I only heard of Friendsgiving when I was invited to one. Apparently some people host these events instead of a traditional Thanksgiving because so many people live far away from their loved ones, but it’s also a popular way for people to have another Thanksgiving, this one spent with their friends, because you’ve already committed to a family Thanksgiving.
You can have it right after Thanksgiving or a few weeks later, and a lot of Canadians who host Friendsgiving seem to do it on the same day as American Thanksgiving. That way you don’t feel so left out when you’re watching all of the commercials on cable TV.
For a lot of us, friends really do become family. It’s nice to have a way to celebrate that. The other great part of Friendsgiving is you can make anything you want for the meal. You can stick to a traditional turkey with all the trimmings or branch out a bit and add some variation. If you’ve never hosted one, this is a great year to try. Invite everyone over for a pot luck, eat, drink, and then crash out and watch Elf to kick off the holiday season the right way.
There are so many different recipes I’ve wanted to try but haven’t, just because they don’t fit into the traditional ‘Thanksgiving’ mold, and I’m sure you do too. Friendsgiving is the perfect time to experiment a bit in the kitchen, and you can ask your friends to bring a dish they’ve always wanted to try too.
Here are a few quirky fall recipes I’m going to try for my Friendsgiving this year.
Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas
Maybe you don’t want to make a big turkey for Friendsgiving, but you’re still sort of craving it. There are a lot of recipes that use turkey that you normally wouldn’t try, and these Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas are the perfect main course for a Friendsgiving. They’re easy to make, and a great way to use any frozen left over turkey you had from your own Thanksgiving. Photo and recipe from Simplyrecipes.com.
7 Tbsp chili powder (note that chili powders vary in strength, you may want to start with less and add more to taste)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt (less if using salted stock)
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups of turkey or chicken stock
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 jalapeño chili peppers (1 for mild, 2 or more for spicy), seeded, minced
3 cups cooked turkey meat, chopped
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated (makes 2 cups grated cheese)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp lime juice (can sub lemon juice)
1 to 2 teaspoons salt or more to taste
8-16 flour tortillas, depending on size and thickness
Chopped red onion
Chopped fresh cilantro
Sour cream or crema fresca
Ice berg lettuce, sliced thin and sprinkled with salt and vinegar
Make the enchilada sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk together the chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, cinnamon, ground cloves, sugar, salt, and flour. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a cast iron pan (or other thick-bottomed sauté pan). Add the spices and cook for a minute or two, until fragrant. Slowly whisk in the stock, until smooth. Let come to a simmer, cook for a minute, then remove from heat, cover and set aside.
Prepare the filling. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and jalapeños and cook until the onions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Remove from heat. Place onion mixture in a medium mixing bowl. Mix in the cooked turkey meat, the beans, 1 cup of the grated cheese, 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, 2 Tbsp lime juice, and 1/2 a cup of the enchilada sauce. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt, or more to taste. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the pan with the enchilada sauce on medium heat. Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish (pyrex works well). Working one at a time, dip the flour tortillas in the sauce to coat them on both sides. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with a little water. Place the tortilla in the casserole dish and place anywhere from 1/4 of a cup to 1/2 cup of the filling in the middle of the tortilla. Roll up the tortilla around the filling and place it in the casserole dish. Continue to roll up the rest of your tortillas until they fill the casserole dish. Cover the enchiladas with the remaining sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Place in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the enchiladas are heated through and the cheese has melted.
Sprinkle with a little more lime juice before serving. Serve with chopped red onion, chopped avocado, fresh cilantro, sour cream or crema fresca, and thinly sliced ice berg lettuce that has been dressed with vinegar and salt (no oil).
Spicy Roasted Squash with Feta and Herbs
If you are doing a traditional turkey for your Friendsgiving, this side dish is something any foodie friend you have will appreciate. Squash is readily available in the fall, it’s often found organic, and it tastes amazing with feta cheese. Photo and recipe from howsweeteats.com.
1 large acorn squash, seeded and cut into slices
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, brown sugar and chili garlic paste.
Place the sliced squash in a baking dish and pour the mixture over top. Season with salt and pepper then toss well to coat. Roast for 20 minutes, then toss a bit and roast for 20 minutes more. Remove the squash from the oven and immediately cover with the crumbled feta and herbs. Scoop out any extra sauce from the baking dish and place it on top Serve!
Hot Toddy Pudding Cake
My German Grandma always thought a hot toddy was the cure for everything, and although it sounds a little weird, I’ve been dying to try this Hot Toddy Pudding Cake. It’s the perfect dessert for a non-traditional Friendsgiving. Photo and recipe from Houseandgarden.co.uk.
40g (1¼oz) plain flour
225l (7fl oz)whole milk
75ml (2½fl oz) fresh lemon juice
3tbsp Scotch whisky (optional)
125g (4oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1tsp grated lemon zest
6 large eggs, separated
75g (2½oz) caster sugar
Heat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4). Butter a 1.75l (56fl oz) shallow baking dish.
Sift together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the milk, lemon juice, whisky (if using), butter, honey, lemon zest and egg yolks, then stir into the flour mixture.
Beat the egg whites with an electric whisk at a medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to medium-high and add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating until the whites just hold stiff peaks.
Fold about a third of the whites into the flour mixture, then gently fold in the rest. Pour the batter into the baking dish and cook in a water bath for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.
Have I convinced you to host your own Friendsgiving? If so, stock up beforehand with these great kitchen appliances:
Turkey or not, a roasting pan comes in handy
Go from oven to table with a cast iron cocette
If you’re leaning to a more traditional Friendsgiving, check out Leila’s post on preparing a great Canadian feast
Main image from ypulse.com