Summer Potluck Recipes = Everybody cooks!

Alicia in charge
Cajun Salmon toasts

One hundred degree weather is unusual in Minnesota.  It has happened in the past, but not in my experience.  Humid and baking sun, hmmm, Let’s plan a potluck!  I haven’t given a dinnery kind of party since 1996.  (Rusty, rererere. I squeak at planning pretty much anything.  Wanda Wimes gave me some fantastic little books from none other than Martha Stewart with nice summer recipes.

The Menu:


Spinach Dip with Pita Chips

Open-faced Smoked Cajun Salmon Toasts

Cajun Smoked Salmon Toast


Summer Vegetable potato salad – non-mayo type

Potato Salad Grilled Corn
Feta Cheese Tomato Fresh Basil

Chicken Summer Salad from Wanda’s mother Cindy – non-mayo type

Poached Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad with Fresh Tarragon

Green Salad with lovely beets – Howie and Anna


Grilled veggies – Alan

Grilled Veggies

Grilled Pita with feta, tomato, Portobello Mushrooms – Chris and Crissy


Chakundari Chicken Tikka

Chicken Tikka

Chicken Tikka

Pan cooked (seared for Alan) Swordfish and Tuna with lemon herb butter

Swordfish and Tuna

New Orleans Beans and Rice with Greens – Richard’s recipe @

Rice and beans
will never be the same!

Just desserts:

Slutty Bars – Alicia, Louis & Jasper

Slutty Brownies

Cheesecake – Brian



Hibiscus Iced Tea & Strawberry Lemonade

Hard at work in the kitchen

Are we done yet?  Anyhow this would not have happened without Richard’s kind and generous help with the design, display and as the guiding force behind the plan!

Richard making it look easy!


A BIG HIT with the meat-a-tarians: The Chakundari Chicken Tikka was a last addition to the menu.  Sayed, the anthropologist originally from Bangladesh explained that tikka refers to a small piece of meat and Chakundari refers to a region in India. The recipe is a marinade to make 24 hours ahead to have really great flavor.  It was easy and well worth it.  I baked it in the oven at 350 for an hour and half.  The recipe below calls for grilling. With so much chicken to cook, Sayed recommended the oven – too bad I didn’t have a Tandoori oven.

Richard told me to keep switching the two batches back and forth on the upper and lower shelves so they would cook evenly. We did that faithfully.

Pot – Lucky

The recipe serves 4-6.  I more than doubled it for the crowd.

Chakundari Chicken Tikka (Beet-Marinated Chicken)


1 hour 30 minutes


2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons finely minced garlic

2 teaspoons finely minced ginger

2 teaspoons coarse salt

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

1 large beet, cooked, peeled, cooled and roughly chopped

1/3 cup whole milk yogurt

3 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves

2 teaspoons garam masala

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons melted butter

Lemon wedges.



For the first marinade, combine the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon each of the garlic and ginger and salt in a large bowl. Rub the mixture into the chicken thighs, and marinate for at least 20 minutes at room temperature — or longer in the refrigerator, covered.


Put the beets and yogurt in a food processor and purée until smooth. Add the remaining salt, garlic, ginger, dried fenugreek leaves, garam masala, cumin and canola oil and pulse to combine.


Coat the chicken with the puréed beet mixture and marinate, refrigerated and covered, for a least 1 hour (or up to 8).


If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water first. Heat a charcoal or gas grill or a broiler to medium-high, and put the rack at least 4 inches from the heat source. Skewer the chicken, drizzle with melted butter and set on the grill or broiling pan. Cook, rotating carefully to cook and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Garnish with lemon wedges.


Makes: 4-6 servings.

Originally published with Chakundari Chicken Tikka (Beet-Marinated Chicken)

By MARK BITTMAN, July 1, 2012 Retrieved July 19, 2012.  From the NY Times Magazine online.

Eight-month old Jasper loved the Hibiscus Iced Tea! From Everyday Food Issue 93; page 49; from Martha Stewart Classic Iced Tea


Crimson Blossom Herbal Green Tea from Trader Joe’s (Light and refreshing)

“In a large pot, combine 6 bags of ice tea. 8 wide strips each of lemon and orange zest and 8 cups of boiling water. Let steep for about 8 minutes. Remove tea bags and let cool to room temperature about two hours. Serve over ice with lemon and orange slices if desired. Makes about 8 cups.”

Notes:  USE a Big pot of water with a lid to make it boil quickly!  Without the lid on top, here’s what happened. (Really?) I measured a gallon of water but it boiled off! I wound up with a quarter of a gallon. (Hope you are better at math than I am.)

For a one-gallon picnic jug I used 15 bags of tea and only lemon rind.  When the tea had steeped, I poured it into a very large bowl to cool for two hours. About an hour and a half before serving, I poured it into the picnic jug and put it in the freezer to cool even further.

Slutty Brownies recipe! Omybadness! These were good. Retrieved from

July 19,

Have a fun summer potluck!

About kunstkitchen

Visual artist and writer hunting words, languages, visions, and insight in my kitchen - connecting Art (Kunst) and culture and slow food cooking. Classically trained artist. Paint and draw with traditional materials. Live in the Northland where it's six months of winter. Appreciate the little things in life. Sharing food and art experiences and the lessons that my talented and generous friends have given me.
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