HALLOWEEN AND DAY OF THE DEAD CELEBRATIONS START HERE. DON’T BE AFRAID.
We're here for you as you battle the season's zombies and tackle the season’s celebrations. We’ve got party ideas for Halloween and for the holiday that follows, The Day of the Dead (Spanish: Dia de Muertos), the Mexican holiday celebrated throughout the world - we’ve got some party ideas there too.
Let's get to it, shall we, the spirits await!
Whether you're serving children of age 6, 36, or 60, it's time to blend in a lot of fun, and a bit of funk, into this macabre celebration. It’s a fantastic time to put masks on your face, and great food in your mouth. Check out our Day of the Dead ideas below which give you even more excuses to eat great food all week long.
For Halloween. The keys to a great Halloween party are simple, explosive food (not literally exploding food ... but now that we think about it ...); freshly made, age-appropriate libations; plenty of themed napkins; and lots of little, nutty, crazy touches like pumpkins and fake cobwebs around the table and house to put people in the mood.
For Day of the Dead. Here are some ideas for day of the dead: Store bought enchiladas with a roasted yellow pepper salsa. Roasted sweet potatoes on dark greens with crumbled cotija and candied walnuts. Fried tortillas and a fresh whipped guacamole. Oaxacan Hot Chocolate. Pan de muerto and the ever popular Sugar Skull.
As for what to eat -- we've got you covered (and not in spooky slime) with our recipes for putting on a great party for Halloween and Day of the Dead.
MACABRE MENU FOR ALL HALLOWS EVE
Put food around, and don't mind if it all looks a bit scary or chaotic. People coming over (prior to tricking and treating, or after, or even during) are not focused on anything formal. Keep it fun, delicious, and simple. Except for store-bought candy, our menu can be made in EuroCAST cookware, so do yourself a frightening favor and don't make your Halloween about the cleanup.
The strategy is obvious. Some things sweet, some savory, all accessible to fingers (or if you're wearing gorilla gloves, toothpicks), all small bites that put the treat in trick-or-treat.
5 pounds equals about 30-32 pieces.
In a single layer, lay the drumettes on a cookie sheet or -- for faster cleanup and lovely cooking -- in your EuroCAST double roaster's top.
Drizzle with olive oil, and spread over top a good seasoning of kosher salt and ground black pepper.
Roast in your oven at 450 degrees F until golden, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and add to one of the sauces below. They are all favorites in my family, so you can't go wrong making any -- or all -- of them. Toss and serve in one of these sauces, or your own ghoulishly clever Halloween sauce.
GATES TO HELL SAUCE (A RAP-SCALLION'S DREAM)
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup Tabasco or similar hot sauce
1 scallion, minced fine
Stir well until completely incorporated.
SWEET DEATH (FOR A WITCH'S TOAST)
1 cup fig or other fruit-filled jelly
1 jalepeno, minced fine
Process these two ingredients in the food processor and you're done.
GRAVEYARD GREEN SAUCE (FRANKENSTEIN'S FAVORITE WHEN VISITING CANCUN)
Tomatillo sauce. Check out this link for my tomatillo sauce.
STEAK SLIDERS TO DIE FOR (DON'T WORRY, THEY CAN ALSO BRING YOU BACK TO LIFE)
I love Meryl Streep. In the hilariously gruesome movie, Death Becomes Her, she ends up with a hole in her tummy.
Here's something that might have filled it.
DEATH BECOMES YOU STEAK SLIDERS WITH FRESH CAUGHT EEL
That's what you put on the placard near these beauties. There's really no eel in it. (That might come with a sushi posting in the future.)
These steak sliders are simply some perfect steak with peppers and onions.
Here’s the story:
Acquire slider buns or mini hot dog buns. When you're ready to assemble the sliders, fill with a smear of the very best mayo and a combo of steak and peppers and onions.
For the steak, put flank steak on your Eurocast grill pan and grill it to desired doneness (in the spirit of Halloween, please leave some pink at least).
Let the steak rest for a good 15 minutes while you cook the veggies in the next step. Once the steak has rested, slice that steak super-thin with a great, sharp knife.
Don’t clean that skillet. It's filled with flavor. Now add 3 T. olive oil, then add one sliced white onion and a whole, thinly sliced sliced red pepper. Sauté till soft -- some like it very soft.
Layer the steak and peppers with the onions and eat until you're on death's door! Or at least until you fill that hole in your Meryl Streep-like tummy.
MOANING MYRTLE CHEESE TRAY
For you Harry Potter fans, here is a cheese tray fit for your favorite ghost.
Grab your biggest cheese board, or, to be clever, get a nice piece of plywood and cover it with wax paper. It's surprisingly beautiful and so easy to clean up.
A cheese board demands variety, not just to please everyone's palette, but because real cheese lovers (raising my hand) like to go among different cheese to compare and contrast. It's like dating but with dairy products.
Pick 2-3 cheeses, minimum. Get something:
Ooey and gooey.
And one that the little monsters will eat and not spit out in your martini.
Fruit, veggies, and cheese go together like Dracula and Vampirella and Renfield. Or like Abbott & Costello and Frankenstein and Dracula and the Mummy and whoever was in that movie. Vincent Price sort of appears at the end.
Plan for little grabs that require no removal of your gorilla gloves.
So, for fruit and veggies: Single bites like berries, grapes, grape tomatoes (they're a bit sweeter than cherry tomatoes) and baby carrots; and a separate board for cut apples and stone fruits. Include a good knife and a pit bowl for the cherries. And napkins.
BREAD KNOTS THAT DISAPPEAR LIKE THE INVISIBLE MAN
Here's a fun experiment: Put these bread knots out on your table with a little placard marking them as Baby Brains Bread Knots. Watch to see which parent eats them voraciously.
Baby Brains Bread Knots
Check out your grocery store's freezer section to make these knots. Look for frozen, uncooked bread dough. Buy it. Thaw it ... and then you can turn it into all sorts of delightful treats, including these baby brains. I mean, bread knots.
1 loaf frozen uncooked bread dough, thawed, and cut into 10-12 pieces.
Roll each piece into a long snake and tie into knots.
Place on parchment lined cookie sheet or your EuroCAST griddle (I have the biggest griddle -- it's awesome for this)
Repeat as needed
Drizzle with olive oil and cover with another piece of wax paper.
Let sit to rise in a warm place till almost doubled, about 40 minutes
In the meantime, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Then, when the doubling is done, brush the knots with 7 tablespoons melted unsalted butter.
Cook till browned and puffy, 10-12 minutes.
THE PARTY'S OVER. NOW WHAT?
The best treat of all are the sweet things you remember about a great dinner party. When you relax, open up, share laughs and good food, you're ready for what's next.
Which is either a good night's sleep, or, for some of us, planning Thanksgiving.
With fewer skulls and spiders.
And now, to thank you for signing up for a PDF of this Halloween Must-Have Party Tips, a few more pictures to whet your monstrous appetite. Enjoy!
A PARTY GHOUL'S DELIGHT, WITHOUT THE NIGHTMARE OF COOKWARE CLEANUP.
Click on the bread knot below to see the secret Halloween pictures we captured.