Nine Ways To Switch Up Your ‘Friendsgiving’ Dinner

Okay, sure – Thanksgiving dinner seems just fine the way it is. But haven’t you ever thought to yourself, Candied yams??? Again???

And especially for those doing “Friendsgiving,” it’s your chance to break free of the chains of tradition, those that have kept you for years from complaining about dry, boring stuffing and banal green beans. So we tapped into the epicurean acumen of Gourmet Garage founders Andy Arons and Adam Hartman (whose products have been jazzing up Thanksgiving tables since they opened their first store in Soho back in 1992 – and who have recently opened a splashy new outpost in Tribeca) for a few flavorful new twists on the annual feast.

 

Gourmet Garage Thanksgiving image 3

 

Something Different To Do With The Turkey

Every year we try to offer an alternative to a traditional turkey dinner through our catering kitchen. This year we’ve had a lot of interest in Asian cuisine, so we’re offering an Asian Spiced Turkey fully cooked and ready to heat. To cook at home from scratch, there’s a great recipe from Epicurious that is similar to ours.

 

An Alternative To Traditional Stuffing

Our Chef, Georges Masraff, makes a wonderful gluten free stuffing. We get so many requests for gluten free products these days, we thought it would be a good idea to offer a stuffing for the holidays that would fit into that type of diet. Food Network also has a great recipe for it.

 

Something To Serve Your Vegetarian Guests

There’s the obvious vegetarian lasagna and tofurky. But a favorite from our catering menu is vegan quinoa loaf with a spiced carrot ginger sauce.

 

Something To Drink For Those Who Don’t Do Alcohol

PlanTea is brand new and delicious. And a new local product called Cham is incredibly good, brewed with imported Greek chamomile leaves. If your guests do drink alcohol but don’t want the hangover, we highly recommend the new Spiked Seltzer drinks.

 

An Interesting New Salad Suggestion

We’ve done amazing things with Satur Farms salads, which customers have loved. You can choose your own salad components and create your own mix, then pair with a simple homemade vinaigrette. We like a blend of the hearty and flavorful leaves like frisee, arugula and tatsoi, an Asian green. Satur Farms is on the North Fork of Long Island and owned by our good friends Paulette Satur and her husband Eberhard Mueller, who was the Exec Chef at Le Bernardin and then owned Lutece. They are all about the flavor and freshness, our favorite local farmers.

 

A Good Alternative Side Dish To Mashed Or Sweet Potatoes

People love the traditional, but we like to add a side of root vegetables for a little variety and color. Parsnips blended with golden beets and Jerusalem artichokes has been a very popular choice.

 

A New Way To Prepare The Cranberries

Last year’s big hit was a spiced cranberry-clementine relish. Add serrano peppers and their seeds, and whip it up in a food processor.

 

A New Take On Dessert 

It’s fun to take the traditional and give it your own spin. We’ve tried pumpkin pie with fresh ginger blended in; or cranberry-agave shortbread.

 

Spice Up Traditional Dishes

We find that by challenging our imaginations and adding one or two new ingredients to the traditional menu, it gives an exciting twist to the meal. Try adding maple glazed bacon crumbles to the yams, or edamame to a traditional succotash recipe. It’s a great way to modernize traditional favorites and keep everyone happy.

 

Gourmet Garage Thanksgiving image

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