The days are getting shorter, the nights longer, and the temperatures cooler. Pumpkins, apples, sweet potatoes, and squash in soups, chilis, casseroles, and pies are the favorite flavors and scents in our favorite dishes of the fall season. As the lazy, hazy days of summer give way to the awesome colors and cooler days and nights of fall, the food we cook for our loved ones changes, too. We update our homes with fall colors, break out the earth toned decorations, accessories, and gadgets, and take part in tailgate parties. Here are a few tried and true fall favorites for you to enjoy from Bon Appetit.
Double-Dark Chicken Noodle Soup
Not just for when you’re feeling under the weather, but anytime you want a delicious, soothing soup, this is a great choice. This recipe begins with wings, which have a high skin-to-meat ratio. Browning the wings results in lots of caramelized nooks and crannies that imbue the stock with a deep, savory flavor. Soup (without noodles) can be made 2 days ahead (or 2 months if frozen). Let cool; transfer to airtight containers and chill.
- This super soup calls for:
- 1 leek
- Stems from ½ bunch parsley
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 pounds chicken wings
- 1 onion, unpeeled, quartered
- 3 carrots, peeled
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- Preparation of dark chicken stock:
- Trim dark green leaves from leek; discard all but 2. Slice leek in half lengthwise; set aside. Tuck parsley, thyme, and bay leaves inside leek leaves; tie closed with kitchen twine.
- Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium. Working in batches, cook wings, turning often, until browned all over, 15–20 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and reserved leek to pot. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 10–12 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring, until slightly darkened, about 3 minutes. Add ½ cup water, scraping up browned bits. Add wings, leek bundle, peppercorns, and 12 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, skimming occasionally, until stock is deep amber and chicken is falling off the bone, 1½–2 hours. Remove chicken and vegetables. Strain stock into a clean large heavy pot.
- Bring stock to a simmer over medium-high heat; season with salt and pepper. Add thighs, cover, and simmer until cooked through, 8–10 minutes. Transfer thighs to a plate; let cool slightly. Shred meat; discard bones.
- Add carrots and onions to pot; simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. Add meat. Meanwhile, cook noodles in a pot of boiling salted water until just al dente, 7–8 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water. Add to soup. Serve topped with chervil.
Twice Roasted Sweet Potatoes
This recipe embraces the scrumptious natural sweetness of sweet potatoes but adds a spicy kick to these fall favorites.
- To make four servings you’ll need:
- Three medium sweet potatoes or yams, scrubbed (about 3 pounds)
- Red chiles of your choice, thinly sliced
- ½ cup of honey
- 4 Tbsps unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsps apple cider vinegar
- Kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350°. Poke holes across the surface of all sweet potatoes and wrap each one in foil. Place on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet and roast until potatoes are tender, 60–70 minutes (if you have one, use a cake tester to poke right through foil). Unwrap and let sit until cool enough to handle. Increase oven temperature to 450°. Meanwhile, combine chiles, honey, and butter in a small saucepan and season with salt. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.
- Smash sweet potatoes with your palm, then tear into bite-sized pieces (including skin), the more irregular, the better. Place in a large bowl and add half of hot honey (remove the chiles as they will burn); season with salt. Arrange pieces, skin side down, in a single layer on an unlined rimmed baking sheet and roast until browned and crisp around the edges, 20–25 minutes. Drizzle with remaining hot honey.
Seasoned stock keeps this meatloaf juicy and flavorful. A doctored ketchup delivers just the right amount of tang, spice, and sweetness. And the bacon? Bacon makes everything better, doesn’t it?
- This marvelous meatloaf calls for:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, grated on large holes of a box grater
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- ¾ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup fine breadcrumbs
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds ground beef chuck (15% fat)
- 6 thin strips bacon
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then parchment paper.
- Heat oil over medium in a small skillet. Cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, bring ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, and cayenne to a boil in a small saucepan, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the ketchup mixture to a blender; add broth and parsley and blend until smooth. Set remaining ketchup mixture aside.
- Add broth mixture, eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt, and pepper to onion and garlic; mix to combine. Add beef and mix well with your hands to combine. Transfer meatloaf mixture to prepared pan and form into a long log (about 12″x5″), smoothing surface. Spread reserved ketchup mixture over top and drape bacon in a crisscross pattern over loaf, tucking underneath. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 165° and bacon is crisp, 70–80 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie
For many of us, it just isn’t fall without pumpkin pie. Here is a classic recipe that has withstood the test of time.
- To make this classic fall pie you’ll need:
- 1½ cups canned pure pumpkin
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 9-inch baked pie crust
- Sweetened whipped cream spiked with bourbon (optional; for serving)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk pumpkin and eggs in a medium bowl. Add milk, maple syrup, flour, cinnamon, ginger, and salt; whisk to blend well. Pour filling into pie crust. Bake pie until center is just set, 55-60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool. Serve with whipped cream spiked with bourbon, if desired.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
To top it all off, if you have any room left, try this delicious twist on classic hot chocolate. It just may become a new family favorite.
- This yummy dessert drink consists of:
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons crushed cinnamon sticks (preferably Ceylon)
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons demerara or granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground chile de árbol or cayenne pepper, plus more for serving
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream (for serving)
- Bring milk and cinnamon to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally and making sure milk doesn’t boil, until cinnamon is floral and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Whisk in chocolate, sugar, vanilla, salt, and ¼ tsp. ground chile and cook, whisking frequently, until mixture is smooth and creamy and chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes. Divide hot chocolate among mugs and top with whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder.
There you have it, five fantastic fall recipes from our friends at Bon Appetit that we are sure will soon become family favorites.