Xmas potluck for the secular humanists, and fresh out of frankincense.
December 23, 2013 5:25 AM   Subscribe

What would Jesus bring? Just moved, most of my kitchen stuff is still in boxes, but want to bring something homemade. Hosts making "a" salmon, so I assume that means whole and poached or roasted, so I'll bring a nice pinot noir. But what side or dessert or whatnot would work and be easy enough with let's say just a skillet and a pasta pot and a few tools to work with? (I don't have myrrh either.) Help! Thanks!
posted by fivesavagepalms to Food & Drink (11 answers total)
Couscous would be a great side for salmon and it couldn't be easier.
posted by Hanako at 5:32 AM on December 23, 2013

Fresh fruit and cheese, any type of pudding, and pineapple upside down cake or any of the skillet pies and cakes would all work.
posted by Houstonian at 5:32 AM on December 23, 2013

Oranges make a nice refreshing dessert. You just need a sharp knife to cut away all the peel and pith, then separate the segments. You can flavor with honey and spices or make a basic caramel and add that along with a splash of rum.
posted by payoto at 5:38 AM on December 23, 2013

Make a winter salad with cooked white beans, pomegranates, chopped walnuts or pecans and bitter greens such as watercress.
posted by BibiRose at 5:46 AM on December 23, 2013

If your skillet has a metal handle, I'd make a gratin.

You will need:
Salt, Peppe, 2 sticks Butter (and an extra half stick), Shredded or Grated Parmesean, Breadcrumbs (optional), Cream (optional) 3 lbs potatoes. I also assume you may be able to find a potato peeler, and a measuring cup or a coffee cup... and pot holders.

Put the pasta pot on the stove with cold water and salt and possibly a bay leaf in it.
Peel and slice some potatoes, put them the pasta pot after you slice them (this prevents them from browning). Bring the potatoes to a boil, boil 1 minute, then let stand for 5 minutes. Drain your potatoes and let them sit so they dry a little bit more.

Preheat your oven on broil, but position the rack in the middle of the oven. The skillet is going to go under the broiler - hence why you want a metal handle.

Heat your cream and melt two sticks of butter in the microwave. I like to use those glass measuring cups for the vessel since they have a pour spout, but if you don't have one - use a coffee cup. Basically I pour in half my cream, then I break a stick of butter in half and plop it in the cup and melt the butter. Either use a second coffee cup to do the other half cup of cream and the other stick of butter, or wait for the first one to clear the microwave
Ok, in the bottom of the skillet, lay down a layer of potato. Sprinkle salt and pepper on them, flip them over, sprinkle salt and pepper again. Ladle on or pour over a little butter, sprinkle a little Parmesan, layer on the next layer of potato, s&p, flip, s&p, butter, Parmesan repeat until you get to the top. Now melt an additional 1/2 stick of butter, mix in the breadcrumbs and remaining Parmesan, and cake that on the top.

Basically, you want to brown the top slowly to give the potatoes just a little more time to cook, dependent on your broiler, this may be about 5-13 minutes under the broiler.
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:54 AM on December 23, 2013

If you can find a knife, cutting board and big bowl, go with a salad.

Winter salads can be impressive, and really easy to prep from a slightly upscale grocery store:

Box of washed spinach
Pears (sliced thin, just before serving)
Candied Walnuts
Pomegranate Aprils (already separated and in a cup)
Goat cheese or feta cheese crumbles
White balsamic dressing


Frisee/ endive greens
Mandarin oranges (segmented)
Avocado chunks (just before serving)
Sliced thin red onion
Orange juice (caught from segments), olive oil, white pepper dressing.


Cooked crumbled bacon
shaves of gruyere/parmesan cheese
sliced cooked beets (can find in produce section, vacuum packed)
hard boiled eggs
posted by fontophilic at 6:33 AM on December 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

Green Beans Almondine is easy & delicious.
posted by belladonna at 7:07 AM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Skillet dessert: sautee some sliced apples in butter, cinnamon, and cloves. Brown them a little. Bring them warm (or reheat there, or cook the whole thing there) and spoon over ice cream which you also bring.
posted by Miko at 7:37 AM on December 23, 2013

Truffles have become my go to recipe for potluck type things. All you really need is a pot, a spoon, a biggish cereal bowl or a small mixing bowl to mix everything in and something to lay them out on. Easy peasy!
posted by peppermind at 8:36 AM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Bring cheese! Stilton is traditional at this time of year, though it doesn't really go with the pinot noir and the salmon. Either way, definitely something rich and interesting. I'd be inclined to bring the best aged gouda I could afford.
posted by Sara C. at 9:45 AM on December 23, 2013

Steve's Key Lime Pie is outrageously good. They were flooded out by Superstorm Sandy but may be close to beginning mail order shipments.

Stichelton is everything Stilton should be and then some. Pair it with marscapone for pure ambrosia. If you can't find Stichelton, get Neal's Yard Coulston Basset Stilton, which is 99% as good and more widely available. The perfect wine is Port or a BA, TBA or Eiswein. Insanely expensive, but a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

For a much less expensive solution, go to an Indian or middle eastern restaurant that does catering (almost all of them) and get a big tub of firni or rice pudding with rosewater.
posted by KRS at 8:36 AM on December 24, 2013

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