Harold Kelly from Melange catering & Special Events shows food radio talk show host Cleverley Stone some inventive and spooky treats for a Halloween party including Graveyard Pots de Creme, Tombstone Cookies, Mummy Wrap Hot Dogs, Shruken Head Punch and Sweet & Savory Specimen Jars.
For more information about food, wine and dining in Houston, catch Cleverley’s radio show, Saturdays at Noon on Talk 650 AM. (PS: She gives out restaurant gift cards on every radio show!)
Halloween Party Foods
Melange Catering & Special Events
Dark Chocolate Graveyard Pots de Crème
14 ounces (about 3 cups) semisweet or bitter-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
2 large eggs, plus 2 yolks
2 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup coffee-flavored liqueur
1/2 cup chocolate wafer crumbs
1. In a food processor or blender, whirl chocolate until finely chopped. Pour into a bowl. Put eggs and yolks in the processor or blender.
2. In a 4-cup glass measure, heat whipping cream in a microwave oven (see Notes) at full power (100%) until cream boils, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. With processor or blender on high speed, add boiling cream to egg. Check temperature of mixture with an instant-read thermometer;
if below 160°, pour mixture back into glass measure and reheat in microwave oven at full power until it reaches 160°, stirring and checking at 15-second intervals.
4. Combine hot cream mixture, chopped chocolate, and liqueur in blender or processor (or whisk the ingredients together in a large bowl); whirl until smooth, about 1 minute.
5. Pour chocolate mixture into 8 ramekins or glasses (1/2-cup size). Chill until softly set, 30 to 45 minutes. If making ahead, cover and chill up to 1 day.
For creamiest texture, let desserts stand at room temperature about 30 minutes before eating.
6. Spoon 1 tbsp. wafer crumbs onto each pot de crème. Insert a Tombstone Cookie into each serving.
Recipe courtesy of MyRecipes.com
2 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling cookies
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Melted semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and 1/2-cup sugar until creamy; beat in egg and vanilla.
3. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa; gradually add to butter mixture, blending thoroughly,
to form a soft dough. Divide dough into thirds, cover each portion tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm (at least 1 hour), or up to 3 days.
4. On a floured board, roll out dough, a portion at a time, to a thickness of 1/8 in. (keep dough refrigerated when not in use).
With a sharp knife, cut out free-form tombstone shapes (about 1 1/2 by 3 in.; cut bottom edges at an angle to make them easier to poke into the pots de crème),
and place slightly apart on ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle generously with sugar.
5. Bake cookies until edges are lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool completely before handling.
6. Using a pastry bag with a very fine tip, pipe the letters “RIP” in chocolate on at least 8 of the cookies. Stick these cookies into
the Dark Chocolate Graveyard Pots de Crème and serve the rest of the cookies alongside.
Halloween Mummy Hotdog Wraps
1 can (11 oz.) Pillsbury refrigerated breadstick or crescent roll dough
12 large hotdogs
1. Heat oven to 375F.
2. Unwrap dough from carton. Fold out gently as it has a tendency to stick together.
3. Pull apart the 12 breadsticks. With a knife or kitchen shears cut each breadstick in half lengthwise. Now you will have 24 thin breadsticks.
4. For each breadstick, cut in half crosswise. Now you will have 48 small thin breadsticks.
5. Wrap 4 pieces of dough around each hotdog in crisscross manner. Make sure to leave an opening for the head.
6. Bake 15-20 minutes until the dough is nice and brown.
7. Put two dots of mustard on the front of the head for eyes.
8. Put in a basket with extra mustard and ketchup in a separate dish for dipping
Recipe courtesy of My Mom.
Shrunken Head Punch
8 firm apples
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp salt
OK, no recipe for an actual ‘punch’ here as you can use whatever beverage you like – mulled wine for adults,
juice based for the kids. Note that the shrunken heads are too salty too eat but just too much fun not to make!
For the shrunken heads –
1. In a large bowl combine the salt and lemon juice with 1-cup (250ml) water until the salt dissolves.
2. Peel the apples, cut in half lengthwise and spoon out the seeds and core.
3. Turn into the mixture to stop them browning.
4. Using whatever tools you have carve out the eye sockets, nose and mouth – a pumpkin carving kit is perfect for this, but any knife will do.
5. Return them to the mixture, turning to coat.
6. Leave apples in mixture for 20 minutes to 1 hour.
7. Pat them dry and place on a wire rack over a roasting tin or rimmed baking sheet.
8. Bake in a 120C (250F) oven for 1.5 – 2 hours, until they begin to shrink and edges are lightly browned.
9. Let cool on rack. You can make them ahead and refrigerate now in paper towel lined airtight container for up to 24 hours.
Source: Canadian Living Magazine
Sweet & Savory Specimen Jars
1. What good is a specimen jar if you can’t serve it at dinner? The contents of the jars should be genuinely edible, made out of real food. Plastic snakes and spiders are not good.
2. Make it tasty. While the appearance of the specimen jars may cause loss of appetite, the scent, by contrast, should be simply mouth watering. There are many ways to get there.
Specimen jars can be prepared as an antipasto course (e.g., with preserved vegetables), as a soup appetizer, as a palate cleanser between courses, or a dessert course, depending on
the ingredients chosen.
3. Work within the comfort zone of your guests. If your guests are super-omnivores, eager to eat the most challenging ingredients that you can get your hands on– whether that’s offal, etc,
then go right ahead. However, the point of this project is to make a dish that looks intimidating but actually consists of friendly ingredients. It’s possible to make a truly scary
looking set of specimen jars that is strictly vegan or passes the even stricter dietary requirements that your child may present.
Items and tips for your sweet and savory specimen jars
- Wide mouth mason jars with lids.
- lychee, mangosteen, and rambutan, all of which taste like they could be standard “fruit cocktail” ingredients, but look very different.
While we would normally recommend using fresh ingredients, starting with canned goods really is a great shortcut to that not-quite recognizable
“soaking in a preservative for years” look.
- You need some sort of fluid “preservative.” For dessert, there are plenty of good options, depending on your taste. You could use sweetened iced tea
for an effect much like bubble tea with the soft fruits at the bottom. Or lemon-lime soda with a dash of cola. Or lemonade, apple juice or white grape juice.
Or, as shown here, mostly water with a splash of Italian syrup.
- The end result is a bit ambiguous in appearance. What is that? Could those be preserved parts of gooseneck barnacles? Coral polyps? You can encourage that
mystery with a suitable label.
- Use Fresh Bamboo Shoots for “tentacles.”
- Long Beans for a parasite look.
- Boiled Cauliflower for a “boiled brain” look.
- Tapioca pearls as “eggs” — the origin, of course, is unknown.
Idea originally came from Mad Scientist.com