Potluck smackdown

My office had a post-election celebration potluck today (yeah, I know, we’re a little delayed). We all volunteered to make things, and I decided to go with a festive Roasted Butternut Squash and spinach salad. Lo and behold, when I got to the office, SOMEONE ELSE HAD MADE A SALAD.

Cue pissy conversation with gansie

me: yes
work potluck today
gansie: whatd you make!
me: and i roasted squash for a roasted squash and spinach salad
and some ASSHOLE brought a regular old crappy salad!
i’m so pissed!
i roasted the squash in sweet white wine, with apple cider vinegar, ancho chili powder, cloves, and ginger
and am mixing with pears, peppers, and dried cranberries
AND brought the wine and vinegar to make my own salad dressing
my salad does not belong on the same table as that crappy lettuce and cucumber shit!
gansie: damn girl
that sounds awesome
i’m sure he’s embarrassed
me: dude
whoever it was had better be
also, my boss, who is cuban, makes killer black beans and rice
and we basically decided to have a potluck so he would have to make them
gansie: wait…theres a contest
me: no
gansie: aahh
me: there’s no contest
gansie: !
me: but i just like to have the best food
sort of like i like to be the best dressed when i go somewhere
although that never happens now because i am wearing sweatpants/sweatshirts until about april
As it turns out, the salad was a recipe from my co-worker’s grandmother. And it wasn’t some crappy lettuce and cucumber shit- Tuna, tofu, sprouts, tomato, cucumbers , soy sauce and a ginger soy dressing. Pretty good actually.
Aside from the aforementioned salads and black beans and rice, we also had pumpkin soup, hoecakes, ham and biscuits, chips and salsa, pani puri, tomatoes and mozz, and mac and cheese. I’ summed up my salad in the convo above, but just in case you’d like to recreate, I peeled, and diced one butternut squash, and roasted with about a quarter cup of Moscato, pepper, ancho chili powder, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. After it cooled, I combined with a bag of baby spinach, half a pear, some sweet bell peppers and dried cranberries. The dressing was a little more moscato and vinegar, plus some olive oil, slat and pepper and a bit of mustard. Done.
Pics of the other dishes below.
Tofu and Tuna Salad
The tofu and tuna salad. Not bad. Minus the tofu. And the tomatoes. So basically, i ate sprouts and cucumbers. Still tasty!
Pani Puri
Pani Puri- On the left are moong beans. In the center are little puff things made out of flour and water and deep fried. They’re hollow, so you crack a small hole in them, fill them with the beans, and add the puri, the green sauce to the left. It’s made of tamarind, mint, dates and cilantro. Delicious!
potluck 1
Biscuits (the coworker who made them said she made them herself. They are clearly from a GRANDS can. Liar!), tomatoes and mozz/ iceberg wedges from Whole Foods, my salad, pumpkin soup in the background.
my plate
My plate- salads, hoecakes, mac and cheese, black beans and rice, etc, etc. Not shown- the red wine one of my coworkers had the prescience to bring, and that I am currently consuming at my desk. Happy Thursday to me!
I assembled my salad pretty much in the office, so I want to say a word about my office kitchen, and my traveling cook kit.
That is my office kitchen. it is a barren expanse, consisting of a coffeemaker, an espresso machine, a toaster oven, fridge, and microwave. Yet I managed to create a small miracle there today. How?
traveling cook kit
With my traveling cook kit! Whenever I’m going over to one of my less gastronomically inclined friend’s houses, I always find a woefully inadequte set of kitchenware- if it weren’t for me, VT would not have a can opener or wooden spoons. And so I have created my traveling cook kit: a knife, preferably one with a cover (this one was part of a three piece set from Costco I got for Christmas), a flexible plastic cutting board (wax or parchment paper works as well), a parrot head waiter’s corkscrew (never underestimate the hinge), a whisk (I know, I know, you could use a fork, but I can’t live without a whisk) and a pyrex measuring cup (microwaveable, dishwasher safe, etc, etc). The only other thing I’d add would be a silicone spatula , or perhaps a wooden spoon.
I love this because it doesn’t take up too much space, but you can pretty much handle any situation you’d encounter with your foodie-disinclined friends (they are out there). In fact, you can boil it down even more to the knife, the corkscrew (I usually keep one in my bag/purse, because I am an alcoholic, and you never know when you might need one) and the measuring cup.

One response to “Potluck smackdown

  1. i love the idea of an emergency chef kit. i’d swap for a spatula instead of a measuring up. i mean, seriously – who measures unless you’re baking a freaking pie.

    and my office kitchen sucks too, we dont even have a toaster oven.

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