Halloween Entrees & Side Dishes

Halloween Entrees & Side Dishes

Bat Sandwiches

3 cups (12-ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 (8-ounce) container chive-and-onion flavored cream cheese, softened
1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimiento, drained
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
24 whole wheat or pumpernickel bread slices
1. Stir together first 4 ingredients. Using a 3- to 4-inch bat-shaped cutter, cut 2 bats from each bread slice.
2. Spread about 2 tablespoons filling over 24 bats. Top with remaining 24 bats.

Halloween Cheesy Pizza

1 large frozen cheese pizza
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Few drops of food coloring, any color
Assorted Halloween cookie cutters
  1. Prepare pizza as directed on package.
  2. Mix Parmesan cheese with desired food coloring until evenly tinted.
  3. Place Halloween cookie cutters over hot pizza and carefully sprinkle tinted cheese into cookie cutters. Remove cookie cutters to reveal festive design.
Makes 4 servings.

Snakes in the Grass

1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup thick and chunky salsa
6 (7 1/2-inch) breadsticks, sliced in half lengthwise
8 (1-ounce) slices American cheese, each cut into 3 strips
Chopped black olives
Cream cheese, softened
Sliced red bell pepper or pimiento
Sliced stuffed green olives
Shredded lettuce
  1. Combine sour cream and salsa in small bowl. Spread cut-sides of each breadstick with 1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream mixture. Place 4 strips cheese onto bottom half of each breadstick; cover with top half.
  2. To decorate each snake sandwich, attach 2 pieces chopped black olive to one end of top of sandwich with dot of cream cheese for eyes. Cut a piece of red pepper into tongue shape; place it between breadstick halves for a tongue. Attach slices of green olives to the top of sandwich with dot of cream cheese for snake skin design.
  3. Place shredded lettuce onto platter. Set snake sandwiches onto lettuce.
Makes 6 sandwiches.

Bat Wings with Swamp Dip

20 chicken wings (3 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon five spice powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
Swamp Dip (recipe follows)
  1. Place wings in a plastic bag set in a shallow dish. In a small bowl stir together soy sauce, ginger, crushed red pepper, five spice powder and garlic. Pour over wings. Close bag and toss to coat. Chill in refrigerator several hours or overnight, turning bag occasionally. Remove wings from bag, reserving marinade.
  2. Place wings on a foil-lined 15x10x1-inch baking pan.
  3. Bake, uncovered, in a 450F (230C) oven for 10 minutes. Brush with reserved marinade (discard remaining marinade). Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until chicken is tender and no longer pink.
  4. Serve with Swamp Dip.
Makes 20 appetizers.
Swamp Dip: In a small bowl stir together a 8-ounce container of dairy sour cream and 3 tablespoons coarse ground mustard. Garnish with fresh whole chives. Serve with bat wings.

Hallowienie Pasta Salad

6 ounces hot dogs, sliced
2 cups carrots, julienne cut
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound special pumpkin-shaped holiday pasta, cooked
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
1 cup black olives, sliced
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Leaf lettuce
  1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic, seasonings and carrots. Saute carrots until tender-crisp, about three minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Toss hot dog slices with carrot mixture, pasta, and olives. Chill.
  4. Serve on a bed of lettuce and top with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Makes 6 servings.

Recipe provided courtesy National Hot Dog And Sausage Council.

Eerie Eyeball Tacos

1 pound ground beef
1 (1.1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
12 ready-to-fill taco shells
Shredded cheddar cheese
Tomato salsa
Sour cream
Sliced ripe olives
  1. Mix together meat and taco seasoning mix. Shape into 36 (1-inch) balls; place in a greased 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan.
  2. Bake at 350F (175) for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Place 1 meatball in each taco shell; sprinkle with cheese and drizzle with salsa.
  4. Top with 2 meatballs dipped partly in sour cream and garnish with the sliced olives to make "eyeballs."
Makes 12 tacos.

Halloween Mummy Dogs

2 tubes refrigerator pizza dough rolls
1 cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Freshly grated Parmesan (part-skim) cheese
Non-stick spray
4 tablespoons pizza sauce or pasta sauce
8 hot dogs
Optional pizza toppings: onions, green peppers, olives, etc.
1 tablespoon Italian herb seasoning mix (or your own mix of oregano, thyme, parsley, etc.)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
  2. Open package of pizza dough, gather ingredients, grate cheese, and dice vegetables.
  3. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
  4. Place pizza dough on sheet and cut into 8 squares; press dough thin with fingers.
  5. Add pizza sauce to each square.
  6. Add hot dogs and other pizza toppings and pizza herbs to taste.
  7. "Mummify" the hot dogs by wrapping them completely in the dough and pinching the ends.
  8. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until crust begins to brown.
  9. Serve with warm pizza sauce for dip
Makes 6 servings.

Cauldron of Chili with Breadstick Bones

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (14.5-ounce) cans Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 (15-ounce) cans chili beans
1 (11-ounce) refrigerated breadsticks
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Shredded cheddar cheese
  1. In 12-inch skillet, cook beef and onions over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in tomatoes and chili beans. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F (175C).
  3. Unroll dough; separate at perforations into 6 breadsticks. Roll each 12 inches long. Carefully tie a loose knot in both ends of each breadstick and place on a greased baking sheet.
  4. Brush breadsticks with egg white. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Top individual servings of chili with cheese; serve with warm breadstick bones.
Makes 6 servings.

Pumpkin Sage Gnocchi

For the gnocchi:
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/4 cups water
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
5 large or 6 medium eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 cup greated Parmesan cheese
Salt and white pepper, to taste

For the sauce:

1/4 cup unsalted butter
10 fresh sage leaves chopped
1/8 cup pine nuts
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, for garnish

In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin puree with the cinnamon and brown sugar. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the water, butter and salt over a medium heat until the butter has melted. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring until the dough pulls away from the sides.

Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the pumpkin puree and mix on low speed until blended. Add eggs one at a time with mixer on low, then add sage, chives, parsley, cheese, salt and pepper, mixing until just incorporated.

Transfer the mixture into either a piping bag, or large plastic zip-close with the corner snipped off. Squeeze the bag over the pot of boiling water. As the dough comes out, use a knife or scissors to cut off 3/4-inch lengths. Let the gnocchi fall into the water and cook until they float, about 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove gnocchi once they've cooked. Let cool on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper while preparing the sauce.

For the sauce, in a large skillet heat the butter until it melts and foams. Once it begins to brown, add the sage. When the sage begins to sizzle, add the pine nuts and juice of half a lemon. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the gnocchi and toss gently to coat. To serve, garnish with Parmesan shavings.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.