8509

Fall Recipes from *Our Best Bites*

Read our reviews of the recipes here for some tips and tricks on making them.
8509

Spinach-Artichoke Quiche
Serves 8

1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust, either store-bought or homemade
1 (9-ounce) box frozen spinach, thawed
8 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
1⁄4 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts
2 cups grated Gruyère cheese
1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 large eggs
1 1⁄2 cups half-and-half
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1⁄2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place pie crust dough in a 9-inch pie, quiche, or tart pan. If using a pie plate, flute the edges. If using a quiche or tart pan, trim excess dough from edge with a knife. Place a layer of foil over the pie dough, extending over the edges of the pan. Place pie weights or dry beans on top of foil. Bake 15 minutes. Remove weights and foil and use a fork to prick the dough several times. Return to oven and bake 5–10 minutes longer, until set and light golden brown. Remove crust from oven.

2. Squeeze liquid from spinach. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb all excess moisture. Chop spinach and then spread it out on the bottom of the pie crust. Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon. Sprinkle remaining bacon and artichoke hearts evenly over the spinach. Top with the grated cheeses.

3. Combine eggs, half-and-half, onion, mustard, salt, pepper, and thyme in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk until well combined and then pour into pie crust. Sprinkle reserved bacon on top. Bake 30–40 minutes at 350 degrees F. until set in the middle and light golden brown. Cool at least 15 minutes before slicing. This can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold. 


8510

Barbecue Bacon Sliders with Crispy Shoestring Onions
Makes 8–10 sliders

This was the recipe we used to win the Better Homes and Gardens cook-off in 2010, and it never disappoints! Juicy, seasoned ground beef on a soft bun with a leaf of cool lettuce, crisp bacon, garlicky blue cheese mayonnaise, and crunchy fried onions? Yeah, you can’t go wrong there. 

1 1⁄2 pounds high-quality 85% lean ground beef
1⁄2 cup Spiced Barbecue Sauce or your favorite bottled barbecue sauce, divided
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8–10 small white dinner rolls or sweet Hawaiian rolls, sliced in half, and toasted, if desired
Garlicky Blue Cheese Spread
8–10 crisp lettuce leaves
8–10 slices bacon, cooked crisp
Crispy Shoestring Onions

1. Heat a grill pan on the stove top or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Combine beef, 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce, salt, and pepper. Divide and shape mixture into 8–10 3⁄4-inch-thick patties. (When shaping the patties, keep the size of your bun in mind, as well as the fact that the burgers will shrink quite a bit while cooking.) 

2. Grill 2–3 minutes and then flip. Brush the top side of each burger with some of remaining sauce. Continue grilling another 2 minutes and flip burgers again, brushing the other side with additional sauce. Continue to cook and brush with more sauce until internal temperature of the burgers reaches 160–165 degrees F.

3. To assemble, lightly spread the bottom half of each bun with Garlicky Blue Cheese Spread and top with a lettuce leaf. Break each bacon piece in half and place on top of lettuce leaves. Place burger on top and drizzle with additional barbecue sauce, if desired. Top with a small handful of Crispy Shoestring Onions. Spread remaining Garlicky Blue Cheese Spread on top halves of buns. 

Garlicky Blue Cheese Spread

1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced
1⁄4 cup crumbled blue cheese (you can use feta if you don’t love blue cheese)

Whisk together mayonnaise, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, and garlic. Stir in crumbled blue cheese. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Crispy Shoestring Onions
Makes 4 cups

These little fried gems of deliciousness are the crowning glory of our Barbecue Bacon Sliders and Homemade Green Bean Casserole, but they’re also a fabulous little snack. Just be sure to have people to share them with because before you know it, they’ll all be gone. 

Vegetable oil for frying 
1 large white or yellow onion, cut in half and then thinly sliced
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk or buttermilk
1 1⁄2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder

1. Heat at least 2 inches of oil to 350 degrees F. Make sure to use a pot with high sides (as opposed to a skillet-style pan) so oil doesn’t boil over when you add the onion. 

2. Whisk eggs and milk together in a ­medium-sized bowl with a fork. Combine flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a separate bowl. 

3. Working with a handful of onion slices at a time, dip them in egg mixture and let excess drip off. Then dredge in flour mixture and toss lightly to coat. Place slices in hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pan, and cook until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon and place on folded paper towels to absorb excess oil. Repeat process until all onions are fried. Serve with Dipping Sauce, or whip up an easy dip by whisking 1 part barbecue sauce and 1 part mayonnaise. 

Spiced Barbecue Sauce
Don’t be scared of the long list of ingredients—almost everything is probably already in your refrigerator or pantry! This sweet and spicy barbecue sauce is an amazing addition to grilled chicken, ribs, or brisket. Try it on our award-winning Barbecue Bacon Sliders with Crispy Shoestring Onions. 

1 tablespoon olive oil
1⁄2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3⁄4 cup apple juice
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1⁄4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar, plus more to taste, if desired
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon paprika (use smoked -paprika if you prefer a smoky sauce)
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch cloves
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish (see tip)

Heat oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add onion and garlic, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent. Add remaining ingredients, except horseradish, and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Taste and add additional sugar if a sweeter sauce is desired. Turn heat to low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Add horseradish and serve.  

Tip: Horseradish loses its flavor and zing if it’s cooked, so add it only when you’re done simmering the sauce. Also, this sauce needs to be cooked at a low temperature and stirred
frequently because if it burns, it will become very bitter.


8511

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce
Makes 6–8 main-dish servings or 10–12 side dish servings

Squash and pumpkin are perfect flavors to welcome in fall, but they can be a little overwhelming. These fall flavors are perfect here when combined with this creamy cheese sauce.

1 butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1⁄2-inch pieces (about 3 cups, see tip)
1 medium yellow onion, diced into 1⁄2-inch pieces (about 11⁄2 cups)
4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1 1⁄2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 strips bacon
1 pound shell pasta
Pumpkin Sauce
1 cup low-fat milk
3⁄4 cup chicken broth
2 ounces (1⁄4 cup) cream cheese
2 tablespoons flour
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1⁄2 cup Parmesan cheese, additional for topping, if desired 

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with foil. Place squash, onion, sage, rosemary, salt, and pepper on one of the sheets. Drizzle with oil and toss gently with your hands until everything is well coated. Spread into a single layer.

2. Lay bacon in a single layer on another baking sheet. Place both baking sheets in oven and cook 15–20 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon pan from oven and use tongs to lay bacon strips on paper towels to drain. Crumble when cool enough to handle. Continue cooking squash an additional 13–15 minutes until it is soft and tender.

3. While the bacon and squash are in the oven, bring a large stockpot of water to boil and cook shell pasta according to package directions.

4. For the sauce: Combine milk, broth, cream cheese, flour, salt, and pumpkin puree in a blender and process until smooth. Pour mixture into a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer 4–5 minutes, until thickened. Add Parmesan cheese, stir until melted, cover saucepan, and remove from heat.

5. Drain pasta and return to stockpot. Add sauce, squash mixture, and crumbled bacon and toss to combine. Serve immediately or transfer to a casserole dish, top with additional Parmesan cheese, and bake 15–20 minutes.  

Tip: Use a vegetable peeler to peel the squash and then cut it in half and use a spoon to scrape out seeds. Slice into long strips and dice into cubes. You can also look for diced butternut squash in the produce section of the grocery store.


8512

Lime-Coconut White Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies

Makes 2–3 dozen cookies If you’re a fan of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, this tropical ­version will take you somewhere extra special. A hint of bright citrus and chewy, crunchy coconut will have you on an imaginary tropical island in no time.

2 cups flour, spooned lightly into measuring cups and leveled with knife
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled until lukewarm
1 cup packed brown sugar
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
1 cup coconut (toasted or untoasted)
1 cup roughly chopped, toasted macadamia nuts
1 1⁄2–2 tablespoons grated lime zest (1–2 limes)

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl; set aside.

2. Combine butter and sugars with electric mixer until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add white choco­late chips, coconut, macadamia nuts, and lime zest and stir to distribute.

3. Scoop cookie dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set around outer edges, yet centers are still soft and puffy and appear slightly underbaked, about 9–10 minutes. (All ovens are different, so keep an eye on them!) Cool cookies on cookie sheets for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container up to 2 days.  

Find out more about Kate and Sara's great new book, Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites.

Comments and feedback can be sent to feedback@ldsliving.com