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Fig Goat Cheese Savorie
From appetizers to dessert to cocktails, the best menu items to serve at your first Thanksgiving dinner as newlyweds.
"I like to serve a seated first course to keep my family hush while things finish baking in the kitchen. This year I'm serving a Fig Goat Cheese Savorie—a great fall cheese plate all wrapped up into one crunchy, creamy individual course."
—Carla Ruben, Owner & Creative Director, Creative Edge Parties
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Roasted Pumpkin Soup
"I like to serve this dish because it's sort of whimsical or a little unexpected with the Mexican chocolate. Plus, it's fun to start with pumpkin and end with pumpkin—soup to pie. As an added bonus, it creates a learning moment. At our Thanksgiving table there is no shortage of young folks. For them to understand that there's more you can do with pumpkin than pie is great. Pumpkin (and all winter squashes) are so versatile."
—Daniel Capra, Executive Chef, Paula LeDuc Fine Catering
Image by John Lee Photography
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"Put a seasonal twist on standard cocktails it can be as simple as adding a garnish or as complex as this Pear Sour made with fresh pear juice. Festive cocktails are the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dinner."
—Jami Pennings, Catering Sales Manager, Wolfgang Puck Catering
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Honeynut Squash Soup
"Since Thanksgiving is usually a feast with many delicious components on one plate, I like to start out with an elegant, composed, plated course. My favorite is a honeynut squash soup with crispy guanciale and sage, served individually in hallowed out honeynut squashes."
—Lisa Karvellas, Co-Owner & Executive Chef, Cedar Lakes Estate
Image by Mikkel Paige Photography
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Take Your Turkey to the Next Level
"Think about elevating your turkey with a decadent and elegant twist. A recipe that we've developed over the years includes taking the breasts off the bone and basting them with butter and herbs. We then take the thighs and pound them thin, and fill them with a stuffing made with country bread, chestnuts, Esposito's Italian Sausage Meat, mushrooms, and foie gras. We roll that up, and seal it in plastic wrap, then gently poach in a water bath until perfectly cooked. We allow that to rest overnight, and slice it the next day to create an amazingly rich, and delicious thigh Roulade that retains all the juices and flavors of the dark meat."
—John Johnson, Chef, Four Seasons Hotel New York
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Stuffing in a Winter Squash
"This is a unique way to present a vegetable heavy, albeit all-inclusive Thanksgiving meal in one dish. Cornbread sourdough stuffing, roasted root vegetables, chestnut, braised and roasted turkey, cranberries, turkey gravy and herbs all baked in a winter squash."
—John Karangis, Executive Chef, Union Square Events
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Load Up on the Sides
"While a lot of times the turkey is the main event, having a plethora of side dishes is the perfect way to embrace the holiday and keep guests around the table. A few of my favorite include Yukon gold country mashers with rich herbed gravy, house sausage stuffing, buttermilk biscuits with honey butter, oven caramelized Cipollini onions and carrots & haricot vert."
—Lisa Dupar, Owner & Chef, Lisa Dupar Catering
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Deconstructed Pumpkin Pie
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Cranberry Poached Pears
"Put a creative spin on traditional cranberries and surprise your guests with cranberry poached pears. Simmer Seckel pears in cranberry juice with orange and lemon zest, add fresh cranberries to the pot and let it simmer. These can be served in lieu of cranberry sauce or jelly or they can be warmed up and served with ice cream and streusel as a festive dessert."
—Randal Jacobs, Head Chef, Blue Plate Catering
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Iconic Apple Pie