Advice Needed: FDNY Potluck

I'm joining a group of coworkers in preparing and serving lunch to the guys at our local fire house next week. Others are planning to contribute things like lasagna, eggplant and chicken parm, sausage and peppers, shepherd's pie, and chicken wings. There will be rolls and a big green salad, and of course lots of desserts. My original thought was to make a big pot of my Borrachos since that's what I usually bring to a potluck, but now I'm rethinking that. It seems our meal is a little light on produce, so maybe a vegetable side, or an alternate salad? It should be a dish that travels well (about an hour on the subway from my home to the office), or that can be prepped in an office kitchen soon before service. Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome and greatly appreciated!

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15 Comments

bugbitten September 13, 2012
Nice going, kiddo!
 
lastnightsdinner September 13, 2012
Thanks again, everyone, for your great suggestions and comments! We served lunch to the Eighth Battalion FDNY Engine 8 Ladder 2 firemen yesterday, and had a great time doing it. As we all feared, the guys had to go out on a call about 5 minutes after we arrived, but that just gave us a little more time to set up our feast, and when they returned, they sat and ate and seemed to really enjoy everything. I ended up contributing two summer salads: a shaved vegetable salad with slivers of soppressata and a caper vinaigrette, and a peach and heirloom tomato salad with tomato-cider vinaigrette, aged goat cheese, and lots of fresh basil. Both were a hit!
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bugbitten September 10, 2012
If you haven't already decided, I think a caponata would work with those other dishes. "Whole lotta caponata" from cupcake 921 worked for me in similar circumstances.
 
creamtea September 10, 2012
No new suggestions here since the above are all great ones, just a letting you know I think it's so great you're doing this for FDNY!!!
 
ChefJune September 10, 2012
I'd make Maque Choux. Here's the recipe: http://www.food52.com/recipes/6300_maque_choux

It's the perfect time of year for this delightful corn and tomato dish, and it's as good at room temperature as it is hot (maybe better)!. If you use a corn stock to make it, it's a vegan dish. I've known vegans to love it for a main course.
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx September 9, 2012
A marinated tomato or cucumber salad wold be refreshing. Also, a panzanella salad.
 
sdebrango September 9, 2012
What about the latest genius recipe, it sounds wonderful http://www.food52.com/blog/4369_sarah_leah_chases_scalloped_tomatoes
 
petitbleu September 9, 2012
I'm swooning over one of the recent Heidi Swanson creations http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/coconut-corn-salad-recipe.html
Sounds like a keeper for sure.
 
ATG117 September 9, 2012
A non-mayo dressed slaw, quickly blanched green beans or broccoli as a base (you can probably find many great recipes by searching the site) or this zucchini saute (http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/08/my-favorite-side-dish/) might be a nice, light and healthy addition to the meal
 
Chitra A. September 7, 2012
Right now tomatoes are in season and you hardly have to add anything to make them delicious. I would go for a quick, caprese salad with fresh heirlooms, mozzarella and basil, drizzled with some olive oil and balsamic.
 
lastnightsdinner September 7, 2012
Wow, thanks for these great suggestions - they all sound awesome! I will definitely keep them in mind when I'm at the farmers' market this weekend, doing some preliminary shopping and recipe-testing :D
 
SKK September 7, 2012
Thanks for doing this for your firemen! I highly recommend Hillarybee's http://food52.com/recipes/14244_quinoa_and_kale_crustless_quiche It has the greens, the healthy grains and tastes great. It will travel well and is great served at room temperature. This is always a hit when I serve it!
 
aargersi September 7, 2012
What about a marinated green bean salad or something along those lines? They should transport just fine and you wouldn't even have to assemble. I have also been a bit obsessed with corn and tomato salads lately - so many ways you can configure one of those and it's the right time for it. You could add additional veggies, pickled onion, lots of basil, etc ....

and someone better be making chocolate chip cookies :-)
 
NakedBeet September 7, 2012
What about roasted vegetables or a grain/rice dish? If any of those fireman are vegetarian (do non-meaters fight fires?), then they might appreciate a huge portion of substantial, non-salad, food. This is a great idea and very generous of your community. Have fun!
 
drbabs September 7, 2012
Your borrachos?! Yum! I like to bring a fennel salad to a potluck--it's kind of unexpected--but won't appeal to people who don't like fennel. This is one of my favorites: http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/8962/Lidia-Bastianichs-Fennel-Olive-and-Lemon-Salad.html (I've made it with oranges in addition to lemons so it's not so tart. And a little chopped red onion that you've softened in some vinegar is a fine addition, too.)
 
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