The Halloween fun continues today on Susi's Kochen und Backen with a couple more ghoulish treats. Earlier this week I featured fun drinks like "Swamp Juice" and appetizers like "Eye of Newt" and today is no different with a couple more fun party foods like "Vampire Blood Shots" and "Puff Pastry Intestines". Now, who wouldn't want to come to THAT party?
When trying to come up with a themed party my planning always starts with the food. A good mix of finger food is easiest to serve, since it allows your guests to walk around and be social. I like to have a good mix of cold and warm appetizers, some that contain meat and some for all the vegetarians . If in doubt, a vegetable platter, cheese tray or fruit platters are always a hit and they can round out your buffet. One of my big requirements for "fun" food is that it has to be appealing to the eye as well as the taste buds.
Kicking it off today are the "Vampire Blood Shots". Now, I need you all to humor me and pretend that I'm serving these fun shooters in Test Tubes rather than shot glasses. I had ordered a test tube set to display them in, but of course, I'm still waiting for them to be delivered. Plan B to the rescue. While not quite as cool looking as test tubes, serving the "Blood" in shot glasses works just as well. The blood happens to be a very quickly cooked, but incredibly tasty tomato soup that can easily be made a day ahead. Since tomatoes aren't at their prime anymore, I went with a couple of cans of whole tomatoes which are always flavorful and at their best taste. A smooth soup is key when you are serving it "drink-style" and with that I relied on my food mill to get the right texture. A fine mesh strainer will do the job as well though.
Second up are the "Puff Pastry Intestines". I found them on The Knead for Speed who had adapted it from canarygirl.com and the second I laid I eyes on this fun treat I was hooked. My boys coming home from school, seeing them on the counter and exclaiming "most awesome guts EVER!" confirmed my excitement. They are pretty simple to make, all you need is a bit of time. Puff Pastry is cut into strips, filled with a meat filling, then pinched together to form one long continuous roll before being placed in a 9 x 13 inch pan (here is a great tutorial). Red food coloring adds a bit of gore. The puff pastry sheets were pretty easy to work with in the beginning, only towards the end it became difficult and started to fall apart on me when transferring to my baking dish. Not a big deal though since intestines aren't all that neat anyway. This recipe can also be made ahead and refrigerated until ready for baking. They are great fresh out of the oven but still tasty at room temperature.
I hope you all enjoyed the recipes featured this week on my blog. I figured with so much candy around and more treats and sweets to come in the next couple of months, it would be fun to show a different food side of Halloween.
Since I'm trying to get ready for this weekend, I'm wishing you all a Happy Halloween at this point! Enjoy yourselves, whether you are hosting a party, going to a party, or simply getting into the fun by handing out candy to all the little ghosts and goblins out there. See you next week!
Vampire Blood Shots
(Recipe by "Susi's Kochen und Backen")
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
2 (28 ounce) cans whole tomatoes
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Pinch of sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add the whole tomatoes and crush with a potato masher. Add the bouillon cubes, salt, pepper, sugar, basil, oregano and cook covered for about 15 minutes.
Pour mixture through a food mill, discard solids or alternatively pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer, making sure to press all the liquid out of the mixture.
Return strained soup to the pot. Check for additional seasoning. Add the heavy cream and balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use and re-heat.
Puff Pastry Intestines
(adapted from The Knead for Speed and canarygirl.com)
1 (17.3 ounce) package frozen puff pastry
Meat filling (recipe to follow)
1 egg, beaten
red food coloring
Thaw puff pastry according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
Cut each puff pastry sheet lengthwise into 6 strips. Lightly flour a big work area, table, or kitchen island and lay each strip next to one another. (I did 4 strips at a time) Press and seal the seams between the strips.
Spread the filling down the entire length of the dough, leaving a bit of space on each side to pinch closed.
Pinch the entire length of the dough closed, stretching the dough slightly around the filling as you go.
Carefully lift intestine into your baking dish, seam-side down, and form an "intestine-like" pattern.
Brush puff pastry with beaten egg. Dip small paintbrush into red food coloring and draw "blood" in the creases.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Meat Filling for "Puff Pastry Intestines"
1/2 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/4 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon ketchup
Brown meat in a pan until no longer pink. Add onions, corn, taco seasoning, water and ketchup. Cook for about 5 minutes or until water is dissolved. Let cool before filling the puff pastry.