Four Fiendishly Easy Halloween Treats

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Pumpkin

Celebrate Halloween with some fearsome party food – here are a few ideas for sweet and savoury dishes that friends and family will love.

Ghoulish Goulash

Spice up Halloween with this classic Hungarian beef stew that is packed with hot paprika flavour. A bowl of this is scarily delicious!

Makes 4-6 Servings

Ingredients:

• 1kg braising steak
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 2 chopped onions
• 3 chopped garlic cloves
• 2 tsp hot smoked paprika and 1tbsp ordinary paprika
• Beef stock cube
• 600 ml water
• 400g can of chopped tomatoes
• 2 tbsp tomato puree
• 1 red, 1 green and 1 orange bell pepper
• 2 bay leaves
• Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

• Pre-heat oven to 150C Fan/ 170C/Gas 3.
• Season beef and brown in casserole dish in oil on the hob. Add onions to soften, then garlic.
• Add stock cube, paprika powders, water, tomato puree, tomatoes, bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, stir, then cover with tight lid and transfer to the oven for 90 minutes.
• Slice peppers, discarding seeds and core, add to the casserole and return to oven for another hour, until beef is deliciously tender.
Adjust for seasoning according to taste, add a dollop of sour cream, and serve with crusty bread.

Slimy Green Dip With Spooky Shapes

This recipe is dead simple – cut out tortilla bat, skull or other scary shapes using a knife or scissors. Make a template first for consistency, and get the kids to help!

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

• 1 pack of large flour tortillas
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 ripe avocados
• Half a small red onion finely chopped
• 1 green chilli (optional for extra spice), finely chopped
• 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
• Juice of 1 lime

Method:

• Preheat oven to 160C Fan/180C/Gas 4, brush tortillas with oil on both sides.
• Cut tortilla shapes and spread on a baking tray to bake for 5 minutes, turning half way, until golden. Allow to cool.
• Scoop avocado flesh into a bowl and mash with red onion, chilli, coriander and lime juice
• Adjust seasoning to taste and serve as a dip with the spooky shapes.

Dracula’s Blood Mocktail

All ages will enjoy this sweet and tangy cocktail, although remove chilli earlier if you’re serving to young trick or treaters.

Makes 10-12 Servings

Ingredients:

• 2 litres cherry juice
• Small chilli bruised or pierced to release oils
• 10 cloves
• 3 cinnamon sticks
• 3 thin slices of fresh ginger
• 3 thin slices of orange peel

Method:

• Tip everything into a large pan, simmer for five minutes then allow to cool, before chilling in the fridge for at least four hours – the longer the better. Remember to remove chilli after a couple of hours for less heat.
• Pour into a large jug or punch bowl and allow guests to help themselves.

Creepy Chocolate Bark

Make this chocolate bark for adults by using dark chocolate, plain or white chocolate for the youngsters – or a mixture of all three. Top with dried fruit, sweets or candied ginger.

Ingredients:

• 600g of chosen chocolate (you may need more/less depending on the size of the tray)
• Toppings of choice

Method:

• Line a tray with baking parchment and pour in warmed, melted chocolate of choice.
• Spread chocolate evenly with spatula to about thickness of pound coin, sprinkle on toppings and allow to set in the freezer for 20 minutes.
• When set, break roughly into rustic pieces and serve.

Image Credits:
Pumpkin from Bigstock Photo

in Cooking by Rik Hellewell
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