Beyond pumpkin pie, cider and turkey - your favorite autumn party recipes?
September 16, 2009 6:26 AM   Subscribe

Autumn is almost here where I live! Tell me your favorite autumn party recipes, with some restrictions listed inside.

I will be the hostess of a small (less than 15) gathering of friends in a few weeks. By then, autumn will be in full swing here (Western PA in late Oct-early Nov), and I'd like to have a seasonally themed and delicious menu.

Our monthly gatherings usually include one large main dish, a variety of finger-food-esque or salad-ish sides, some snacks, and at least one dessert. And drinks. Both alcoholic and non.

The restrictions are that one of the group has celiac's and at least two others are doing South Beach. So wheat is an issue, though I do have access to a great gluten free bakery, if I had to.
posted by librarianamy to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Drinks (both alcoholic and non): Cider, cider, cider. And cider. Get some from the grocery store or farm stand (but make sure it's pasteurized), heat it up in a saucepan with cinnamon and cloves, and add rum (or not, whatever). Mmmmmm spiced cider.

As for food, anything with apple or pumpkin will be perfect. Fresh apples, applesauce, and roasted pumpkin seeds all come to mind as wheat-free options, but of course you'll have to have a pie of some sort.

As for a salad, just make a normal base of spinach/romaine/whatever, and then toss in dried cranberries, goat cheese, some apple slices, and almonds.
posted by oinopaponton at 6:33 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

How about pakoras? I like potato ones best.
posted by Go Banana at 6:35 AM on September 16, 2009

Best answer: I asked this question last year about using pumpkin in non-pie ways. I got a ton of great suggestions, but the one I liked the best was the stuffed pumpkin recipe (which I'm making again this weekend, btw). It's really not all that hard to make, and it is oh-so-amazing... and you can probably alter the stuffing to make use of gluten-free bread. I took 3 average-sized sugar pumpkins to a big Halloween party last year, and it was enough for everyone to try a good serving.
posted by olinerd at 6:47 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't have access to the exact recipe right now as I'm at work, but a family favorite of ours around that time of year is a tex-mex squash and hominy casserole. This recipe is similar...when I get home later I'll post the particular recipe that I know and love. Bonus points: you can use locally grown squash; it's gluten free if you use corn tortilla chips for the topping (check packaging of all your ingredients to verify, but I'm sure you already know that); and it definitely qualifies as a not-your-standard-fare cold weather comfort food.
posted by Gonestarfishing at 6:53 AM on September 16, 2009

Best answer: I like to make a butternut squash soup because the color is so apropos and it's easy to make a day or two ahead and just reheat. I don't generally follow a recipe, but these two recipes look good and are similar to the two different styles of butternut soup I make. The curried kind is especially nice because that little bit of spicy heat warms you up on a cool fall day (beyond the obvious warmth of the soup itself).
posted by katie at 7:29 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

An unconventional but delicious and simple dish: grilled apples and onions.

I discovered it years ago while looking at recipes that would been prepared for the original Thanksgiving, and I am not so fond of Thanksgiving or what it implies any more, but grilled apples and onions are delicious.

Heat a pan, lightly coat with olive oil, and add sliced apple and onion pieces. Cook until the onions are somewhere in the nearly translucent to caramelized range (this can be varied to taste, and I like to minimize stirring so I get the onions in the full range of flavors).
posted by idiopath at 7:50 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Ooh, definitely apple crisp. Top it with oatmeal, brown sugar and butter - gluten free. To make it more fancy, bake them in indivdual ramekins.

Grilled apples and onions sounds delicious!
posted by yawper at 7:57 AM on September 16, 2009

Baeckoffe. It's a pork and potato stew from Alsace. (I have no idea how this may or may not fit in with the dietary issues mentioned.)

There are tons of recipe variations online, but roughly: Chop a bunch of pork shoulder into cubes, marinate overnight in white wine (preferably Riesling) with herbs (parsley, thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper, garlic.)

Next day: rub insides of a big dutch oven with a bit of butter. Slice a bunch of potatoes, onions, (optional: carrots, leeks). Cover bottom of pot with a layer of potatoes, onions, salt & pepper. Drain the pork and add it to the pot, then cover it with remaining onions and potatoes. Pour marinade liquid into pot - liquid should come just about to the top of ingredients, if not add more wine or stock or something. Cover pot tightly and bake in 325 oven for maybe 2-3 hours. You can uncover pot for the last 30 minutes or so to get some browning on the top potatoes.

If you also include some oxtails, or even pigs feet, they'll add some gelatin to the broth and turn it into a thick sauce. Otherwise, (what I do...) remove meat, potatoes and veg, strain the liquid, make a roux in a saucepan with butter & flour, then pour in the sauce and let it thicken into a yummy gravy.

I made this for the first time last fall and it became an instant favorite. Just writing about it makes me want to make it again very soon!
posted by dnash at 10:21 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

I just ran across this cocktail recipe on the St. Germain website. It's called The Manzarita, and it sounds delicious and perfect for autumn. St. Germain is (IMO) a delicious elderflower flavored liqueur. I would guess it is not diet-compatible (what liqueur is though?) but here goes:

The Manzarita

2 SHOTS Tequila Blanco
¾ SHOT St-Germain
1 ½ SHOTS Pressed Apple Juice
DASH Ground Cinnamon
3-4 WEDGES Fresh Lemon

METHOD: Muddle lemon wedges and cinnamon in a mixing glass. Add remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a ice-filled rocks glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
posted by jacquilinala at 11:18 AM on September 16, 2009

I love roasted butternut squash. Peel the squash (a vegetable peeler is the easiest way) and cut into chunks, about 1" cubes. Lightly coat with olive oil - I usually use about 1-2tsp for a normal sized squash, and salt to taste. Roast for about ~40 min in a 400 degree oven - I know that seems like a long time, but it caramelizes the outside beautifully. Turn over the pieces once or twice while it's cooking.

It's really good - I can easily eat half a squash. If you have a lot of dishes, people will eat less, of course. It's good for dinner parties because you can prepare it in advance, then it only takes minimal attention while it's cooking.

Will persimmons be available in your area at that time? I love raw sliced persimmons, they're the perfect late fall/winter fruit.
posted by insectosaurus at 12:21 PM on September 16, 2009

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