2003-10-30 / Arts & Entertainment

Potluck Fun For Everyone!

Potluck Fun For Everyone!

Potluck Fun For Everyone!

BBQ SaladBBQ Salad

Back-to-school season means back- to-soccer, back-to-violin lessons and back-to-play practice for the family.

After a summer full of day camp and swimming pools, it’s time to get back to all those fall activities … and ac-quainted and reacquainted with friends — new and old.

The perfect solution for catching up with friends and getting to know the new ones is a potluck! Because invited guests bring a dish to share, no one person is burdened with the cost or stress of feeding a small army.

Proper planning is essential to a successful potluck. By following these tips, you won’t need luck to ensure a fun gathering:


Frijole DipFrijole Dip

BBQ Salad

1/2 cup Hidden Valley BBQ Ranch Dressing

2 cups cubed cooked chicken

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed


Cream Cheese MoldCream Cheese Mold

1 can (11 ounces) corn, drained

1 cup diced tomato

1/4 cup diced red onion

Chopped lettuce*

Garnish: diced red bell pepper

In medium bowl, gently combine all ingredients except lettuce and pepper. Serve chilled over chopped lettuce and garnish with diced red bell pepper. Makes 4–6 servings.

*Pasta Variation: Eliminate lettuce. Gently toss 3 cups cooked rotelle or wagon wheel pasta with other salad ingredients.

Frijole Dip

1/2 cup Hidden Valley BBQ Ranch Dressing

1/2 cup shredded Jack cheese

1 can (15 ounces) refried beans

In saucepan, heat and stir together dressing, cheese and beans (or in a microwave-safe dish cook on 100% power 3 minutes, stirring once). Serve as dip for chips or spread on flour tortillas. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Cream Cheese Mold

1 cup Hidden Valley BBQ Ranch Dressing

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

In medium bowl, gently combine Hid-den Valley BBQ Ranch Dressing and cream cheese, mixing well. Pack mixture into a 2-cup bowl lined with plastic wrap. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. To serve, invert bowl on plate; remove plastic wrap. Serve chill-ed with crackers or vegetables. Makes 6 servings.

Tostadas

1 can (15 ounces) refried beans

1 cup shredded Jack cheese

8 tostada shells, warmed

2 cups shredded chicken

1 cup Hidden Valley BBQ Ranch Dressing

1 cup diced tomatoes, divided

In saucepan, heat and stir together beans and cheese (or in a microwave safe dish on 100% power 3 minutes, stirring once). Spread bean and cheese mixture evenly over each tostada shell. Combine chicken, dressing and 1/2 cup tomatoes; distribute evenly over tos-tadas. Garnish with remaining 1/2 cup tomatoes. Makes 8 servings.

Get Organized! Avoid getting three tossed salads and no main courses by assigning dishes or creating a sign-up list.

Too Many Cooks. Because not everyone is a gourmet chef (or wants to be), encourage non-cooks to contribute beverages, utensils or other nonfood items.

Leave a Mark. For larger gatherings, ask guests to write their names on serving platters and cookware to ensure they’re returned. Also, ask people to clearly list dishes’ ingredients to warn kids (and adults) with food allergies.

Perfect Layout. Set up the buffet in logical order — plates at one end for guests to load up and utensils wrapped in a napkin at the other. Avoid buffet gridlock by serving beverages in an-other area. And if a dish requires both hands, leave space in front of the serving bowl for guests to set down their plates to serve themselves more easily.

On the Side. Don’t forget the salt and pepper! Condiments and salad dressings are also a good idea. Add some variety with Hidden Valley Ranch dress-ing’s newest flavor, BBQ Ranch. It combines the great taste of ranch dressing with just a touch of BBQ sauce and is a great complement to a variety of foods.

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