The Disorganized Potluck

by | Apr 16, 2011 | Entertaining, Side Dishes, Vegetable Recipes

The green bean and shrimp salad served at the disorganized potluck

A few weeks ago we had a potluck and wine tasting at the family party barn. I decided it was going to be a disorganized (–adjective 1. functioning without adequate order, systemization, or planning; uncoordinated 2. careless or undisciplined; sloppy) potluck with no coordination whatsoever. If anyone asked what they should bring, I told them to bring whatever was easiest for them or one of their favorite dishes. I really dislike it when I’m invited to a potluck and the host wants to know weeks or days in advance, exactly what it is I’m going to be bringing. I usually don’t plan in advance and don’t decide until the last minute, so needing to provide an answer weeks or days in advance can be daunting for me. As I expected, it turned out fine with plenty of very good food and quite a variety of it.

The only area that was maybe a little short was the dessert area. The dessert table at the party barn is usually overflowing, but this time there was probably just the right amount. There were brownies, a s’more pie, and Norwegian cookies.

The entree that was gone before eveyone made it through the line were the chicken and beef enchiladas made by Mary Chapeta. Lesson learned, put the enchiladas near the end of the line, not the very front of the line. Another Mexican themed entree that had people asking for the recipe was Teri Tith’s chili relleno casserole.

Our friend Kim Bonde brought a baked potato bar along with a table to set it up on.

Kim Bonde’s baked potato bar

Another one of my favorite dishes at the potluck was a green bean and shrimp salad that was brought by Lani Hernandez. I just love green beans. I love them hot and I love them cold. I could go into a lengthy commentary right now telling you about all of the different ways one can prepare green beans just like Bubba did in the movie Forrest Gump when Bubba told Forrest about all of the ways one can prepare shrimp. But, I’m going to spare you this time.

Lani provided me with the recipe for the green bean and shrimp salad–she either got it from or, she can’t remember which as the recipe is posted in both places. I’m posting it here for you. Lani said this salad is great served warm or cold. With summer approaching I’m sure I will be making this for a few events in the next few months.

Green Bean & Shrimp Salad

– Serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Snipped chives for garnish (optional)


1. Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Gradually drizzle in 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, whisking continuously until dressing is emulsified. Add chives; set aside.

2. Green beans and shrimp: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add beans and simmer for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and place in a large bowl. Toss with dressing; set aside.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shrimp. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes per side or until cooked through.

4. To serve, toss tomatoes with the beans. Place on a serving platter. Scatter shrimp and feta over the top. Garnish with snipped chives, if desired.