Savory Halloween – 2011

Halloween is least of my favorite “holidays”.  It’s not really a holiday, but you know what I mean.  I don’t mind the costumes (as long as kids are not dressed up in gory scary, pimpy, and/or slutty costumes).  I just don’t like the idea of trick or treating; I despise the idea of children going around house to house collecting sugary candies.  Yes, it’s my own personal prejudice and conviction against the whole institution of high fat, high fructose corn syrups, partially hydrogenated oils (of any kind) and all those unhealthy unnatural chemically altered “stuff” put into the foods.  Well, enough with my ranting…

I decided to make savory Halloween foods; I guess traditionally you see more of sugary Halloween treats (cupcakes, candied apples, etc, etc), but since I don’t like butter frostings or extremely sugary frostings of any kind, I didn’t want to make anything sweet.  I got today’s idea from Matthew Mead’s “Monster Book of Halloween”.

From upper right corner (going clockwise):  Yummy Mummy Meatloaf, Green Gruel with Eyeballs, and Skeletal Fingers

Yummy Mummy Meatloaf: makes 6 servings



  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 8 ounces pappardelle pasta
  • 1 3-ounce mozzarella ball
  • 1 can pitted large black olives


  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard

To make the meatloaf:
1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 10 x 13-inch (or 10-inch round) baking dish. Combine the meat, egg, onion, milk, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Shape the mixture into a 10-inch round dome and place it in the baking dish. Mix the 1/3 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons prepared mustard in a small bowl until blended. Spread the mixture over the meatloaf. Bake for 1 hour. Transfer the meatloaf to a wire rack and let rest for 20 minutes.
2. Cook the pappardelle according to the package directions; drain and keep warm while meatloaf rests.
To make the sauce:
1. Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until bubbly and thickened, about 3 minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve.
2. Remove the meatloaf from the pan and place on a serving plate. Cut the mozzarella ball in half. Layer the pasta strands one by one over the meatloaf to look like a mummy’s wrappings, adding the mozzarella and two olives for eyes as shown. Surround the meatloaf with more olives. Serve with the sauce on the side.


** Very traditional American style meatloaf.  You can alter the spices and use your own meatloaf recipes.  Instead of using mozzarella balls I used boiled egg for the eye balls.  My pappardelle was on a thinner side, I need to look for wider pasta. 

Green Gruel with Eyeballs: Makes 6 servings


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 pounds broccoli, tops chopped into 1/2-inch florets; stalks chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 pound grated sharp cheddar cheese (2 cups)
  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
  • 6 pitted black olives
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

1. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped broccoli stems, shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; cook, stirring, until the shallots are tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Add the broth, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, until the broccoli stalks are tender and the liquid almost evaporated. Remove from the heat, add the cheese, and toss to combine. Working in batches, transfer to a blender and purée until smooth.
3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the florets and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking.
4. Cut a notch in the side of each egg and press an olive into it. Heat broccoli purée over medium heat until just warmed through, 5 minutes. Stir in the florets and the remaining butter. Spoon the gruel into individual soup bowls and top each with an egg eye; serve immediately.

Eyeballs anyone?!

** I added about a cup of chopped spinach in the soup.  This soup is creamy goodness!

Skeletal Fingers: makes 4 servings


  • 1 pound white asparagus spears, rinsed and trimmed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lemon for squeezing
  • Fresh thyme leaves (optional)
  • Olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a roasting pan with foil and drizzle with olive oil.
2. Place asparagus in pan and drizzle liberally with olive oil. Roll the spears back and forth until they are completely coated.
3. Sprinkle on minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
4. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork.
5. Remove from oven, squeeze fresh lemon juice over top, and garnish with thyme leaves if using.

** You know, up until few weeks ago, I saw these white asparagus around farmer’s market and organic grocery stores.  When I went to get some yesterday, guess what, no more… I had to resort using jarred white asparagus (still good, but fresh ones would have tasted better)!!


2 thoughts on “Savory Halloween – 2011

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