Spooky Halloween Party Food Part II

Halloween party food

Continuing on the theme of spooky Halloween food from yesterday’s post, here is the rest of the Halloween-themed food I served at our party last week.

Spooky eggplant skull

Eggplant Skull

I originally came across a recipe for a flayed skin skull on Not Quite Nigella. That recipe used ham as the flesh, but to make it vegetarian Mr Omnivore had the brilliant idea of using marinated eggplant strips to make the flesh. To make it frugal, I marinated the eggplant myself, but you could use a jar of pre-marinated eggplant.

Sliced eggplant

Ingredients: 1 eggplant (sliced very thinly, I used the food processor), 1 cup water, 1 cup white vinegar, 1 tbsp oregano (chopped), 1/2 tbsp thyme, 1 tsp chilli flakes, 3/4 cup olive oil. You will also need some kind of mask as a base and some plastic eye balls. Use red food colouring to dye one piece of eggplant red to use as a tongue.

Method: Combine water and white vinegar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add eggplant and simmer until tender (1-2 minutes). Remove from the saucepan and drain. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan and grill the eggplant slices in batches until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a sterilised jar and add the herbs and chilli between slices. Top up the jar with olive oil until the eggplant is covered. Seal the jar and refrigerate for 1-2 days for the flavours to develop. To assemble, place slices of eggplant over a mask or skull in layers. Top with eyeballs.

Shortbread witches fingers

Shortbread witches fingers

Now we needed something sweet to serve our guests. I am nowhere near creative or patient enough to make beautiful Halloween cupcakes, however I had seen several recipes for “fingers” using almonds as nails. They seemed simple enough to make and looked great, so I decided to try another recipe from Not Quite NIgella, for green witches fingers. I just substituted gluten free plain flour for the normal plain flour and they worked fine.

Witch finger cookie batter

Ingredients: 200g (7oz) butter (at room temperature), 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/3 cups gluten free plain flour, 3/4 cup rice flour, green food colouring, 20-25 raw almonds.

Method: Blanch the almonds by placing them in boiling water for 2 minutes, then removing them and placing in cold water. Rub them to remove the skins, which should come off easily. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy, then beat in the green food colouring. The mixture should be a very bright green, as it will be difficult to add more colouring later. Mix together flours and salt, then fold this mixture into the green mixture. Use your hands to shape the mixture into long finger shapes and top each with a blanched almond. I found the mixture quite crumbly at the stage, but persevere! Bake at 200C (390F) for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160C (315F) and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Leave on the baking tray to cool, as they can be quite crumbly, but they should firm up as they cool.

Halloween popcorn brains

Popcorn brains

Finally, a super-sweet and gory looking snack were popcorn brains, again from Not Quite Nigella (I recommend checking out her Halloween posts for more spooky food inspiration).

Ingredients: 1/2 cup popping corn, 100g (3.5oz) white chocolate, 50g (2oz) butter, 180g pink and white marshmallows (I used gluten-free ones but you don’t have to), 2 tbsp strawberry jam, 2 drops red food colouring.

Marshmallow chocolate mix

Method: Pop the popcorn. I used our air popper, but you could use a saucepan or even a paper bag in the microwave. Microwave the white chocolate and butter on a medium heat for 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until they have melted. Transfer mixture to a saucepan and heat over a medium heat, stir in the marshmallows and continue to stir until they have melted. If you are using gluten-free marshmallows they will take longer to melt, but they will eventually so persevere!

Popcorn brains mixture

Remove any unpopped kernels from the popcorn (I forgot to do this and they were very hard on people’s teeth!). Reduce the heat to low and stir the popcorn kernels into the marshmallow mix until they are all coated. Remove from the heat. Coat your hands in oil to stop the mixture sticking and shape the mixture into brain shapes – you can make them as big or as small as you like. Leave to cool. Just before serving, mix together jam and red food colouring and drop globs onto the brains to give a bloody appearance.

I had a lot of fun catering for this party. What are some of your go-to party recipes?

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  1. Oh my goodness! That eggplant skull is scary looking.

  2. Impressive! And that skull is really creepy!

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