Flaky Pear Pie
German Soft Pretzel Sticks
"I've always been a fan of any food high in salt and starch," Grant Achatz says, "and soft pretzels right out of the oven are awesome." You can eat these slightly sweet, chewy, dark pretzel sticks plain or with mustard; Achatz goes for ranch dressing.
Grant’s Mac and Cheese
You would expect Grant Achatz’s macaroni and cheese to have some chef tricks, but it doesn’t. He uses a white sauce, elbow macaroni and cheddar cheese, just like the rest of us. His personal touch: a tablespoon of paprika (to enhance the color of the sauce) and lots of smoky, crisp bacon bits.
Beef Chili with Beans
"Chili means Halloween to me," Grant Achatz says. When he was growing up, his mother would always serve it to him and his cousins before they went trick or treating as a way to counteract the sugar buzz to come. The smoky, spicy version here is a slightly modified version of his mother's chili, made with ancho, pasilla and chipotle powders, plus a homemade blend of seasonings and fresh herbs.
Roasted Chicken with Garlic-Thyme Butter
To give the bird extra flavor, rub garlicky butter under the breast skin and pack the cavity with more garlic, plus thyme sprigs and lemon quarters. After the chicken is cooked, use the juices to make an intensely flavored sauce that's delicious with the bird and the hearty pierogies that go with it.
Watermelon Salad with Grilled Shrimp
Grant Achatz says of this salad: "I think shellfish benefits from a little sweetness." He suggests draining the fruit in a colander after you cut it, for a cleaner presentation.