If you wouldn’t be caught dead serving run of the mill hors d’oeuvres at your Halloween house party, don’t fret—expert help is on the way. The new part-cookbook, part-narrative The Snacking Dead (Clarkson Potter, October 2013), by D.B. Walker—inspired by AMC’s The Walking Dead—features everything from spooky recipes to a story about a family trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. We’ve culled the top snacks you’ll want to serve up this Halloween.
Corpse Reviver No. 2
¾ ounce gin
¾ ounce Cointreau
¾ ounce Lillet blanc
¾ ounce lemon juice
2–3 drops absinthe
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc and lemon juice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass rinsed with a few drops of absinthe. Serves 1.
Secretly Sadistic Jalapeño Poppers
16 large jalapeño peppers, halved lengthwise
1 cup cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup Jack or sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
⅓ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
¼ cup minced yellow onion
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
Lime wedges, for serving
Preheat an oven to 375˚F.
Using a spoon, carve out the guts, veins and seeds of the jalapeños. Rinse under cold water to loosen any remaining seeds and let dry, hollow side down, on paper towels.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, smash together the cream cheese, shredded cheese, corn, onion, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, cayenne and salt until smooth. Place the jalapeño boats, hollow side up, on a large, rimmed baking sheet coated with nonstick spray. Depending on the size of the pepper, fill each jalapeño with 1–1½ teaspoons of the cheese filling. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top and serve hot. Makes 32 jalapeño poppers.
Napalm Spicy Chicken Wings
3 pounds chicken wings, patted dry with paper towels
Coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil, plus more to fry
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2–3 tablespoons honey
¼ cup hot sauce
2 limes, zested and juiced, plus lime wedges for serving
Place the chicken wings in a large bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
Preheat an oven to 400˚F. Spread the chicken wings on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil. Place in the oven and roast until the chicken wings are firm but not fully cooked through, about 20 minutes.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in honey, hot sauce and lime zest, and let simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the lime juice and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Using a large pot, pour in enough of the vegetable oil to reach 5 inches up the sides. Place over high heat and heat the oil until it registers 375˚F on a deep-fry thermometer.
Working in small batches, fry the wings, turning occasionally, until they are crisp and golden brown, 5–7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the wings from the oil and drain on a paper towel–lined baking sheet. Put the wings in a large bowl and toss with the hot sauce butter. Transfer to a platter and serve hot with additional lime wedges. Serves 6–8.
Unsuspecting Pigs in Blankets
6 hot dogs
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (about 8 ounces)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons poppy seeds (optional)
2 tablespoons finely chopped bread and butter pickles
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickles
Mustard, for serving
Ketchup, for serving
Poke the hot dogs several times with the tip of a knife.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll the puff pastry into a 15-by-11 inch rectangle. Cut lengthwise into three 5-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip in half crosswise so you have 6 pieces of puff.
In a small bowl, beat together the egg and water. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Place a hot dog on the narrow end of one piece of pastry. Roll to enclose, brushing with some of the beaten egg to adhere; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process with remaining hot dogs and pastry. Brush the tops of puff pastry with the egg wash and sprinkle with poppy seeds if using. Transfer to refrigerator and let chill for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Bake the hot dogs until the pastry is puffed and golden, about 20 minutes.
In a small bowl combine the bread and butter pickles and the dill pickles. Carefully split the puff pastry along one side of each of the pigs in blankets and top with the pickle relish. Serve with mustard and ketchup. Serves 6.
Gratuitous Violence Jell-O Mold
2 cups pomegranate juice, not from concentrate
1 cup sparkling or dry white wine
4 ¼ ounce-envelopes unflavored gelatin
¼ cup sugar
⅓ cup pomegranate seeds, plus more for garnish
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup cottage cheese (optional)
In a mixing bowl, combine ½ cup pomegranate juice and the wine. Add the contents of 3 gelatin packets. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the remaining juice and sugar to a boil. Stir it into the juice and gelatin mixture. Place the bowl in the ice bath to cool, then transfer the gelatin mixture to the refrigerator until it thickens, 20–30 minutes.
In a 10-cup Bundt pan, distribute the pomegranate seeds over the bottom. Add the gelatin mixture and return to the fridge for 10 minutes, or until set but still sticky.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sprinkle the remaining gelatin over 1 cup cold water and allow it to absorb the water. Stir in 3 cups boiling water for 2 minutes, until gelatin is fully dissolved. Stir in the condensed milk. Chill the mixture in the ice bath and then gently spoon it into the mold over the pomegranate gelatin layer. Refrigerate overnight or until firm.
To unmold, fill sink with warm water. Dip the mold just to the rim in the water for 30 seconds. Lift from water, dry the outside with a towel, and loosen the edges of the gelatin from the mold. Place a cold, moistened plate over the top of the mold and invert the plate and mold together. Carefully lift the mold; if gelatin does not release, dip the mold in warm water and try again.
Before serving, scoop the cottage cheese into the center of the mold and serve garnished with more pomegranate seeds. Serves 8–10.