The Halloween Scene


Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Local Cook

The Halloween Scene

Only at Halloween is it ok to play with your food. At this time creativity kicks in with food that is scary, spooky or just plain revolting. The true challenge is to keep the food deliciously edible as well.

 This year I read about a new gluten-free black bean pasta. Now what a good idea is that? After a regional search I found it at Good Life Organic Market in Severna Park  The deep rich black pasta turns out to be the perfect base for the Halloween black and orange cliche. Top the pasta with some zippy meatballs in the style of the Buffalo chicken wings (that means spicy) and you’ve got a healthy winner for young and old alike! And hey, it’s great even if it’s not for Halloween.

 For dessert you have chocolate-dipped apple logs masquerading as spooky fingers complete with grotesque fingernails, of course.  

 Bloodshot Eyeballs on Worms (Buffalo Chicken Meatballs Black Bean Pasta)

Serves 4 

  • 1 pound black bean pasta, cooked according to package directions, kept warm
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or olive oil, warm
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

 Buffalo Chicken Meatballs 

Makes 24

  • 3/4 cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 pound lean ground chicken
  • 6 pimento stuffed green olives, sliced into rounds

 Preheat oven to 400°. 

 In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, 1/3 cup hot sauce, celery and egg white. Add chicken; mix lightly but thoroughly.

 Shape into twenty-four 1-in. balls. Place on a greased rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake 18-20 minutes or until cooked through.

 Toss meatballs with remaining hot sauce. 

 To Assemble: Toss the warm pasta with the butter or olivie oil, garlic, cumin and black beans. Place meatballs on cooked seasoned pasta. Top each meatball with a slice of green olive.


Spooky Fingers

Makes 20 fingers

 Delicious chocolate dipped apple fingers are Halloween ready with the simple addition of sliced almonds. Chocolate can vary greatly when melting; go with a quality bar of chocolate.

  • 8 ounces quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 20 fresh apple fingers, peeled (3 inches long by 1/2 inch thick)
  • 20 sliced almonds

 Line cookie sheet with waxed paper. Heat a small double boiler until water boils. Place chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 30-second increments until almost melted, stirring occasionally until smooth.

 Holding 1 apple finger at a time over melted chocolate, dip into chocolate to coat, leaving about 1 inch uncovered at the base. Carefully place on prepared cookie sheet. Immediately press 1 almond onto coated tip to resemble fingernail. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate 15 minutes to set chocolate.

To serve, lift off wax paper and stand in a bowl. To store keep refrigerated.