Highlights from the 6th Annual SacFoodies potluck! Check back for recipes and more celebrating Sacramento’s status as “Farm to Fork Capital of America.
The SacFoodies are celebrating our 6th anniversary next week! Our theme for our annual potluck this year is “America’s Farm to Fork Capital,” so of course we’ll be toasting with a local brew. The dilemma? Too many great local beers to choose from! Help us decide which beer keg to enjoy for our special occasion by leaving a comment below and letting us know your favorite local brew. Cheers!
For our recent SacFoodies potluck, the group voted for a color category theme – yes, you guessed it, dishes selected by their dominant color, from red, orange, green, purple and brown (for good measure). I took to the web for inspiration and found the perfect recipe for a light, no-cook, orange-colored Shrimp and Mango Salad, thanks to MyRecipes.com and Sunset magazine (March 2008).
Not only is the recipe easy to prepare, it can be made a day or two in advance and can be quickly doubled to accommodate a large group. Paired with my newly-acquired, island-inspired salad servers from a recent trip to Bermuda, I served the salad atop a bed of butter lettuce to extend the portion sizes for the masses.
Next time I make this dish, I plan to serve it individually in dessert glasses for Caribbean-style Shrimp Cocktails. I can’t wait!
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or vegetable oil (Tip: I used grapeseed oil even though it’s the pricier option, because it provides a lighter, crisper taste)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 large firm-ripe mangoes (2 lbs total) (Tip: Check the pre-cut fruit section in your grocery store for mangoes and save yourself some time, or click here to learn how to slice a mango)
2 medium firm-ripe avocados (1 lb. total)
2/3 cups each thinly sliced green onion and chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon minced fresh hot red or green chilies or 1 tsp. of dry red chile flakes. (Tip: I didn’t add either in my version and I still felt this dish had a ton of flavor!)
1 pound (70 to 110 per lb) peeled, cooked shrimp. (Tip: I thawed frozen shrimp the day before, and then marinated them in a lemon, rosemary dressing the day of preparation. The marinade added a bit more zest to the recipe and probably made up for the lack of chile spice.)
In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, oil and sugar until sugar dissolves.
Dice mangoes and avocados into ¾-in. cubes; add to bowl. Add green onion, cilantro, chile and shrimp. Mix gently. Cover and chill for up to 1 hour.
If making in advance, prepare all the ingredients – except for the avocado – and store each separately. Cut the avocado when you’re ready to mix everything all together and chill the final mixture for up to 1 hour prior to serving.
Last Tip: Leftovers keep surprisingly well for about 2-3 days because the lime juice helps protect the avocados from turning brown. And, yay for leftovers!
Makes 6 servings.
The SacFoodies team hosted a Thanksgiving potluck today, and in honor of the approaching holiday, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes with you for the next week.
When I think of potlucks, the first thing that comes to mind is comfort food that can be easily prepared in advance and that will be appetizing to a variety of palates. One of my favorite go-to recipes utilizes my favorite cooking technique (aka the “set it and forget it” crock pot). It also satisfies any “meat-atarian” who is looking for an easy way to combine bacon, beef and beans into one delicious dish. Plus, the ketchup, liquid smoke and brown sugar makes a delicious BBQ flavor that can’t be beat!
One Pot Dinner
1/2 – 1 lb. ground beef
3/4 lb. bacon, cut into small pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 medium size can of pork and beans
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can lima beans, drained
1 cup ketchup
1/4 tablespoon liquid smoke
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoon white vinegar (I use what I have)
1 teaspoon salt, dash pepper
Brown beef in skillet.
Add beef and remaining ingredients to crock pot.
Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
A couple SacFoodie tips: 1. Make this dish in advance and refrigerate it the night before to enhance the flavor. 2. Microwave the bacon just a little to remove some of the grease before adding it to the crock pot.