Juliet Sear’s spooktacular feast
Edible cobweb anyone? Or maybe a delicious eyeball to nibble on? Juliet Sear is proving you don’t need supernatural skills in the kitchen to impress your guests this Halloween, as she shows you how to make her savoury ghostly goodies that the whole family will want to stick their fangs into.
350g macaroni other short pasta
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed
2 tsp English mustard powder
3 tbsp plain flour
550ml whole milk
200g strong mature cheddar, grated
75g parmesan, grated
100g baby spinach
½ tsp green food colouring (optional)
An additional 100g grated cheddar for the top
Mozzarella pearls or cheese of your choice for making the eyeballs
1. Prepare the mozzarella by cutting circles or halfling the mozzarella pearls and trimming the olives for the eye detail, set aside.
2. Make your grated cheese green for the topping by adding some green food colouring to the 100g of grated cheese
3. Blitz the baby spinach with about 75-100ml of the milk until really smooth and fleck free.
4. To begin the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan then add the flour and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly until it’s a little more golden and looking sandy. Then add the crushed garlic and mustard powder and stir for another minute.
5. Gradually whisk in the rest of the milk, a splash at a time until you have a lump-free sauce.
6. Simmer very gently for about 5 mins, whisking all the time until a little more thickened. Take off the heat, then stir in the cheddar and half the parmesan.
7. Meanwhile, boil the pasta in salted water and cook it for about 2-3 mins less than the packet says, it should be nice and al dente as it will cook on when mixed with the sauce and grilled. If you wish, you can add about ½ tsp food colouring to the boiling water to make your dish extra green. When ready, drain well and stir in a little extra butter or oil to stop it sticking.
8. When finishing off the sauce once all the milk is in, tip in the spinach milk mixture, stir and cook until the mix is gently bubbling. Remove from the heat and add in 200g grated cheddar cheese and the parmesan, stir well, and add seasoning to taste.
9. If grilling or baking straight away, preheat the grill to med-high or oven to 170c fan. (If baking later you can just top with the cheese and cover with foil but bring to room temperature before you wish to bake it.)
10. Mix the pasta and sauce together, tip into your dish and scatter over the green cheese, then bake for or about 15 mins until melted and slightly golden, or grill for about 8-9 mins until bubbly and melted, then add the monster eyes before serving up your ghoulish pasta dish!
Spider web or bloodshot eyes devilled eggs
Black food colouring
red and yellow food colouring
For the filling:
2 tbsp vinegar
3 tbsp mayonnaise , plus extra if the eggs are large
1 tsp mustard powder
Pinch of paprika or cayenne pepper or dash of hot sauce
Salt and Black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp lemon juice, white wine or cider vinegar
1. Bring the water to the boil, then lower in the eggs gently. Boil for 9 minutes then drain and run under a tap with cold water to cool down right away. Drain and cool again after a minute or so.
2. Put the different food colouring/s into separate bowls or containers and use 1 tsp food colouring per bowl, mix with water and stir it though.
3. Gently tap the eggs all over using a spoon crack the shells without removing them. I tapped mine about 10-12 times each all over the shells.
4. Divide the cracked eggs between the bowls with the food colourings, submerge them in the liquid and leave to soak for at least 3 hrs, or ideally overnight.
5. Drain, rinse and peel the eggs (NOTE – it’s best to peel them just before filling because if you unpeel and leave in the fridge overnight, they lose a bit of the definition and the colour bleeds)
6. Half them and pop the yolks into a bowl. Add all the other ingredients and mix.
7. If making spiders, dye the mixture black and pipe the mix into the whites so the middle stands proud, and pipe little legs to create the spider.
8. If making blood shot eyes, add extra yellow food colouring if you wish to make them more yellow, and use olives to make pupils. For a bit of extra effect, you can also pipe a little bit of ketchup over the top to make them look more bloodshot.
375g pack Rolled Puff Pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 tsp full fat cream cheese, to decorate
1 tsp chopped black olives, to decorate
Mustard and Ketchup to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 180 fan.
2. Unroll the pastry and cut vertically into long thin strips, about 0.5cm wide. You’ll need 1-2 strips per frankfurter.
3. Wrap the pastry strips around each frankfurter to create a mummy-wrap effect, leaving a bit of a gap at the top for the eyes to be peeking out from.
4. Place on a parchment lined tray and brush over with beaten egg
5. Bake in the oven for about 18-20 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden for the eyes, pipe little blobs of soft cheese and top with a small piece of black olive.