What began as an ’80s Seventeen magazine lark has become a tradition.
Witches’ fingers cheese straws are great to dip into the soup, or as a predinner nibble with drinks, served in steins. Serve with Pumpkin Soup.
13 oz frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 egg yolks, beaten with a little water
1 tsp paprika
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
24 Pumpkin seeds
Servings: Makes 24
Cut thawed, frozen puff pastry in half, and roll each half out on a lightly floured surface into a strip about 9 inches long.
Brush with 2 beaten egg yolks mixed with a little water, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of paprika and ¼ cup of grated cheddar cheese.
Cut the pastry into ¾-inch-wide strips with a sharp knife—uneven strips make the knobbliest fingers.
Press a pumpkin seed onto the tip of each to make a “fingernail.”
Bake on a lined baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes at 400°F or until lightly browned. Remove to racks to cool.
Tip: These can be frozen, unbaked, for up to 3 months in a sealed container. If cooking from frozen, add 3 to 5 minutes to the cooking time.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH LASAGNA
“A large dish of this lasagna will bring the season to the table. This recipe may be vegetarian but it’s so delicious that many a carnivore will consider converting. Serve with a mixed green salad,” from Celebrate.
1 1/2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 1/2 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and sliced into 1/8-inch-thick crescents
1 large bunch sage leaves, half left whole, half chopped
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 lb fresh spinach
Generous grating of nutmeg
Sea salt and freshly ground
1 lb dried lasagna noodles
2 (4-oz) balls mozzarella
For the béchamel sauce:
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
3/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/2 cup extra, for sprinkling between layers
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Drizzle a little oil into a large baking dish, add the onion, butternut squash, chopped sage and garlic, then roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until soft.
To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then add the flour until you have a paste and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, constantly stirring until it forms a thick sauce and add the ¾ cup of Parmesan.
In a separate pan heat a little oil and add the spinach, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes until the spinach has wilted, squeezing out any excess water.
Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, drizzle a little oil into it and cook the lasagna noodles for 5 minutes, to soften them. Put a layer of pasta into a 9 x 13-inch earthenware baking dish, top with a layer of the butternut squash mixture, a layer of béchamel sauce, some spinach and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Repeat the layers, ending up with a final layer of pasta.
Spread the remaining béchamel sauce on top. Rip the mozzarella into pieces and scatter these over the top with any remaining grated Parmesan. Place in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the mozzarella bubbles and browns. Garnish with the whole sage leaves flash-fried in a little butter.
Wine: Aromatic and full-bodied whites like Chenin Blanc or a white Rhône.
Tip: This can be kept in the fridge for two days if covered in plastic wrap or frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost fully before cooking.
Here at Saucy Cherie, we hold two truths dear. One: we are saucy! And two: we love Halloween.
Ever since we were lucky enough to experience Oct. 31 in New York, we hold a hankering for Ruby Foos-calibre dim sum for a fun Halloween dinner.
Dumplings are also high on our list, especially floating in a spicy broth. Look at these adorable shrimp dumplings from RedFarm: black sesame seed eyes transform har gow into ghosties.
Here is another unusual recipe for dumplings.
PRETZEL PORK AND CHIVE DUMPLINGS WITH TAHINI
From NYT, Adapted from Dale Talde
FOR THE TAHINI MUSTARD:
1/2 cup Chinese dry mustard or other mustard powder
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sesame oil
FOR THE FILLING:
1 pound lean ground pork
8 ounces ground fat back (a butcher can grind this)
1 cup finely sliced Chinese chives or other chives
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon potato starch or cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package of 40 or more wonton wrappers
3/4 cup baking soda
3 tablespoons melted butter
Coarse pretzel salt, bagel salt or Margarita salt, as needed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or sesame oil, or as needed
For the tahini mustard: In a medium bowl, combine mustard powder with 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water. Mix well. Add tahini, vinegar, sugar, salt, vegetable oil and sesame oil. Whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
For the filling: In a large bowl, thoroughly mix ground pork and ground fat back. Add chives, ginger, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, potato starch or cornstarch, white pepper and salt. Mix well.
For finishing: Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of a wonton wrapper. Brush the edges of the wrapper with water and fold it over to shape a triangle, rectangle or other flat shape, gently pressing the edges for a tight seal. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine 8 cups of water with baking soda, and bring to a boil. Working in batches, blanch the dumplings in the solution for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer blanched dumplings to a tray, and brush on both sides with melted butter. Sprinkle very lightly with pretzel salt, bagel salt or Margarita salt.
Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and add enough oil to lightly coat the pan. Working in batches without overcrowding, add dumplings and allow them to brown lightly on one side. Using a stiff spatula, turn them to brown the other side. Serve with tahini mustard.
About 40 dumplings .