It’s the new year, and your friend invites you to an obligatory start-of-the-year potluck. You’re excited to see everyone, but the everlasting question hangs in the air: What do I bring? To avoid the sad chips and soda, try bringing a dish you make at home. Check out the appetizer, entree, dessert and drink recipes below to help you ease into your first potluck of 2022.
Appetizer: Korean corn cheese
Start off your potluck game with a banging combination: sweet corn and cheese. Since corn isn’t in season in winter, this is a good way to use up those cans of corn sitting around in your cupboard.
- Mix corn, Japanese mayonnaise, mozzarella, salt and pepper together in an oven-proof skillet or dish.
- Throw cheese on top, and stick the dish in the oven until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
If you want to take it up a notch, check out Chef Jae Lee’s take on the humble Korean corn cheese.
Entree: Cast-iron pizza
Yes, pizza is indeed on this list. As King Arthur’s Recipe of the Year, this recipe is a crowd-pleaser. A no-knead dough made with only flour, salt, yeast, water and olive oil, the recipe is flexible enough to be incorporated into any busy schedule.
- Make the dough the day before, and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
- Top the pie with store-bought or homemade tomato sauce, cheese and other toppings of your choice.
- Bake the pizza a couple of hours before your potluck.
The final step is to bask in the fact that you just made pizza from scratch.
Dessert: Brown butter mochi squares
This Hawaiian treat predates the rise of mochi-based foods such as mochi donuts and muffins. Butter and coconut milk are the main flavors here, but a recipe from Cook Til Delicious uses brown butter instead of regular to bring this Hawaiian treat to a whole new level. Glutinous rice flour provides that signature mochi texture that people have been obsessed with lately. If you can’t find the ingredient in your local store, it’s also available online through sites such as Amazon. The whisk-everything-together batter can be made in no time.
- Brown the butter by melting it in a pan, continuously stirring until the butter is golden brown and it smells nutty and toasty. Add the coconut milk and vanilla extract.
- Combine the eggs, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter-coconut mixture from above. Whisk in the glutinous rice flour until the batter is smooth.
- Bake the batter for about an hour. Let it chill completely before cutting into squares. The longer it chills, the chewier it will be.
Drink: Fruit chung and carbonated water
If you’re more of a drinks person at a potluck, try this easy, customizable fruit chung. Essentially a fruit syrup, it uses a 1:1 ratio of fruit to sugar. This recipe from Beyond Kimchee uses lemons, but feel free to substitute with a fruit of your choice.
- Place sliced fruit and sugar into a jar, and let sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours.
- Turn upside down every now, and then to mix the sugar with the fruit.
- Pair the syrup with carbonated water to make a simple but elegant drink.
- To make it even more customizable, friends and family can adjust how much syrup they add depending on how sweet they’d like their beverage.
Whether you choose to try one or all, these recipes will help prepare you for your first potluck with confidence and ease!