Saturday, May 31, 2008

Audience Participation Time

I received an invitation in the mail today to attend a lunch at the French equivalent of the State Department -- le ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes. While I'm usually not much of a socializer, my m.o. here has been to accept pretty much any invitation that comes my way because you never know what the experience will turn out to be. There's just one catch. I have to bring a typical dish from my country and it cannot be a dessert. I don't mind cooking; it's just that I'm a bit stumped about what to make. When I was at the American Library this afternoon, I picked up the latest issue of Gourmet for inspiration, only to find recipes for shrimp tikka with mango chutney, grilled kielbasa with warm potato salad, and carmelized onion and gorgonzola pizza. Now there's American food for you.

So please, if you dare, weigh in with a suggestion. I'm looking for a dish that:

a) can be made with ingredients that can be found in Paris (I have my sources for some of the things that aren't typically on the shelves here but there are limits);
b) can be prepared in advance and served at room temperature; and
c) is tasty and won't be an embarrassing addition to the buffet.

P.S. This marks my 100th post!

Update: I made cornbread. Don't know how it went over. There were so many people that there were three large salons, each with its own buffet and my dish ended up in one of the other rooms.

8 comments:

Gretchen said...

I vote for macaroni-and cheese, almost any variety, although I found a great recipe on another blog that was a hit at a recent party. Mac-and-cheese is American, despite the pasta (and I forego American cheese), won't go bad, and can be made from simple things easily found in Paris.

rlaser said...

http://foodgoodness.blogspot.com/2007/03/saffron-bean-salad.html
If you go to the link above, it is an AWESOME dish, always a crowd pleaser, and a beautiful color too! So long as they sell saffron rice, you're golden. Hope this help!

Rachel

rlaser said...

oops- its supposed to say "html" at the end!

Rachel

Anne said...

Black beans were a staple for us back home but alas, in Paris, they are not to be found! I don't know about the saffron rice. It does sound yummy, though.

dan said...

Fried chicken

Amy said...

How about pineapple upside-down cake? Or coleslaw. (We just had our first day of summer weather here in Minnesota, so outdoor food is on my mind)
Amy

Bill and Nancy on Eclaircie said...

Congratulations on your 100th post.

A summer potluck brings to mind potato salad, macaroni salad or 3 bean salad. All easy to do ahead, even in France.

Although it is hard to beat macaroni and cheese or fried chicken for being typically American.

Bon Appétit

it's el said...

I love this recipe from the Moosewood (v. American ;-) cookbook:

White Rabbit Salad
- 3 cups cottage cheese
- 2 apples, chopped
or, 2 pears, or a combination of both
- 1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
- 2 tsp poppyseeds
- 1-2 Tbs honey
- juice of 1/2 lemon

If you've never tried it, it can seem a little strange, but it's really very good. I had a smiliar situation and my friend recommended it. Good luck!

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