Prepare these scary starters to sustain and enhance the spirit of Halloween in the dining area. Simply cut the white bread slices with a ghost-shaped cookie cutter. The cutter can be customized for the required eerie shape. Spread a little chicken salad between the slices, add a thin layer of cream cheese to the top and decorate with sliced olives.
- White bread slices
- Chicken or tuna salad: 3 cups
- Whipped cream cheese: 1 tub (approx. 8 oz.)
- Black olives finely sliced, for ghost face
- Ghost-shaped cookie cutter: size 3 ½ to 4 ½ in.
- Cut-out the desired ghost from the bread slices using the cookie cutter. Spread about ¼ cup of chicken salad per sandwich to prepare 12 sandwiches.
- Uniformly spread about 1 tbsp. Of cream cheese on top slice of each sandwich. Make the eyes and mouth using olive slices and decorate it accordingly (may use parsley).
- The chicken salad can be prepared beforehand and refrigerated for 2 days. Rather than preparing the salad from scratch level, you can pick your favorite or the best available option from the nearby deli.
Bloodshot Devil Eyeballs
Beat up a batch of deviled eggs to forge them as ‘eyeballs’ and give them a spooky look using the black olive slices for the pupils and thin slices of pimiento for veins.
- 18 large eggs
- Reduced-fat mayonnaise: ½ cup.
- Dijon mustard: 2 tbsp.
- Minced scallion or shallot: 1 tbsp.
- Lemon juice: 1 tbsp.
- Hot red pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce: ½ tsp. Each
- Salt: ¼ tsp.
- Black olive: 36 slices
- 1 pimiento or jarred roasted red pepper
- 2 can (15 oz. Each) black beans, rinsed and drained
- Hard cook the eggs: place eggs in a large pot and cover with 1 in. Cold water and bring it to full boil for 1 min. Remove the pot from stove and cover it. Let it sit covered for 15 to 17 minutes.
- Drain and run cold water over the eggs. Crack eggs and put them in cold water for 10 minutes or until cool. Drain the peeled eggs.
- Cut eggs in half, crosswise, a slight diagonally; carefully remove the yolks, leaving the whites intact.
- Put yolks in a bowl with mayonnaise, mustard, scallion, lemon juice, pepper sauce, Worcestershire and salt. Mash them together until blended and fairly smoothened. Using 2 spoons or a small ice cream scoop, mould yolk mixture into small balls and place it in hollows of whites to resemble eyeballs.
- Place the olive slice at top of each yolk ball.
- Slice pimiento into very thin 2 in. Long strips for veins. Decorate eyeballs with bloodshot veins.
- Spread some beans on a platter, which will support the eggs, so they may not roll. Place eyeballs upright in beans. Cover and refrigerate up to 6 hours before serving.
To give a more deadly look you may garnish them with tomato ketchup.
To maintain the Halloween spirit the traditional cheese balls are moulded into little pumpkins packed with spicy flavor, featuring: cheddar, cream cheese, garlic salt and dry mustard blend together.
- Shredded cheddar: 3 ¾ cups
- Softened cream cheese, 3 packages (8 oz. Each)
- Garlic salt: 1 ½ tsp.
- Dry mustard: 1 tsp.
- Garnish: parsley sprigs
- Accompaniments: toasted pumpernickel bread or crackers
- You will need: multi-cavity mini pumpkins pan
- Put cheddar, cream cheese, garlic salt and mustard in a blender and process until smooth.
- Take the pan and coat it with nonstick spray. Fill the cavities with the cheese mixture; pack the mixture tightly into the pan by pressing it with the back of spoon to pack mixture tightly into pan. Use a plastic wrap to cover the pan and fridge it overnight.
- Fill a larger pan with hot water and briefly dip bottom of the chilled pan in it. Loosen the ‘pumpkins’ by tapping the pan on a flat surface, then unmould them.
- Before garnishing the tops of pumpkins with parsley sprigs attach the matching halves of pumpkins together. Serve with accompaniments.
Tuna-Apple Mini Melts
To make a tasty bite-sized appetizer mini-phyllo pastry shells are filled with creamy tuna-apple mixture and topped with cheese slices.
- mayonnaise: 1 cup
- Pink lady apple diced: ½ cup
- Celery (finely chopped): 1/3 cup
- Minced red onion: 2 tbsp.
- 1 hard-cooked egg (peeled and chopped)
- Fresh lemon juice: 1 tsp.
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 2 (12 oz.) Cans solid white tuna in spring water, drained and flaked
- 3 (1.9 oz.) Packages frozen mini-phyllo pastry shells, thawed
- 12 deli cheese slices, cut into 4 pieces each
- Garnish: thin pink lady apple slices
- Pour the first 8 ingredients listed in a medium bowl and stir together. Cover the bowl and freeze it for 1 hour.
- Place phyllo- shells on a 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan; divide mixture among the shells (about 1 tbsp. Each). Layer the top with cheese pieces.
- Preheat broiler with oven rack 5 ½ inches from heat. Broil tartlets 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Garnish, if desired.
Delicious chicken wings can be provided an eerie bat-wings appearance to aid the Halloween spirit.
- Soy sauce: 1 cup
- Oyster sauce: ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp.
- Light brown sugar: ¼ cup
- Black bean sauce: ¼ cup
- Food coloring black paste: 1 tsp.
- 20 large whole chicken wings with tips
- Pour soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, black bean sauce and food coloring paste in a bowl and whisk them together. Keep aside 1/3 cup of soy sauce mixture.
- Take a re-sealable plastic bag and place the wings in it, now pour the remaining soy sauce mixture over the wings, and seal the bag.
- Spread the mixture all over the wings by turning the bag. Chill the bag and let the wings marinate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Turn the wings for every 30 mins. For proper coating.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Use parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat to line 2 baking sheets. Set them aside.
- Drain the extra marinade and remove the wings. Shake them to discard drippings, and place them on the baking sheets. Arrange the wings so as to extend them.
- Bake them for 20-25 mins, until juices run clear. Brush them with the remaining soy sauce mixture for every 10 mins.
- Remove from oven and before serving let them cool slightly on a wire rack.
Potato Skin Ghosts
These potato skin ghosts may haunt your dining table or provide a spooky treat on Halloween night.
- Washed, unpeeled potatoes (for 3 ghouls per potato)
- Olive oil
- Seasoned salt
- Onion powder
- Garlic salt
- Sour cream
- For ½ inch slabs cut each potato lengthwise. Cut off the rounded tip of one end of each potato slab to give them a ghost shape.
- Lay the potato slabs on a greased baking sheet with the skin side of the potato down. Spread some olive oil on top of each slab by a brush and sprinkle some seasoned salt, onion powder and garlic salt on it.
- It would be easy to combine 1 tsp. Of each spice in a bowl and then sprinkle about 1/8 tsp. Of this mixture on each slab.
- Bake the slabs at 400º for 30 minutes. To check if cooked; pierce the slabs with a fork.
- Remove them from the oven, when the fork pierces easily, and let it cool for 10 mins. Spread some sour cream on each slab to prepare a tasty white ghost. Decorate it with slices of scallion for eyes and mouth.
Loaded Monster Mash Bites
These crunchy little balls will prove to be a wonderful appetizer on the occasion of Halloween.
- Refrigerated mashed potatoes: 1 container (24 oz.)
- Cheddar cheese: (4 oz.) 1 cup (shredded sharply)
- Chopped fresh chives: 4 tablespoons
- Bacon (crisply cooked, crumbled) : 3 slices
- 6 eggs
- Plain bread crumbs: 1 ¾ cups
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- Sour cream: 1 container (16 oz.)
- Dry ranch dressing mix : 2 teaspoons
- Add cheese, 2tbsp of chives, the bacon and one of the eggs to the mashed potatoes. Mix them together in a large bowl with a spoon until blended. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls.
- Spread the bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Beat the remaining 5 eggs in another shallow vessel. Roll the balls in the crumbs, then dip them in the eggs and again coat them with bread crumbs.
- Heat oil to 375°f in a deep pan. Deep fry the potato balls, in sets, for 1 min. To 1 min. 30 sec. Or until they turn golden brown. Use paper towels to drain extra oil from balls when removed.
- Mix the remaining 2 tbsp. Chives with the sour cream and the dressing mix. Serve the warm potato balls with sauce.
Serpents on a Stick
Add these horrifying appetizers to impress your guests on the Halloween night.
- Soy sauce: ¼ cup
- Lime juice: 2 tablespoons
- Honey: 2 tablespoons
- Dark sesame oil: 1 tablespoon
- Grated gingerroot: 1 tsp.
- Crushed red pepper flakes: ¼ tsp.
- Garlic: (finely chopped) 2 cloves
- 10 uncooked chicken breast tenders (not breaded)
- Bamboo skewers (6 inch): 20
- Green onions, chopped
- Thai peanut sauce: 1 ¼ cups
- Pour sesame oil, honey, lime juice and soy sauce in a small bowl, mix ginger root pepper flakes and garlic to them.
- Lengthwise cut the chicken tenders in halves and place them in a shallow glass vessel. Pour the marinade over chicken; turn the tenders for proper coating. Cover the vessel and chill for 2 hours. Stir them occasionally.
- While the chicken chills soak the bamboo skewers for 30 mins. In water to prevent them from burning.
- Heat a gas or charcoal grill. Drain the marinade and let the chicken strips drip extra marinade. On each skewer thread 1 chicken strip. Twist the chicken on skewer to give a creepy snake like look.
- Place the skewers on grill over medium heat and cover it. Turn them regularly after every 6 min. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink at the center.
- Garnish the chicken on platter with sprinkled onions; serve it with peanut sauce.