Some holidays linger a while after the big day, but Halloween seems to fold up and pack itself away post-haste, making way for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all the other late-year holidays. However in this post we will buck the trend by telling the spooky tale of our somewhat recent Foodies Group dinner party with a Halloween theme.
So it was a special treat (no tricks!) to receive the theme notification from Kathleen and Karen:
Ghoulies and Ghosties and Long-legged Beasties and Things that Go Bump in the Night. So collect those eyes of newt and create those cobweb pies and let’s meet at midnight in a unhallowed grove. BYOC (cauldron)
Kathleen curated a delightful playlist which I will save to share next October. As delightful as the Monster Mash is at a Halloween party, its appeal fades faster than the sugar buzz from leftover candy once the holiday has passed. For me, at least.
Take a peek at the menu of ghoulish delights … if you dare:
- Drinks – Ilise and Ann: Dracula’s Kiss and Pearfect Potion cocktails; assorted wine including a Walking Dead red
- Appetizers – Greg: Blood and Guts Tarts
- Main course – Karen and Kathleen: Halloween Salad; Pork Tenderloin Wellington; Jack-o-Lantern Peppers Stuffed with Black Rice and Sweet Potatoes
- Dessert – Ellyn: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies and Ice Cream
We made a batch at home and served 'em up onsite. Click on the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
Next he piled on ... well, let's hear from Greg himself:
For the Foodies get-together at Halloween 2018, I put together ghoulish “blood and guts” tarts using a spicy puttanesca-like sauce to represent the blood; layers of caramelized onions and buttery spaghetti squash represent the guts. I pressed homemade sourdough rye cracker dough into madeleine forms and baked them ahead of time to make casket-shaped tart shells. A dash of Vulcan Fire Salt amped up the devilish spicy element. A topping of fontina and parmesan was sprinkled over the tarts before baking to heat the filling and melt the cheese.
There are a lot of separate components and advanced prep, but this can all be done ahead of time. You only need to pop the finished tarts into the oven at the last minute before serving.
After struggling to find an appropriate main course for the theme we chose, we finally settled on a pork tenderloin Wellington. We gave it a decidedly ghoulish cast by using strips of dough rather than a solid sheet and presented it as a mummy in a black casket. This we supplemented with jack-o-lantern-cut yellow and orange bell peppers stuffed with black (“forbidden”) rice and bits of sweet potatoes. We also served a Halloween salad featuring apple, smoked gouda, and farro salad, adapted from the website Two Peas and their Pod.
Sadly, my photos of the pork/mummy fail to show the details of the clever presentation. You'll have to take my word on how cute the roast was as the Ks served it in a little casket. Flavorful, attractive (love those pepper pumpkins!) and seasonal, this is a menu that will work long after the holiday. Click on the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
A relatively easy-to-make recipe, this dessert packs a powerful punch of autumnal flavors -- warm spices, pumpkin pie-like seasonings, creamy filling. Add a little ice cream and you've got the perfect finish to a wonderful meal. The recipe comes from Epicurious. Click on the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
Want a second helping (or third! I won't tell) of the Foodies dinner parties? Click here to read more.