8 Delicious Ideas for Potluck Dinner

Potluck Dinner

To “bring a plate” is a popular way of catering for fund-raising functions or friendly get-togethers. What to bring is solved by these potluck recipes. They’re great for family meals too.

Chicken Wings, Sweet and Sour

Chicken Wings

  • 1 kg (2 lb) chicken wings cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cm (½ in) piece green ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dry sherry
  • oil for deep-frying

Clean and dry chicken wings, cut off wing tips at joint (use wing tips in another dish or to make soup). Cut the rest of the wings at joint to give 2 pieces each. In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, grated ginger and dry sherry with wings, mix well. Stand 30 minutes. Coat wings well with cornflour. Heat oil in pan, add half the wings, deep-fry gently until golden brown, about 3 minutes or until cooked. Remove from pan, drain well on absorbent paper.

Repeat with remaining wings; serve with Sweet and Sour Sauce. Serve cold with the sauce or reheat in moderate oven 10 minutes.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 1½ teaspoons cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

Seed and finely chop pepper; chop shallots diagonally. Combine vinegar, sugar, tomato sauce, water, cornflour and soy sauce in a small saucepan. Stir over gentle heat until sauce boils; add pepper and shallots, cook again for 2 minutes. Serves 6.

Crab Mornay Rolls

  • 6 small finger bread rolls
  • 75 g (2½ oz) butter or substitute
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 30 g (1 oz) butter or substitute, extra
  • 1 cup milk
  • 220 g can crab meat
  • 2 shallots
  • 30 g (1 oz) cheddar cheese
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley

Using sharp knife, slice tops off rolls lengthways. Scoop out soft bread inside, leaving an empty shell. (Bread and tops of rolls can be made into breadcrumbs for future use.) Combine butter, crushed garlic and mixed herbs in pan, stir over low heat until butter is melted.

Brush rolls inside and out with melted butter, place on oven tray, bake in moderate oven 8 minutes or until shells are crisp. Melt extra butter in pan, stir in flour, cook 1 minute, gradually stir in milk, stir until sauce boils and thickens.

Remove from heat, stir in drained, flaked crab meat and finely chopped shallots. Using a teaspoon, fill rolls evenly with prepared filling. Combine grated cheese and chopped parsley, sprinkle evenly over tops of rolls. Bake in a moderate oven 10 minutes or until heated through.

To reheat: Place in moderate oven for 10 minutes.

Chinese Beef Rolls

  • 625 g (1¼ lb) scotch fillet in one piece
  • 3 shallots
  • 3 sticks celery
  • 2 rashers bacon
  • 60 g (2 oz) mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cm (½ in) piece green ginger
  • flour
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3 cups fresh breadcrumbs (approx ½ loaf)
  • 1 shallot, extra
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 30 g (1 oz) butter or substitute
  • 3 tablespoons oil

Trim fat and sinew from meat, cut meat into 12 thin slices. Pound meat out with flat side of meat mallet or rolling-pin until very thin. Cut shallots into 8 cm (3 in) lengths; cut celery into 8 cm x 1 cm (3 in x ½ in) strips; cut bacon into 8 cm x 1 cm (3 in x ½ in) pieces; cut mushrooms into thick slices.

Combine soy sauce, dry sherry, sugar and grated ginger in bowl, mix well. Brush mixture over one side of each piece of fillet. Put a strip each of shallot, celery, mushroom and bacon at one end of each piece of fillet. Starting with the end with the filling, roll each portion up firmly as for Swiss roll.

Coat each roll lightly with flour seasoned with salt and pepper; dip into combined beaten eggs and milk, then into combined mixture of breadcrumbs, parsley and finely chopped extra shallot, pressing the crumbs on firmly. Repeat egg-and-breadcrumb process once more to give a firm coating.

Heat butter and oil in pan, add beef rolls; cook very gently on all sides until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Drain. Serve cold or reheat in moderate oven 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 12.

Curried Steak Slice

Pastry

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 90 g (3 oz) butter or substitute
  • 2 tablespoons water

Sift flour and salt into bowl, rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add water, mix to a firm consistency. Turn on to lightly floured surface, knead lightly. Roll pastry out to tit base of greased 28 cm x 18 cm (11 in x 7 in) lamington tin.

Topping

  • 15 g (½ oz) butter or substitute
  • 1 onion
  • 60 g (2 oz) mushrooms
  • 750 g (1½ lb) minced steak
  • 1 green pepper
  • ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, extra
  • 1 small onion, extra
  • 15 g (½ oz) butter or substitute, extra
  • ¼ teaspoon mixed herbs

Heat butter in pan, add peeled and finely chopped onion and finely chopped mushrooms, toss 1 minute. Add meat, cook until golden brown, mashing meat well to break up lumps; pour off surplus fat.

Add seeded and finely chopped pepper, breadcrumbs, curry powder, paprika, salt and pepper, mix well. Combine cornflour with water, stir into meat mixture, stir until boiling, reduce heat, simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spread filling evenly over pastry; sprinkle over meat the combined extra breadcrumbs, extra melted butter, extra peeled and finely chopped onion, mixed herbs, salt and pepper. Bake in hot oven 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serves 6.

Spinach and Feta Slice

Pancakes

  • ½ cup plain flour, pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup milk

Sift dry ingredients into bowl, add eggs, stir until mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Gradually add milk, mixing to a smooth batter. Allow to stand 30 minutes. Heat pan, grease well. From a small jug pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of pancake mixture into pan, swirling batter evenly around pan. Cook over medium heat until light golden brown; toss or turn pancake and cook on other side.

Repeat with the remaining batter to make 6 pancakes.

Filling

  • 1 bunch spinach (approximately 10 stalks)
  • 125 g (4 oz) feta cheese
  • 60 g (2 oz) butter or substitute
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • salt, pepper
  • 60 g (2 oz)cheese

Wash spinach, remove stalks, chop leaves roughly. Put spinach leaves in saucepan with just enough water to cover bottom of saucepan. Cover, bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes, remove from heat, drain spinach, chop finely. Melt butter in saucepan, add peeled and chopped onion, cook 1 minute.

Add the flour, stir until smooth, cook 1 minute. Add milk gradually, stir until smooth, and until sauce boils and thickens. Remove from heat, add beaten eggs, salt and pepper, mix well. Arrange 2 pancakes in base of greased 28 cm x 18 cm (11 in x 7 in) lamington tin, trim edges of pancakes to fit tin.

Arrange half the spinach over the pancakes, sprinkle half the crumbled feta cheese over spinach. Spread a third of the sauce mixture lightly over spinach and cheese. Top with 2 more pancakes, then top with remaining spinach and crumbled cheese, then another third of the sauce.

Lastly top with the 2 remaining pancakes, spread remaining sauce lightly over pancakes. Sprinkle grated cheese on top. Bake in moderate oven 25 to 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cut into slices.

To reheat: Place in a moderate oven, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes.

Ham and Asparagus Slice

Pastry

  • 60 g (2 oz) butter or substitute
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons water

Sift flour, salt and paprika. Add butter, rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add beaten egg yolk and water, mix to a firm dough. Turn on to floured surface and knead lightly. Roll out to fit base of 18 cm x 28 cm (7 in x 11 in) lamington tin. Refrigerate 1 hour. Bake in moderate oven 10 to 15 minutes, or until pastry is cooked.

Filling

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup cream
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 60 g (2 oz) Gruyere or Swiss cheese
  • 310 g can asparagus cuts
  • 125 g (4 oz) ham
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Beat eggs, add cream, milk and grated cheese, season with salt and pepper. Drain asparagus, combine with chopped ham, sprinkle over the pastry base. Pour custard mixture over asparagus and ham. Bake in hot oven 10 minutes, reduce heat to moderate, bake further 30 minutes or until custard is set. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, cut into slices; serve hot or cold.

To reheat: Place slice in moderately slow oven 10 to 15 minutes.

Mushroom Turnovers

  • 125 g (4 oz) mushrooms
  • 3 shallots
  • 15 g (½ oz) butter or substitute
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • ¾ cup cream
  • salt, pepper
  • 375 g packaged puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk

Melt butter in small pan, add finely chopped shallots, cook 1 minute. Ad flour, stir well, cook a further 1 minute. Remove from heat and gradually add the cream, mix well. Return to heat, stir until the mixture boils, add chopped mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, cool.

Roll out pastry thinly, cut 12 rounds using a 12 cm (5 in) fluted cutter. Brush edges with beaten egg yolk, place teaspoonfuls of mushroom mixture in center of each round, fold pastry in half, press edges together. Place on greased baking tray, brush tops with beaten egg yolk. Bake in hot oven 15 minutes or until’ pastries are golden brown. Makes 12.

To reheat: Place in a moderately slow oven 10 minutes.

Crumbed Chicken Legs

  • 8 chicken legs
  • 1 cabanossi or cabana
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk flour
  • 1 cup packaged dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons mixed herbs
  • 60 g (2 oz) butter or substitute
  • oil for deep-frying

Using fingers, loosen skin around drumsticks. Combine finely chopped cabanossi and tomato paste. Pack cabanossi mixture evenly under skin of each leg. Roll legs in flour, coat with combined beaten egg and milk, then roll in combined breadcrumbs and mixed, herbs. Place chicken legs on oven tray, brush with the melted butter, bake in moderate oven 45 minutes or until tender. Serve cold, or reheat in moderate oven 10 to 15 minutes. Makes 8.

The 250 ml measuring cup and standard spoon measures are used for these recipes. Spoon measurements are level.

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