Potluck Recipe Dilemma
Recently, I was asked to bring something to a potluck lunch. This request is always a problem for me. The truth is that I don’t have a ready supply of perfect-for-potluck recipes. Or perhaps the truth is that I have too many. So many cookbooks, so many possibilities. Cold cuts and a savoury antipasto mix are a great combo; there’s the ubiquitous pasta salad, of course. I always like to provide something that’s a little different, yet as popular and appetizing as the usual fare.
In the old days, potlucks were an opportunity for everyone to showcase their favourite dish. No thoughts were ever given to food preferences or allergies. Everyone was used to eating the same kinds of foods. If someone couldn’t partake, well, that was their problem.
It’s nice to know that attitudes towards allergies and sensitivities have changed significantly in the last decade. Most people are conscious of food limitations. That allows for a wonderful sense of inclusiveness, but it does pose some problems. What does one bring to a potluck nowadays, especially when you don’t know what allergies you might encounter?
The lunch I was attending would feed adults and kids. Combine the challenge of allergies with the challenge of kids and you can begin to understand my dilemma. Adults can be picky; kids can be pickier. As I flipped through pages of cookbooks hoping for inspiration, this idea hit me: why not make pigs in a blanket.
How inappropriate is that?! Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Hot dogs are notoriously stuffed full of potential allergens — wheat and milk fillers, preservatives, artificial colours, carcinogens …. Well, here’s what I came up with. It takes some effort, but it is possible to find hot dogs that are free of all of the above offenders. Then, skip the butter and wheat laden puff pastry dough that normally encases the “pigs”. Opt instead for gluten-free, dairy-free pizza dough. You can make it yourself, but I found a fantastic ready-made product from Voilà Gluten-Free Bakeree in Oakville. I’ve come across other brands as well that are equally good. From this point, making this surefire crowd pleaser is super easy.
Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness; cut it into strips (size the the strips according to the size of the hot dogs). Roll the hot dogs in the strips of dough. Place them on an ungreased baking sheet. Cook in a 350°F oven for about 11 minutes. Pull them out, brush with olive oil. Bake for another 10 minutes. Pigs in a blanket are delicious warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!