As we bundle up in layers upon layers this winter, we can’t think of any reason why we wouldn’t stay warm indoors. It’s quite cold here in New York, and if there’s ever been a time to huddle together and stay cozy, this is it. Instead of cursing old man winter under our breaths, we’re looking at February as an opportunity to get together with friends and loved ones as we defrost inside. Follow along this month (while sipping rich hot chocolate) as we explore the act of huddling together around some of our favorite family-style foods.
One of our favorites for sharing, Ethiopian food allows us to roll up our sleeves and, wait for it… eat with our hands. Warm stews with rich African flavors keep everyone at the table cozy, especially with oh-so-delicious injera that’s nearly impossible to quit. Ethiopian is perfect for big groups, so you can sample nearly everything on the menu, which you may not have ordered if you were alone.
Whether making this classic in the comfort of your home or enjoying a pie (or three) at your favorite Italian spot, pizza has been the go-to meal for sharing since… well, as long as we can remember. After all, it’s on the cheaper side, can be topped with anything (or everything, depending on who you’re with) and you’ll avoid the guilt of being the only one eating hot cheesy carbs. Pair it with a gorgeous pasta and a nice bottle of red wine and it’ll be a pizza night that everyone remembers.
You don’t need to act as the Spaniards do and wait until 10 PM to enjoy your paella. Whether making it with friends or ordering at a local Spanish restaurant, we love sharing paella, especially when there’s shrimp involved. Here’s where group dining comes to the rescue, as you actually can’t just order paella for one at dinner, given the amount of love that goes into it. So text a few friends and give them a reason to heat up the cast iron skillet. Don’t forget the pitcher of sangria for the full Spanish experience.
Since we’re clearly huge at-home cooks, we love the idea of Korean BBQ for a group dining set-up. With all of the sides (banchan) that come along with your order (think kimchi galore), there’s something for everyone on the menu and lots of sharing involved. While you may normally only order beef or pork, let your friends add scallion pancakes, bibimbap, stews and a cold noodle soup to the mix and get a little bit of everything. You’ll happy they did because it’s all so worth it. If you’re tempted to make a group meal at home, these Korean tacos will make please a crowd. Pro tip: Don’t skip the beer—we’re big fans of Hite.
Okay, so who doesn’t love a dumpling crawl with friends? While you may not want to hit up too many dumpling bars in the freezing cold, finding a pocket in a fun neighborhood is never a bad idea. Besides being delicious, dumplings are perfect for sharing because they’re at the price point where you can order tons for the table without breaking the bank, and there are many varieties to choose from. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make your own dumplings at home!
While you can easily enjoy sushi while dining solo or with just one friend, it’s easily one of our favorite meals to share. When else can you order a gazillion rolls and appetizers, and yes, even that gorgeous $16 special and not feel as bad about it. If you and your friends want to stay in to watch a movie and enjoy a bottle or two of sake, dare we suggest making this Japanese favorite at home? Not only is it a fun and completely customizable, but this sure-fire guide walks you through all of the steps—you’ll be impressed with your masterpiece. Promise.
If these share-worthy options are right up your alley, be sure to check out our new four-serving plan, delivering even more of the Plated you love to enjoy with all your favorite people.