I haven’t got any fantastic Halloween recipes you can use for those last minute treats to wow your friends and family. I guess I haven’t ever gotten too involved with the Halloween goodies, but…for the Halloween partying crowd, adult style (though kids love them too!) there are a lot of options.
Sometimes, these are foods that are merely creatively named dishes not that different from those dishes we’d serve for other occasions. For best presentation, make sure to put your dishes’ names on a card to inform your guests that these are special holiday foods! Most of them work well for a buffet as well.
Here are some of my favorites for the Halloween foods.
Deep fried eyeballs
- They are really just stuffed and deep fried olives, but I had been asked to NOT announce they were olives when anyone inquired, as one of the guests wouldn’t have tried them, and his wife sincerely hoped he would. Caught by another guest, in front of the olive-hating guest, I was inspired to a long winded tale about the difficulty in acquiring a whole pound of cow’s eyeballs for dinner in post-Katrina New Orleans. By the time the tale was done, everyone was standing and listening, and much to my surprise, some of the guests believed me!
- To make them, get the largest pitted olives you can, either green or black. I stuffed the black ones with feta cheese, and the green ones with raw Italian sausage removed from its casing. I also had to unstuff the green olives before I could replace the pimento with sausage, and this is usually the case. Empty pitted green olives, it seems, are in short supply…almost as rare as cow eyeballs in post-Katrina New Orleans! After the olives are stuffed, put them in a zip lock bag with a small amount of olive oil to lightly coat each olive with oil. They can be stored in the refrigerator at this point, ready to finish and cook. To finish them, roll them in Italian seasoned bread crumbs and fry in hot oil until golden brown. Keep warm in a low oven, if necessary, before serving. These are best served quickly after they are fried.
- These aren’t related to monkeys, but they are far tastier and less bony than fingers would be anyhow. They are also simple to make and start with potatoes.
- Cut potatoes into french fries. (Don’t try to cheat and use frozen, they don’t come out very well.) Rinse and pat dry. Toss potatoes with several tablespoons of olive oil, then in seasoned potato mixture. Bake monkey fingers at 400 degrees F. until lightly browned and tender, about 30 minutes.
Seasoned potato mixture
- 1/2 c. instant potato flakes
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. ranch dressing mix
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Stir to combine. Will coat a dozen average potatoes cut into cubes or fries.
Hairy Bat Wings
- Like the fried eyeballs, they aren’t exactly what we’re calling them. These are also easy, and can be kept warm for about 30 minutes in a low oven without a problem, but are also best if served soon after being fried for the crispest, most flavorful presentation.
- Separate chicken wings into the drumette and leave the middle section attached to the tip, if desired. Dip in an egg wash, then roll in the “hairy” mixture. Fry in hot oil until golden brown, drain on paper towels, and serve hot.
- 1 c. crushed shredded wheat cereal (the big biscuits, not the mini version)
- 1/4 c. paprika
- 1/4 c. flour
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 3 tbsp. Tony Chachere’s More Spice
Stir ingredients to combine.
Stewed Bat Guts and Maggots
- These are made from inexpensive chicken livers, and are very easy to prepare. Start with about a pound of chicken livers, rinsed and patted dry. Heat a skillet with a few tablespoons of oil until hot, and then add the chicken livers and stir fry them with about 1/4 c. of soy sauce. When the chicken livers have lost their pink look, add a one pound bag of pepper stir fry from the grocery’s freezer case to the chicken livers and continue stir frying until the frozen vegetables are thoroughly hot. Mix about a tablespoon of corn starch with about 1/2 c. cold water, and stir into the mixture, cooking until the sauce becomes translucent and boils. Serve with steamed rice (aka “maggots”).
Monkey Brains with Pus Sauce
- This one sounds a lot grosser than it really is, and like the others…isn’t even close to what it is really made from. This is a fall classic, and super simple.
- This isn’t an extremely sweet dessert, as it just features the natural sweetness of the apples, the red hot candies, and their stuffing of granola (which is usually sweetened.) If desired, add a touch more sweetness with a drizzle of honey or a spoonful of brown sugar or even additional red hots. The red hots also add a bright red coloring, that should stain the dribbled cream when serving, for added “special effects.”
- Core one apple per person. Arrange the apples in a buttered baking dish large enough to hold them all. Stuff the core area with granola, add about a half dozen cinnamon red hots to each apple, and place a pat of butter on top of each one. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for about 30 minutes or until apples are tender. Let stand about 15 minutes at room temperature before serving or they can wait in the oven on warm for up to an hour. To serve, place each apple in a shallow bowl, and dribble a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream over the apple, allowing the cream to puddle around the base of the apple to form the “pus sauce.” These can also be reheated in the microwave, but don’t add the cream until serving, as it can curdle during the reheating process.