Tag Archives: halloween food

Nostalgia: McDonald’s retro Halloween

31 Oct

Gah! Spied these darlings on Pinterest and was immediately transported to childhood. How adorable! Remember getting these McDonald’s gift certificates in my Halloween bag. Oh, for a hot caramel sundae right now! The sweet taste of Halloweens past!

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Brain Food

27 Oct

Finally found a brain-shaped mold after seeing them online for years.

It is sturdy! And perfect for shrimp mousse, in all its glistening, shrimp-filled glory. Perfect for a Halloween party. We forgot to bring along a serving plate, and think this would looked better on a glass platter, or have been extra funny on stainless steel: more medical!

Note: to release mousse from brain, press the front and back of the mold upside down and it pops right out.
halloween brain
brain1
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Ruby Fooooos

29 Sep


Memories of a Halloween spent in Gotham City — erm, Manhattan — are motivating us to cast a Pan Asian spell on this year’s gothic gourmet menu.

Walking the streets of the Upper West Side on a warm and breezy autumn evening gave us a chance to spy on New York kids trick or treating at Columbus Avenue shops and on the steps of brownstones.

With iPod variously playing Autumn in New York and Danse Macabre (playlist for the occasion) we sashayed past the glowing red lanterns of Ruby Foo’s on Broadway and 77th, a friend’s favourite haunt.

For this year’s Halloween dinner and a moooovie, we’re thinking of a tip of the witches hat to Ruby’s now-closed UWS location.

How about lychee blood orange martinis and a delectable selection of dim sum offerings (more bones!).

Each year, we like to hunker down with classic spooky movies (no slashers, pleaz) and some Halloween themed nibbles.

We leave the grossout grub for the kiddies, and instead choose a menu evocative of the season’s spirit.

To relive our Manhattan Halloween, we’re happy to take on Kung Pao or sweeter General Tao chicken wings, tamarind glazed spare ribs, and shrimp dumplings or steamed shrimp balls.

No New York-themed Halloween celebration would be complete without a screening of Ghostbusters, right?

And speaking of New York themes, how about this adorable candy corn pizza;

THE RUBY FOO
1 oz. (or equal parts) super-premium vodka
1/2 oz or 1 oz plum sake
1 oz. cranberry juice

A splash of lemon juice and a splash of pineapple juice (a splash is equal to 1/8–1/4 oz.)

Shake well with ice and strain into chilled martini glass; garnish with a thinly sliced lemon wheel.

GENERAL TAO CHICKEN WINGS

Chicken Wings
24 chicken wings
3 tablespoons peanut or olive oil
Salt

Sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sambal oelek
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup sugar
1 green onion, thinly sliced (optional)
Chicken Wings
With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Line a 30 x 43-cm (12 x 17-inch) baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Cut the wings through the joints into 3 pieces. Discard the wing tips.
Place the chicken pieces in a bowl. Coat them with the oil and season with salt. Arrange them on the cooling rack so they are not touching. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn and bake until the meat pulls easily from the bone, about 20 minutes. Finish by broiling until the skin is crisp and golden-brown.

Sauce
In a bowl, whisk the cornstarch, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, water, fresh ginger, garlic, sambal oelek and paprika. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Cook without stirring until the mixture turns gold. Add the mixture. Simmer until the caramel has dissolved and has become syrupy.
In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the chicken in the sauce, turning the pieces until completely coated and well glazed. Garnish with green onion.

Note
To prevent the wings from becoming soft, serve them on a plate or platter instead of in a bowl.

Fright Night

31 Oct

Heeeeeere’s dinner!

After a month’s worth of Halloween recipe posting, we unveil our Halloween night boofet of horrordoeuvres:

Japanese Bat Wings and Steak Bites with Bloody Mary Dipping Sauce.

Perfect for our horror movie night.

We’re lazy, so we’re buying Cost-co wings and just baking them with the sauce, which is a childhood fave.

Japanese Chicken Wings
The Best of Bridge
Great for crowds and kids! Tastes good warmed up if there’s any left.

3 lbs. chicken wings, tips removed 1.5 kg
1 egg
1/3 cup flour 75ml
1 cup butter 250ml (or half butter and half oil.)
Sauce:
3 Tbsp. soy sauce 45 ml
3 Tbsp. water 45ml
1 cup white sugar 250ml
1/2 cup vinegar 125ml

Cut wings in half. Dip in slightly beaten egg and then in flour. Fry in butter until deep brown and crisp. Place in shallow roasting pan. Mix all sauce ingredients together and pour over chicken wings. Bake at 350 F (180C) for 1/2 hour.
Baste wings with sauce during cooking.


Steak Bites with Bloody Mary Dipping Sauce

Recipe Rachael Ray
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup vodka
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
1 rounded tablespoon prepared horseradish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/3 pounds beef sirloin cut into large bite-sized pieces, about 1-inch squares
Steak seasoning blend or coarse salt and black pepper
6 to 8-inch bamboo skewers
Directions
Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add oil and onions and saute 5 minutes. Add vodka and boil to reduce by half. Add Worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato sauce and horseradish. Stir to combine the dipping sauce and return the sauce to a simmer. Add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings.

Heat nonstick skillet over high heat. Coat meat bites lightly in oil. Season with steak seasoning blend or salt and pepper, to taste. Cook the meat until caramelized all over, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer dipping sauce to a small dish and place at the center of a serving platter. Surround the dip with meat bites and set several bamboo “stakes” or skewers alongside meat.

Witchy finger food…

26 Oct

We’re getting to the end of our Halloween recipe series. We may have overdone it… we’re a little indecisive about our upcoming Halloween night dinner. Too many choices!

CHEESE AND OLIVE FINGERS
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups aged Cheddar cheese
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 large egg white
10 pitted black or green olives, halved
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Method:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Beat the butter and cheese until wellcombined. Mix in the flour, mustard, cayenne and egg white just until a dough forms. Take about 2 Tbsp. of the mixture and shape into a finger. Make a knuckle shape in the centre and slash a few wrinkles into the dough. Place on a non-stick or parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Make an indentation at the end of each finger. Place a half olive into each indentation. Bake 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom and cooked through.

SPIDER WEB PARTY DIP
thifty foods
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, plus some to sprinkle around the outer edges of the dip
1/3 cup finely chopped red pepper
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 250g pkg. hard cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup salsa
1 ripe, medium avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
Juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. sour cream
Pinch sugar
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Method:
Sprinke the 1 cup grated cheese, red pepper and green onion into the bottom of a shallow sided dish about 10-inches wide. Place the cream cheese and salsa in a food processor; blend until almost smooth. Spoon cream cheese mixture into the serving dish; spread it out with a spatula until it touches the sides. Place the avocado, lime juice, the 1/2 cup sour cream and sugar in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Carefully spread over the cream cheese ixture, leaving 1/2-inch border. Place the 2 Tbsp. sour cream in a piping bag fitted with a small, plain tip. Pipe the sour cream in a spiral shape over the avocado mixture. Drag the tip of a sharp knife from the centre of the spiral to the edge of the dip. Wipe the knife clean. Move about 1-inch to the left or right and repeat the process. Continue until the whole dip looks like a spider web. Sprinkle outer edges of the dip with remaining cheese.

Jack’o’lantern Patties

15 Oct

Halloween inspiration from a silly 80s Seventeen recipe page for babysitter’s supper of jack’o’lantern carved cheese slices melted on Lipton Onion Soup burgers.

For a lark — and to celebrate Halloween early — we are going to surprise a friend by putting these goofy cheeseburgers on the grill. But instead of the old dried onion soup mix, we may opt for turkey burgers with chipotle avocado mayo or maybe these turkey cheddar sliders.

Or something like the amazing burger we just had: a pork and wild boar patty with roasted apple and garlic jam, Quebec Oka, a roasted garlic & grainy mustard mayo on an onion bun. *loves*

I Want Candy

15 Oct

Half the fun of Halloween is getting your hands on the goopy pumpkin seed guts. Nothing transports you back to childhood like the aroma of roasting pumpkin seeds. A classic happy memory.

Here are two versions of pumpkin seed candy. The first, a sophisticated cumin-scented version. The second, good old Martha’s bon bon style.

PUMPKIN SEED BRITTLE
Adapted from a recipe by Guy Reuge
This recipe makes a beautiful brittle that tastes as good as it looks. You can omit the cumin, but you’ll lose the slight smoky note that provides an ideal contrast to the sugar. Chef Guy Reuge served the brittle at the Beard House as one of the mignardises, alongside macaroons and candied orange peel.

1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 3/4 cups shelled pumpkin seeds, also know as pepitas

Generously grease a cookie sheet or cover it with a silicone mat. Set aside.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter, and water in a medium pot. Stir the sugar with your fingers to moisten so that no lumps remain. Cook the mixture over medium heat until it caramelizes, about 15 minutes. It’s done when it’s medium brown; be careful not to let it burn, which can happen in the blink of an eye.

Take the pot off the burner and immediately whisk in the salt, baking soda, and cumin. Quickly add the pumpkin seeds and stir until they are coated with the liquid caramel. If the mixture hardens too fast to allow you to stir in the seeds, return the pot to the heat for several seconds. Working quickly, pour the mixture on the baking sheet you prepared earlier and spread it with a rolling pin to about 1/4-inch thickness.

When the brittle has cooled and hardened, break it into pieces. Store it in an airtight container.
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PUMPKIN SEED CANDY
Martha Stewart
Makes 30 pieces.

1 cup hulled pepitas
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup good quality honey
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons melted for brushing

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pepitas; toast, stirring constantly until seeds pop and become slightly golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Place sugar and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar, about 3 minutes. Add pepitas, and continue cooking until temperature registers 285 degrees.on a candy thermometer, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in cold butter.

Let the mixture cool to 240 degrees. about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, brush the inside of fifteen 1-inch-diameter black paper cups with melted butter, reserving 1 tablespoon. Spoon a scant tablespoon of the honey mixture into each cup. Brush a clean work surface with the remaining butter, and spoon the remaining honey mixture on it so mixture will continue to cool.

When remaining candy is stiff and cool enough to handle, about 6 minutes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces with a greased knife. Put one piece of candy in center of each of fifteen 4-by-4-inch pieces of orange cellophane wrap, gather cellophane at the top, and secure with a twist of a 4 1/2-inch piece of floral wire. Wrap the ends of floral wire around a skewer to form tendrils.