I've talked a little in the past about my very favorite kind of fall dinner party: the soup party. And this week, my partner Sam and I started planning what is becoming an annual tradition. While we discussed chunky minestrone versus puréed butternut squash, the one question that has us inspired this year was: what to put on the toasts?
There's nothing I love more than having a mammoth-sized batch of soup on the stove, whether it's going to serve a room full of people or supply me with a stockpile of meals. This New Mexico pork and green chile stew is the perfect candidate to make on a lazy Sunday and then live off of the rest of the week. It's spicy, savory, and hearty, and just when you think it can't get any better, it does!
One of my favorite go-to desserts in the colder months is shortbread. It's ridiculously simple to make, the kitchen is always stocked with the four necessary ingredients (flour, sugar, butter, salt!), and the end result presents beautifully.
However, shortbread need not always be sweet. Savory shortbread is an excellent, less expected pair with hearty fall soups and salads, or even as an elegant appetizer to nosh on over cocktails with friends.
When the dimmer seasons turn you inward toward big pots of braising things or simmering batches of slow-cooker meals, match those recipes with a sturdy side dish that won’t cower behind their homey hardiness. Chili, for example, with its robust kick and bulky beany, meaty sauciness would use a “mixed greens salad” as a footrest, stomping out the side’s subtlety. This apple cabbage mélange is made for fall comfort classics, but it’s as vibrant and fresh as any summer predecessors.
I have so many good memories of soft pretzels: a cold afternoon my first time in New York, Red Sox games at Fenway Park a few years later, a fantastic restaurant in San Francisco that serves them as an appetizer with cheese dip. In fact, it was a recent visit to this restaurant that reminded me of my deep and abiding love for this salty, chewy, soft-centered bread — and how, once upon a time, I'd even made them myself.
Soft pretzels aren't that hard, really. They are made with a simple dough nearly identical to sandwich bread, and the only tricky part — a leap of faith — comes when you drop the pretzels in a vat of simmering water before baking. But that's why I'm here — to show you how. And also because I believe everyone should get to relive their best memories with a piping-hot soft pretzel every once in a while.
Beer cheese soup is a classic Midwestern recipe, but a lot of things can go wrong when making it. (Greasy blobs of cheddar, anyone?) Thankfully I discovered a little trick that will guarantee that your next batch is silky, creamy perfection. Bring on the cold weather, because this recipe will definitely keep you warm.
Ah, French toast! That iconic, special occasion, breakfast-in-bed treat that so many people long for...only to end up with soggy, burned toast and a big mess in the kitchen. But it isn't that difficult, or that messy, to make golden, crispy-edged, truly delicious French toast. Let us show you how.
Ahhhh. I love that feeling of having just roasted a chicken and knowing that three more meals in my family's very near future are already planned and nearly prepared. You see, every time I roast a chicken (which is often this time of year, nearly once a week), a sequence of tasty meals unfolds, almost on autopilot. Here's how it goes:
Every fall I seem to go on an all-out apple bender, putting them in everything and anything I can think of. I usually make it a good month or two until my excitement finally sputters out, and then I'm satisfied for another season. This batch of apple streusel muffins marks this year's kickoff using my favorite fall fruit, and what a delicious start it turned out to be.
Warning: This will fill your home with the most maddening, irresistible, and mouth-watering aromas imaginable. We're talking about whole heads of garlic roasted with olive oil until each individual clove is completely golden and butter-soft — perfect for spreading on a spare piece of baguette or mashing into a salad dressing. Perfect, really, for just about anything.