Halloween is right around the corner, and everyone is busy putting together last minute Halloween costumes. Instead of simply serving buckets of candy this year at your Halloween gathering, why not make some deliciously ghoulish dishes instead?
Unsettling pumpkin guacamole
He's a lot tastier than he looks, filled with creamy, chunky guacamole. Take your pumpkin carvings and turn them into guacamole holders.
1 large ripe tomato
3 avocados, very ripe but not bruised
1 lime, juiced
handful coriander, leaves and stalks chopped, plus a few leaves, roughly chopped, to serve
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 chilli, red or green, deseeded and finely chopped
tortilla chips, to serve
1. Carve the pumpkin with a large hole for the mouth, for the guacamole to come out of.
2. Dice the tomatoes and save all the juices. Put everything into a bowl. Halve and stone the avocados, and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh into the bowl with the tomato. Add to bowl with tomatoes.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and season with salt and pepper. With two knives or a potato masher to mash everything together.
4. Spoon the guacamole into the mouth of the pumpkin and arrange so that the pumpkin looks like it's... getting sick.
Terrifying but tasty spiders, two ways
Doesn't matter who you are—spiders can be pretty creepy! Scare your guests with some spiders that are really olives in disguise for some fun.
9 rosemary leaves
1. Use a wooden skewer or toothpick to make 4 holes on opposite sides of an olive.
2. Insert a rosemary leaf in each hole. Use another rosemary leaf to secure a caper at one end of each olive.
Spider deviled eggs
3 slices bacon (3 oz.)
8 hardboiled eggs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
Salt and pepper
16 black olives
1. In a frying pan, cook bacon until browned on both sides and crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. When cool enough to handle, crumble bacon.
2. Cut each egg in half lengthwise; gently scoop out yolks and place in a bowl. Mash yolks with a fork, then stir in mayonnaise, green onions, mustard, and crumbled bacon until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spoon or pipe about 1 tablespoon yolk mixture into the hollow of each egg-white half. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 4 hours.
4. Pitted black olives in half lengthwise. Place one half of olive on top of an egg. Cut the remaining olive halves into thin slices, four on each side of every half.
Coffin sandwiches for the undead
These creepy coffin-shaped sandwiches are a great finger food to serve at Halloween parties. Not only are they of the season, but featuring basil, pumpernickel bread, and microgreens, it's food that's jam-packed with flavor and nutrition.
2 cups fresh basil, packed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup walnut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large loaf pumpernickel bread
1 cup almond slivers, toasted
2 cups microgreens
1 McIntosh apple, cored, seeded and sliced
2 cups aged Cheddar, shaved
For the pesto: Pulse together the basil, walnuts, walnut oil and garlic in a food processor until combined. Add the Parmesan and olive oil and pulse again.
For the sandwiches: Cut the pumpernickel into 1/2-inch slices, and then into coffin shapes. On each slice of bread, spread a layer of mayo, a layer of pesto, a sprinkling of almonds, sprouts, a layer of apples, and shaved Cheddar. Place another coffin-shaped bread slice on top and repeat for another layer. Top off with a final coffin slice.
For the witches and wizards in the crowd, serve them this flavorful and perfectly seasoned curry that borrows flavor profiles from Southeast Asia. Served in a cauldron, it's a sophisticated Halloween-themed dish that'll tantalize your tastebuds.
FOR THE CURRY PASTE
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds, toasted
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, toasted
1 teaspoon coarse salt
3 serrano chiles, sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, trimmed and chopped (1/2 cup)
8 garlic cloves, minced (1/4 cup)
2 scallions, chopped (1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest (from 2 limes)
FOR THE STEW
2 ounces spinach (1 cup)
1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened regular coconut milk
1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened light coconut milk
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1 inch thick (21/4 cups)
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup fresh basil
Serrano chiles, thinly sliced, for garnish
Squeamish Squash with Rice
Lime wedges, for serving
1. Make the curry paste: Grind coriander, cumin, peppercorns, and salt with a mortar and pestle, or with the bottom of a heavy skillet. Add remaining ingredients, and grind until a paste forms. (Curry paste can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months.)
2. Make the stew: Puree 5 tablespoons curry paste, the spinach, and 1 cup regular coconut milk in a blender until smooth. Reserve remaining curry paste for another use.
3. Bring remaining regular coconut milk and the light coconut milk to a boil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy stockpot.
4. Reduce heat, stir in curry-spinach mixture, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add zucchini, and cook until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add chicken, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until zucchini is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add basil, and garnish with serrano chiles.
5. Serve with rice and lime wedges.
Spinach ricotta skulls
Despite how emaciated the skulls look, these skull-shaped ricotta and spinach hors d'oeuvres are incredibly nourishing, filled with calcium and iron.
1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
Olive-oil, cooking spray
1 bunch fresh spinach (or a 10-ounce bag), stems removed, washed well and dried
1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves (from 1 bunch)
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
2 large whole eggs, plus 1 egg white
Crackers, for serving
1. Wrap ricotta tightly in cheesecloth; place in a colander over a large bowl. Place a heavy object (such as a bowl or canned good) on top; let drain in the refrigerator at least 3 hours (or up to overnight).
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray. In a food processor, combine drained ricotta, spinach, basil, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Process until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add whole eggs and egg white; process for 5 seconds. Pour mixture into prepared pan; bake until set and just brown around the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate, covered, until cold, preferably overnight. To unmold, run a paring knife around edge before removing side of pan.
3. Cut into quarters. Using a wide spatula, transfer to a cutting board coated with cooking spray. Cut out shapes with a skull-shaped cookie cutter coated with spray (if cutter doesn't come with eyes and a mouth, use aspic cutters to make features). Using a cotton swab, gently press skulls out directly onto crackers (leave eye and nose shapes in cutter).
Make your Halloween a little bit easier by using greens from an Urban Cultivator indoor garden. While the kids are out collecting candy, you could be preparing nutritious and nourishing dishes using food grown right in your kitchen.
What are your spookiest Halloween recipes? What are you dressing up as this year? Let us know in the comments section!