post off: what do you cook for a crowd?

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We must admit that we are not HUGE sports fans here at Shelterrific, but any excuse to make silly cakes and big pots of chili sounds like a good idea to us. With the Super Bowl scheduled this weekend, we’ve been seeing lots of recipes for chicken wings, casseroles and dips to inspire us. Holly D. has a yummy tamale pie in the works (you’ll see the recipe next week) for her hungry crowd, and below you’ll see a few links to RLTK’s recipes that may help you if you’re stumped. But we’d like to know how you tackle (forgive the pun!) a group of distracted diners in need of easy-to-serve food — whether you’re panning a gathering for Super Bowl or Super Tuesday! Let us know: What’s your crowd-pleasing, no fail dish?

Real Life Test Kitchens good for a crowd:

Sloppy Joes, so easy!
Chicken Chilaquiles (shown above, one of our all time favorites!)
Quick Jambalaya, Martha Stewart’s twist on a classic

From our partners

For put luck style get-togethers, Hashbrown Casserole has always been well received. Cheese and potatoes, can’t go wrong! I make two 9×13 pans and always go home with empty, clean pans.

Ingredients
1 30 oz. bag of hashbrowns, thawed and drained
2 10.75 oz. cans condensed cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded 4 cheese blend
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tbsp. minced onion
black pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
Spray 9″x13″ casserole dish with cooking spray.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, then spread into casserole dish.
Bake uncovered for one hour, or until cooked through and top begins to turn golden brown.

Haystack Dip, more commonly known as Seven Layer Dip, is also a big hit. More filling and tasty than a bag of chip and plain ole’ can of bean dip.

Cassie

Ours is Bacon Wrapped Waterchestnuts. Everytime we make it for a party and no matter how much of it we make, it’s gone within 30 minutes. Here’s a link how to make them (we sometimes change it up a little and add chicken or pinapple to them)

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Bacon-Water-Chestnut-Wraps/Detail.aspx

S. Howk

Artichoke Dip is my no fail party dish. Made with or without spinich or crab (when fresh) it always goes quickly, and while best on crusty artisian bread, it also works well with crackers or tortilla chips. Here is one recipe I use – but I often add extra cheese and garlic; and use frozen artichokes from Trader Joe’s.
1 can artichoke hearts (packed in water), drained (or use the frozen kind)
Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 package chopped spinach (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Chop artichoke hearts in food processor by pulsing several time – you want the artichokes to chunky. Place artichokes in bowl; mix in 2 or 3 dollops of mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, cheese, and spinach (if using). Add more mayonnaise if you want a creamier dip. Turn into a small casserole dish. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until dip is bubbly, and golden-brown around the edges. Serve hot – re-heats well in a 200°F oven for about 15 minutes.

Reminds me of my parents dinner parties when women wore hostess dresses!! It is still as good as ever and may incent some to break out a maxi-skirt.

Chicken Marbella
This was the first main-course dish to be offered at The Silver Palate shop, and the distinctive colors and flavors of the prunes, olives, and capers have kept it a favorite for years. It’s good hot or at room temperature. When prepared with small drumsticks and wings, it makes a delicious appetizer.

The overnight marination is essential to the moistness of the finished product: The chicken keeps and even improves over several days of refrigeration; it
travels well and makes excellent picnic fare.

1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup pitted prunes
1⁄2 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1⁄2 cup capers with a bit of juice
6 bay leaves
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely puréed
1⁄4 cup dried oregano
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 chickens (2 1⁄2 pounds each), quartered
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup dry white wine
1⁄4 cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley or fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers and juice, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

3. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon the marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with the brown sugar and pour the white wine around them.

4. Bake, basting frequently with the pan juices, until the thigh pieces yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice when pricked with a fork, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

5. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of the pan juices and sprinkle generously with the parsley or cilantro. Pass the remaining pan juices in a sauceboat.

16 pieces, 10 or more portions

Note: To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in the cooking juices before transferring the pieces to a serving platter. If the chicken has been covered and refrigerated, reheat it in the juices, then allow it to come to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juice over the chicken

Artichoke Dip is my no fail party dish. Made with or without spinich or crab (when fresh) it always goes quickly, and while best on crusty artisian bread, it also works well with crackers or tortilla chips. Here is one recipe I use – but I often add extra cheese and garlic; and use frozen artichokes from Trader Joe’s.
1 can artichoke hearts (packed in water), drained (or use the frozen kind)
Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 package chopped spinach (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Chop artichoke hearts in food processor by pulsing several time – you want the artichokes to chunky. Place artichokes in bowl; mix in 2 or 3 dollops of mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, cheese, and spinach (if using). Add more mayonnaise if you want a creamier dip. Turn into a small casserole dish. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until dip is bubbly, and golden-brown around the edges. Serve hot – re-heats well in a 200°F oven for about 15 minutes.