Potluck Procedure (published in Chile Pepper Magazine)

No summer barbecue is complete without a smorgasbord of sides and no party is as easy to plan as a potluck. Whether it’s a family affair or a work picnic you need those delicious side additions to flesh out an otherwise meaty meal.  Below is a collection of some of my family classics revamped and peppered for your fiery pleasure and sure to set your dish apart amidst the crowd. This ain’t your Grandma’s ambrosia and these aren’t any normal green beans.

I truly believe in the great tradition of potluck and a good summer barbecue speaks right to that tradition. And as always the goal is to relieve your host of the burden of providing the meal in entirety while at the same time getting into the competitive spirit of having your dish be the favorite.  So get ready for a full day of consumptive pleasure and keep in mind these subtle tricks to win at the game of potluck:

  1. Placement: make sure your dish is prominently displayed (next to alcohol or the grill is best)
  2. Availability: be ready to pass that dish around if people are being shy.  Turn up the smile and serve it yourself.  This game takes no prisoners
  3. Know your opponent: get dibs with your host on popular items leaving others to provide the green salad and rolls.  Know your market and cook what they like (the spicy stuff!)
  4. Strategy: if the opponent’s tongs go missing or their salad spoon ends up in the pool who’s to blame? Why not you of course…it all goes to planning and the best equipped will be the victors
  5. Plan B: if all else if failing. Consume it yourself. Just remember this is a sport and the cleanest bowl wins.
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