Variations on a Theme

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Category : November, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Variations on a Theme MenuHoliday get-togethers usually center around a meal, and potlucks are an easy way to spread out the work as well as enjoy new recipes. I’m always looking for ideas to fix a traditional dish in a new way for my potluck contributions. My goal is to satisfy those who aren’t comfortable venturing too far afield (gastronomically speaking) and also to stimulate those explorers who enjoy trying something different. A potluck dish also has to be easy to pack and carry, and preferably doesn’t require re-heating or fussing with before serving.

Celeriac is currently in season, and I thought it might make an interesting flavor twist if used as a non-traditional ingredient in a traditional dish. Lots of options came to mind, but I decided to try it in a slaw salad–definitely no reheating necessary!

A friend also gave me some cilantro root (also called coriander root) recently. I’ve never cooked with it before, and frankly was rather daunted by its woody texture. I was determined to give it a try, and the pleasant result was this week’s mashed potatoes recipe variation. Potatoes hold heat well, so also make easy potluck contributions.

Together these two dishes made nice sides for a winter meal, but I still needed a main course. I had some fresh chanterelles from Cascadia Mushrooms, so decided to make a mushroom cheese sauce for a bunless grilled burger. The combination turned out to be fabulous! We had it for dinner one night and reheated the leftovers for lunch the next day.

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