By Suzy Biever
With Halloween fast approaching, now's the time to start putting the final touches on your big event. But are you noticing that your Boo Bash is turning out to be a sad apparition rather than a raging banshee? Do you think you need to add a little hair-raising, bone-chilling excitement? Well, add some vampire-biting, werewolf-howling, mummy-resurrecting thrills to your menu!
You don’t need to let your Halloween fling drop dead - Just spice it up a little bit with some of these frightful ideas! Your bar, restaurant, cafe, or catered events will be the place to be on All Hallows’ Eve with these memorable twists added to your traditional display.
Graveyard Hummus Dip
Make a great first impression with a haunting appetizer – This one is especially ghoulish and is perfect if you have a hummus dip on your menu which you’d like to feature, or are looking to add something new and unexpected.
Just place your hummus in a dish or on a sheet pan. Use pretzels or pretzel sticks to create a fence around the perimeter, and broccoli and celery to serve as trees and other vegetation. To create lurking ghosts, insert pieces of black olives into hard-boiled eggs as eyes and mouths to create twisted and petrified faces. Finally, stick crackers in so that they stand up in the dip, creating the tombstones. You can even use edible markers to write witty and pithy sayings on them, like “Rest in Peas,” “Ule B. Next,” “Al B. Back,” and “Barry D. Alive.”
If you want to tone down the horror-factor a bit, these carved oranges are great for the kids…as well as adults! Gut and carve an orange just as you would a pumpkin. Once it’s all emptied out, you can put anything from jello to fruit salad inside, making for an absolutely scrumptious treat!
Mummified Pork Tenderloin
Throw open the coffin and present your dinner guests with this eerie entrée which looks like it’s straight out of the mausoleum - Pork tenderloin wrapped in a clever phyllo dough mummy disguise! You can also rework this recipe too to make smaller, individual-sized mummies.
Recipe adapted from tasteofhome.com
- 3/4 C. heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 C. Dijon mustard
- 2 t. minced thyme
- 1 lb. pork tenderloin
- 2 t. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 t. pepper
- 10 sheets phyllo dough
- 6 T. melted butter
- 1 medium apple, peeled
1. Bring heavy whipping cream and Dijon mustard to a boil in a skillet. After it begins to boil, turn down the heat and allow it to simmer, uncovered, until it reduces to approximately 2/3 cup. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
2. After the heavy whipping cream / Dijon mustard mixture has been reduced, add in the minced, fresh thyme.
3. Place the pork tenderloin in a baking pan and brush it with the extra virgin olive oil and add the salt and pepper to season. Broil for 6 minutes.
4. Going back to your heavy whipping cream / Dijon mustard mixture, keep 1/2 cup to serve with the finished product. With the rest of the mixture, add it on top of the pork tenderloin.
5. Take your phyllo dough and place 1 sheet down on a good working surface. Brush this sheet with butter. Then, place another sheet of phyllo dough on top, and repeat. Do this until you have a layer of dough 4 sheets thick.
6.Take your broiled pork tenderloin and roll it in the phyllo dough. Fold down the tops and extra ends of dough to maintain the form of the tenderloin and keep the “mummy” shape.
7. Take 1 sheet of phyllo dough and place it again on your work surface. Brush with butter and repeat this process until you have a layer of dough 3 sheets thick. Using a knife or a dough cutter, slice this layer of dough into strips.
8. Wrap the strips of phyllo dough around the already dough-covered pork tenderloin. Overlap and crisscross the strips to create a “mummy” look.
9. With the last sheet of phyllo dough, cut it in half and brush with butter.
10. Cut a cube out of your apple measuring approximately 1 in., and wrap it in your phyllo dough.
11. Place and position this covered apple at the top of your pork tenderloin to create the “head” of your mummy.
12. Place your mummy creation in a baking pan (not greased), and bake for 15-20 minutes. The pork should be about 160°.
13. Serve the tenderloin with the rest of your whipping cream / Dijon mustard mixture. If you really want to make an impression, buy a coffin-shaped serving dish in which to present it! (Slate or stone serving platters are a great alternative too!)
Feel free to laugh like an evil scientist as your mummified pork loin comes out of the oven. Muahahaha! Cackle with all of your might as you serve your guests their goosebump–raising meal!
Hot Dog Worms
If you want something to serve as a side which is as equally fearsome, these hot dog worms are a quick and easy side dish.
Simply take a hot dog and cut it into long strips. Place these strips on a grill until they’re cooked to your liking. On the grill, the heat will make them curl and shrivel, giving them their squirmy, slithery look. Serve them with a variety of sauces or garnishes and make them your own spellbinding concoction!
Secret Surprise Cupcakes
Top those dreadful starters and terrifying main course by transforming your favorite cupcake or muffin recipe into a twisted dessert.
Start by preparing your recipe as you usually would. For this dessert, spice cupcakes would be great, or red velvet would be perfect for Halloween with their dark, burgundy color.
Once your cupcakes/muffins are baked and cooled, take a knife and cut a 1 inch deep by 1 inch wide circle in the top. Empty out the opening that you created and fill it with a fruit spread and spooky gummies or other creepy candies. Top your pastry with your choice of icing, sprinkles, or other decorations.
Now when your guests go to bite or cut into their end-of-meal “treat,” they’ll get a Halloween “trick” they didn’t expect!
As one final Halloween recipe, we give you a stupendously chilling and nightmarish drink garnish which will make your patrons feel like they’re being watched. Whether you want to serve them with sodas or martinis or any other Halloween, seasonal cocktail, these little eyes will definitely horrify and please your guests.
Just take lychees and fill the centers with one or two blueberries. Or, for red eyes, use cranberries. Let them float in your guests’ drinks and spy on them as they enjoy the rest of their meal!
And now, with all of the suggestions and ideas I have flooded your way, it’s time to spookify your already chilling and blood-curdling Halloween menu! Give your restaurant, cafe, or party a seasonal, holiday flair with these eerie yet mouth-watering treats and dishes with some little “tricks” mixed in. And now, as Macbeth’s witches say, it’s time to “double, double, toil and trouble.” Get that cauldron cooking!