5 Wickedly Delicious Rachael Ray Halloween Dishes

PHOTO: Rachael Ray prepares guacamole on "Good Morning America."
Donna Svennevik/ABC; Food Styling/Karen Pickus

Celebrity chef Rachael Ray has provided hundreds of quick and delicious weeknight dinners over the years, but her new book, "Week in a Day," takes the concepts of fast and family-friendly even further, allowing busy cooks to prepare a week's worth of meals in a single day. Click through for five such meals, specially themed for Halloween.

PHOTO: Rachael Ray prepares guacamole on "Good Morning America."
Donna Svennevik/ABC; Food Styling/Karen Pickus
Pumpkin, Penne and Cabbage

Ingredients:

1 small sugar pumpkin or 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

Olive oil cooking spray

Salt and pepper

Freshly grated nutmeg

A fat pinch of saffron threads

2 cups chicken stock

1 pound cabbage, cored and thickly sliced

6 tablespoons (¾ stick) butter

18 to 20 fresh sage leaves

1 pound buckwheat, farro, or whole wheat penne

1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for topping

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Arrange the pumpkin on a baking sheet and lightly coat with olive oil spray. Season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg. Roast to tender and brown at the edges, about 20 minutes.

(If making this recipe to serve on Cook Day, leave the oven on, but reduce the temperature to 375°F. If making this to serve later in the week, you'll preheat the oven the night of.)

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the saffron, stock, and cabbage. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until very tender, about 20 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sage and fry to crisp. Transfer the leaves to paper towels to drain, then crumble. Return the pan to the heat and cook the butter to lightly brown.

Salt the boiling water and cook the pasta al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the cabbage. Add the squash, browned butter, and fried sage and toss to combine. Transfer to a 10-by-14-inch casserole. Top with the Parm.

(Make-ahead: Let cool, cover, and refrigerate.)

(Night of: Return the casserole to room temp while you preheat the oven to 375°F.)

Bake, loosely covered with foil, until heated through. Uncover, top with a little Parm and broil to crisp at the edges.

PHOTO: Rachael Ray prepares guacamole on "Good Morning America."
Donna Svennevik/ABC; Food Styling/Karen Pickus
Bloody Mary Soup with Pumpernickel Grilled Cheese Croutons

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons EVOO

2 onions, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

3 ribs celery, chopped

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

Celery salt

Coarsely ground pepper

½ cup vodka

2 cups beef stock

2 cups Spicy Hot V8 vegetable juice

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup prepared horseradish

1 (28- or 32-ounce) can fire roasted whole or diced tomatoes

Frank's RedHot hot sauce

Butter, softened

8 slices pumpernickel bread

8 deli slices yellow cheddar cheese

Juice of ½ lemon

¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Directions:

In a soup pot or large Dutch oven, heat the EVOO (2 turns of the pan) over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, celery, lemon zest and thyme. Season with celery salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the vodka. Add the stock, V8, Worcestershire, horseradish and tomatoes (break up the whole tomatoes with a potato masher).

Add hot sauce to taste, starting with 1 tablespoon and going up from there if you want. (My family likes things really spicy and we use ¼ cup!) Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes to thicken and combine flavors.

(Make-ahead: Let cool and refrigerate.)

(Night of: Return the soup to room temp before reheating gently over medium heat.)

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Spread all 8 slices of the bread on one side with softened butter. Build 4 cheese sandwiches with buttered sides facing out. Grill the sandwiches until the cheese has melted and the bread is deeply crispy. Using a serrated knife, cut each sandwich into 9 croutons. Stir the lemon juice into the hot soup just before serving. Ladle the soup into shallow bowls, sprinkle with parsley and top with the croutons.

PHOTO: Rachael Ray prepares guacamole on "Good Morning America."
Donna Svennevik/ABC; Food Styling/Karen Pickus
Garlicky Beef

Ingredients:

2½ pounds beef chuck, cubed for stew

Kosher salt and coarsely ground pepper

2 tablespoons EVOO or vegetable oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 head garlic, cloves smashed and peeled

1 pound red or yellow pearl onions, peeled (see Heads-up)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

½ cup dry red or white wine

2 cups beef stock

2 (14.5-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Pat the meat dry and season liberally with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven, heat the EVOO (2 turns of the pan) over medium high heat. Working in batches, brown the meat evenly all over, then transfer to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium and melt in the butter. Add the garlic and onions, season with salt and pepper, and stir for a few minutes to lightly brown. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the wine. Add the stock and tomatoes. Return the beef to the pan, cover, and bake until tender, 2 to 2½ hours.

(Make-ahead: Let cool and refrigerate.)

(Night of: Return the beef to room temp before reheating gently over medium heat, stirring frequently, or in a 325°F oven.)

Serve garnished with parsley.

Heads-up: You can often find fresh pearl onions around holiday time, but if you can't, you can thaw a 16-ounce bag of frozen onions. If you're starting with fresh, you have to peel them. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the onions and boil for 3 to 4 minutes, then drain and cool. Holding them with the root end facing away from you, pinch the ends of the pearl onions and they should pop right out of their skins.

PHOTO: Rachael Ray prepares guacamole on "Good Morning America."
Donna Svennevik/ABC; Food Styling/Karen Pickus
Ratatouille-Stuffed Jack-o'-Peppers

Ingredients:

½ cup EVOO

2 tablespoons butter

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup homemade dry bread

crumbs or panko bread crumbs

½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

7 medium red and orange bell peppers

Salt and pepper

Olive oil cooking spray

1 medium eggplant, half the skin peeled (in stripes), cut into ½-inch cubes

1 medium zucchini, cut into½-inch cubes

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small fresh red chile, finely chopped, or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

3 plum or small vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped

2 cups passata or tomato puree

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

In a large skillet, heat ¼ cup EVOO (4 turns of the pan) and the butter. When the butter foams, add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the bread crumbs to soak in the oil and butter. Cook until light golden, toasted and fragrant. Remove from the heat and let cool. Stir in the Parm and parsley.

Chop one of the bell peppers and set aside. Trim the tops off the remaining 6 bell peppers about ½ inch down from the top. Scoop out the seeds and, using a small, sharp paring knife, cut out a jack-o'-lantern face on one of the sides. Set the peppers upright; if a pepper is very unstable, trim the bottom to make it stand.

Season the peppers on the inside with salt and pepper. Invert the peppers onto a baking sheet and place the tops alongside. Coat the peppers with a little cooking spray. Bake until tender-crisp and a bit charred at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, salt the eggplant and drain in a colander or on paper towels.

In a large deep skillet, heat the remaining ¼ cup EVOO (4 turns of the pan) over medium to medium-high heat. Add the chopped bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, onion, chile, and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stir another minute, and remove from the heat.

Combine the bread crumbs with the vegetables and adjust the seasonings. Pour the passata into an oven-to-table baking dish that will hold all 6 peppers snugly. Stuff the peppers, overstuffing a bit, and set the tops in place. Set the peppers in the baking dish as you fill them.

(If making this dish to serve on Cook Day, you can serve the peppers right away.)

(Make-ahead: Let cool, cover, and refrigerate.)

(Night of: Return the peppers to room temp while you preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake until hot through, 30 to 35 minutes.)

PHOTO: Rachael Ray prepares guacamole on "Good Morning America."
Donna Svennevik/ABC; Food Styling/Karen Pickus
Halloween Ground Meat Ghoul-ash

Ingredients:

2 red bell peppers

2 tablespoons EVOO

2 pounds ground lamb or beef

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

2 teaspoons hot paprika, ground red pepper, or chili powder blend

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram, or 1 teaspoon dried

1 onion, finely chopped

3 or 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup passata or tomato puree

2 cups chicken or beef stock

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 pound extra-wide egg noodles

3 tablespoons butter, diced

½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Crème fraîche, for garnish

Directions:

Char the peppers all over on the stovetop over a gas flame or under the broiler with the oven door ajar to vent steam. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover tightly. When cool enough to handle, rub off the skin with a paper towel, then halve, seed, and chop the peppers. Heat a large Dutch oven or deep skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the EVOO (2 turns of the pan). Pat the meat dry and add to the pan, breaking it into crumbles as it browns. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sweet paprika, hot paprika, rosemary, and marjoram and stir well. Add the onion and garlic and cook, partially covered, until the onion is tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the passata, stock, Worcestershire, and roasted peppers and simmer a couple of minutes to thicken.

(Make-ahead: Let cool and refrigerate.)

(Night of: Return the goulash to room temp before reheating gently over medium heat, stirring frequently.)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and cook the noodles al dente. Ladle out about 1/3 cup of the starchy cooking water. Drain the noodles and return to the pot. Add the butter, parsley, and salt to taste, tossing with tongs for 1 or 2 minutes for the butter to melt. Add some of the starchy water if the noodles begin to stick together.

Serve the goulash in shallow bowls on a nest of noodles. Top with a dollop of creme fraiche.

All recipes were styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.

All recipes Copyright © 2013 by Rachael Ray from "Week in a Day" published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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