Many years ago, I worked as a school cook in a primary school and loved making food for the kids for whatever celebrations were happening. Halloween was always great fun and I could go wild with Spooky Food….
I thought I would post once a week, a few things I have come up with over the years as Halloween party food ideas – Aldi have kindly paid for the food I will use. As readers will know, I use them for 99% of my shopping anyway.
Our firework parties were always for kids and adults, so a good mix of food was needed, favorites for the adults was Pumpkin soup and Gravestone crackers and Mummifed cheese… I like to do easy, fun food that doesn’t leave me stuck in the Kichen – nobody wants that’s
The soup is great to make ahead, then keep warm in a slow cooker – adults can serve themselves into paper cups.
I start by chopping and deseeding a Butternut Squash, if you have loads of guests use a Pumpkin, the scraped out innards of your Pumkin lantern would be great, as long as it is edible and not sprayed with preserving chemicals. I chuck the chopped squash into a freezer bag and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, then yip onto the lined baking sheet.
To the chopped squash, add 2 peeled cloves of garlic and a medium chopped white onion, place them all on a baking tray and into a hot oven at 200 for 20-30 minutes till softened and lightly browned.
Whilst this is cooking, peel and finely chop a thumb size peice of ginger, you can add more or less depending on taste. Once the squash is cooked place in a large saucepan with the ginger and 1-2 litres of water (this will depend on the size of your squash or Pumkin – just remember you can add more fluid, it’s hard to take it away). Add some vegetable stock and bring to the simmer – after a few minutes, when everything is tender, use a stick blender to blend into a smooth soup, season to taste. This soup freezes well, so can be made well ahead.
To present this I dribble double cream, in circles on the top of the soup, then use a wooden skewer to drag through the circles to make a cobweb design, simple but effective.
The Gravestone Crackers are Parmasan and Rosemary crackers cut into gravestone shapes. I use this Thermomix recipe, but this can easily be done in any mixer or food processor. The mix can be made ahead and chilled or frozen, then cut an cooked when you need then – just remember, in stead of rolling into a sausage shape – make into a gravestone shape before chilling. I use this recipe – http://mobile.thermomixclub.org/thermomix/rosemary-and-parmesan-crackers-recipe
Rosemary and Parmesan Crackers Recipe
120g Parmesan cheese finely grated
150g plain flour
2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary (leaves only), OR 1 tsp dried
1 tsp salt
Large pinch white pepper
60g butter chilled and cubed
160g sour cream
Mix the dry Ingedients together in a food processor or stand mixer then add the grated cheese, butter and sour cream (I used plain yogurt), mix till a smooth dough, then form into sausage and chill for at least 4 hours, or freeze for 2.
When ready to bake, pre heat the oven to 180°C and line a cookie sheet. Using a sharp knife, slice the log into crackers approx. 2-3mm thickness and lay each onto the cookie sheet. Bake for 25-30 mins, turning them over at the 15 min mark. Check that the crackers have slightly darker edges and are cooked in the centre. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Keep a close eye on them towards the end of cooking time. Some of the crackers on the outside edges of the cookie sheet are ready before the central ones. Remove these if so to prevent burning. I have used an edible ink pen to decorate them.
The Mummified cheese is really easy – I take a whole Camembert, carefully cut off the top, only about a cm, remove the ‘lid’ and place a tablespoon of cranberry sauce toward the top edge of the cheese, this will be the top of the Mummy’s head, replace the lids, and score where you have put the cranberry sauce, so it can ooze through.
Then take a pack of ready rolled puff pastry and cut into thin ‘bandages’, lay some of the strips into a baking sheet, and sit the cheese on top, wrap the bandages around the cheese to form a mummy head, I use a halved olive for eyes – chill for at least an hour, brush with a beaten egg, then place the baking sheet into a hot oven 180, for 10-15 minutes till the pastry is browning and the cheese is melting – leave for a couple of minutes before serving as the molten cheese will be dangerously hot. Dip into with the crackers, or crust bread or crudity.