Your New Winter Catering Menu: New Twists to Favorite Seasonal Food

Ready for some new twists to traditional winter food after our piece on fall foods and catering? We’ve got your new winter catering menu with new twists to favorite seasonal food.

Some people can’t get enough of #PumpkinEverything in the fall and winter! But if you aren’t one of the people in that category, cooking and serving the same old seasonal favorites, such as mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, apple cider, and pumpkin pie, year after year … well, it can get old.

How did some of these ingredients and spices even come to be associated with winter? A lot of it has to do with what’s seasonally available this time of year. The locavore movement might be quite big right now, but that used to be the normal way people ate. There weren’t great ways to preserve food back in the old days, nor could you transport food easily like you can today by boat, train, and truck all over the world.

And the spices people used, such as cinnamon and cloves, helped preserve certain meats and veggies – or at least cover up the taste if the food was less than fresh. Because wasting food wasn’t an option. What you saved over the summer and fall was all you had for the winter, so you made it work. Simple as that.

Fortunately for us, those days are gone! Some of the seasonably available vegetables and side dishes we can look forward to every fall and winter include:

  • Pears
  • Apple cider
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Winter squash (such as butternut and acorn)
  • Pumpkin, pecan, and apple pies

These seasonal staples are familiar and comfortable to guests and are almost always a sure win. For those clients who are a little more adventurous, you can try some new twists on these old favorites. Check out these must-have winter catering menu combinations we found!

Everything Mashed Potatoes
The “Everything” title isn’t just for bagels anymore! Serve Yukon Gold potatoes with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, celery salt, and roasted garlic to taste.

CurriedSweetPotatoAppleSoupCurried Sweet Potato and Apple Soup
While a lot of fall recipes are sweet and spicy at the same time, this curried sweet potato soup does a different take on spicy by using curry spices instead of some of the usual cloves, cinnamon, and other more traditional American flavors. The soup includes sweet potatoes, apple sauce, apple cider vinegar, ginger, and curry powder. Check out the full recipe.

Apple Pie Rolls
Apple pie rolls are something you can experiment with. The foundation of the recipe includes apples cooked with cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter, and then wrap it all in pastry dough and sprinkle with brown sugar. However, there’s no reason why you couldn’t add raisins, cranberries, or even some curry spice to make it a little more savory and give it a little kick! (Who knows? Maybe curry will become the new flavor of fall?)

GermanMulledCiderHot Mulled Cider
Traditional German cider includes either white or red wine, as well as honey, which is added at the end to sweeten the drink and bring the flavors together. Check out this easy recipe, then keep trying it until you find the combination you like best!

Pomegranate Accents
Pomegranate can be added to salads, meat entrees (such as pork chops), desserts – and this winter fruit will always add a bright tart taste and a nice splash of color to liven up almost any dish.

Speaking of changing up old recipes, here are some tips for those of you already using our catering software in your kitchen:

Quick tip #1: The recipe building function in Total Party Planner lets you edit old recipes, make some tweaks, then save them as new recipes without losing the old one.

Quick tip #2: If you group your recipes by seasons or holidays (or both), it will make it easier to determine which recipes you can most easily get fresh ingredients for throughout the year. That way, you can find recipes more easily – and present them to clients at a moment’s notice!

What are some of the items on your standard winter catering menu? And what do you like to do to mix them up a bit? We would love to hear how you keep your favorite recipes fresh. Leave us a comment and join the conversation!

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