the salt and simmer the mixture, uncovered, adding more broth or water if necessary to keep the turkey barely covered, for 1 hour.
Stir in the bell pepper, the canned green chilies, and the cornmeal and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Stir in the white beans, the cilantro, the remaining 2 garlic cloves and salt to taste. Simmer the chili for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the beans are heated through, and discard the bay leaf.
The chili may be frozen or made 3 days in advance, cooled, uncovered, and kept covered and chilled. Serve the chili with the sour cream, lime wedges, and tortilla chips or crusty bread. Makes about 14 cups, 6 to 8 servings.
Lizzy Sette's taco salad
A very orange-colored salad.
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
1 pound shredded iceberg lettuce
1 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
1 12-ounce bottle Catalina salad dressing
1 13-ounce bag tortilla chips, crushed
Combine all ingredients. 6 servings.
Amie Szymanski's frozen watermelon cake
2 1/2 gallons cherry ice cream (pick a nice pink one), slightly softened
1 cup chocolate chips (6 ounces)
1 8-ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed
Green food coloring
Green decorative sugar
Mix the ice cream and chocolate chips together and pack into two medium bowls, reserving some of the ice cream. Smooth the tops, cover and freeze overnight. Unmold onto plates (it may be necessary to warm the outside with hot water).
Fuse both sides together, using the reserved ice cream, to create a sphere.
Tint the whipped topping with the food coloring and frost all sides of the ice cream. Sprinkle sugar in rows to create a watermelon effect. 30 to 36 servings.
Edited to fix post-migration formatting problems.
Last edited by LAZ on Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:03 pm, edited 4 times in total.