I love the fall season, or what is better known as the “two weeks in South Louisiana when the high is 68 and the breeze is amazing and everyone is eating or drinking their favorite pumpkin spice flavored goodies.”
Well, everyone except for me that is…That’s right, I do not like pumpkin spice anything. I said it, deal with it. I love food, but I just don’t get the pumpkin spiced life that everyone seems to embrace. Why can’t we just enjoy sweet potato flavors or any other amazing fall fruits and veggies? I think it’s high time we start to do things a little differently.
Fall is the start of the holiday season and more importantly, it’s the best time for football and tailgating! There’s nothing like sitting out at a tailgate or a house football party, feeling the breeze, eating your favorite foods and enjoying the company of a bunch of fans (of football or just food) while cheering on your favorite team! I would love to give you a couple fall recipes (no pumpkin) to show off once this fall weather starts.
If your crew is anything like mine, we love a good tailgate food/drink theme! We especially enjoy our “ThanksgivingGate” where everyone brings their fave Thanksgiving side dish or dessert. I’m going to give you two things I just love to eat in the fall that you can bring to your people to enjoy…you can even tell them you came up with it all on your own!
Roasted Garlic Mac N Cheese with Pancetta- AKA BACON!!:
- 1 head garlic, top 1/4 inch cut off
- olive oil for roasting garlic
- 8 oz pancetta, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped shallots
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 12 oz elbow macaroni
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups 2 % milk
- 4 oz gruyere cheese, shredded
- 7 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
- In a large tinfoil packet, place bulb of garlic and drizzle with a good amount of olive oil. Cover loosely and roast in preheated oven for about an hour. Remove and let cool. When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic cloves out, discarding the skin; set aside.
- Butter a casserole dish or cast iron pot; set aside.
- In a large sauté pan, cook pancetta until crispy and all fat is rendered. Transfer pancetta to a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook macaroni just until al dente. Drain; set aside.
- In same pan, add olive oil and shallots and cook until soft and start to caramelize about 7-8 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring often, 3-4 minutes. Slowly add milk and cream and stir constantly until it thickens just a bit. Stir in reserved roasted garlic and stir until it breaks up and starts to dissolve. Stir in shredded gruyere cheese and white cheddar. Turn heat to low and cook slowly until cheese is melted and sauce is thick and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer mac and cheese to buttered dish.
- In a small bowl, combine parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs, melted butter and reserved pancetta. Sprinkle over the macaroni and cheese.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes or until topping is crispy and golden. Serve immediately.
Sweet Potato Pound Cake:
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 and 1/2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons, baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until the yellow disappears. Add sweet potatoes, and beat well.
- Stir together flour, baking powder, baking powder, baking soda salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating at low-speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 10-inch pan.
- Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
These recipes will get you in the fall mood and will be the perfect features for a family or friend gathering. Source.