Happy Halloween! This year, I am celebrating it low-key and near to home with a yummy Halloween Sunday meal from the
Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook. With 50 bewitchingly, delicious recipes for fans of the cult classic movie, you are sure to cook up a delicious meal too. Grab a copy at Barnes And Noble or get it on Amazon.
As I am mostly vegan — I do eat fish — I simply swapped out any dairy and animal products for their plant-based alternatives. I also sized down because it is just gonna be me having a blissful, good food and horror movie-filled Halloween weekend!
Below is what I am having.
(I added the vegan, gluten-free alternatives to the recipes for folks that, like me, follow a mostly plant-based, lifestyle!)
DEAD MAN’S CHUNGS
I won’t speak for any man, but when it comes to body parts they’d give up for a witch’s potion, I’m sure many would gladly volunteer a toe or a nose if it meant they could hang onto their chungs. Happily, this recipe isn’t quite so hair-raising and no men — dead or undead — are required to achieve a most bewitching dish.
Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes to chill | Cook Time: 20 minutes
4 medium green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup chili sauce
2 tablespoons Creole mustard
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Louisiana-style chili pepper hot sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 pound lump crabmeat
⅓ sleeve lightly salted crackers
(I used Simple Mills Almond Flour Black Pepper Crackers to make it gluten-free)
(For vegans: Just Egg)
¼ cup mayonnaise
(For vegans: Veganaise)
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1. Add all remoulade ingredients to a medium mixing bowl and blend well with a rubber spatula. Set aside.
2. Gently separate the crab meat and check for shells without breaking up the lumps of crab meat.
3. Crush the crackers in a sealed bag so that they are completely crushed, while leaving some slightly larger pieces.
4. Beat the egg in a small bowl.
5. In a large mixing bowl, add the crab meat, crackers, mayo, green onions, egg, and Old Bay seasoning.
6. Gently mix the ingredients with a rubber spatula so that they are well blended, without breaking the large lumps of crab meat.
7. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
8. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
9. Remove the crab meat mixture from the refrigerator and gently press it into small balls, approximately the size of a ping-pong ball.
10. Drizzle some olive oil onto a baking sheet and place the crab cakes on the sheet in the oil.
11. Bake the crab cakes for approximately 10 minutes so they are warm all the way through.
12. Finish the crab cakes by broiling for approximately 2 to 3 minutes (watch them closely so they do not burn).
13. Place the crab cakes on a serving platter with a small ramekin of the remoulade sauce for dunking.
MISCHIEF NIGHT PASTA
Traditionally, “mischief night” is supposed to be the night before Halloween, but if were a teen in the ’90s who was interested in mischief night, you’re probably still not that interested in rules anyway! So you might as well get into trouble on Halloween, too. Please, keep your mischief on the tame side—TP’ing the neighbor’s house, harassing children, and being rude to women are not endearing behaviors, and no one will be upset if they wind up getting you locked in a cage, toyed with, and nearly eaten. That’d be a fitting punishment, many would say.
Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes
Homemade Pasta (recipe below), cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
(I substituted this with store bought gluten-free, pasta from Mannini’s)
2 pounds ground sausage
(For vegans: Beyond Meat sausage)
2 heads broccoli, cut into medium-sized florets
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1½ cups heavy cream
(For vegans: 1 cup non-dairy milk + 2 tbs cornstarch. Simply heat the milk and whisk in the cornstarch until the desired consistency is reached.)
2 cups freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
(For vegans: Violife Parmesan)
½ teaspoon salt, plus an extra pinch for the water
1/4 teaspoon pepper and fresh parsley, for garnish
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta.
- Cook the pasta (if you haven’t already) for approximately 3 minutes, stirring constantly. (You may want to have a small piece of the pasta, separate from the sheets in the water, so you can taste a small piece to test if it is cooked.)
- Drain the pasta and set aside.
- Sauté the sausage over medium heat until browned. Set aside.
- Steam the broccoli in a steamer pot for 5 minutes. Set aside.
- To make the alfredo sauce, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.
- Add the garlic to the skillet before the butter is completely melted.
- Add the cream to the skillet, then add salt and pepper. Whisk continuously until the cream starts to simmer.
- Add the cheese a bit at a time, whisking regularly until it’s fully melted.
- Add the pasta, sausage, and broccoli to a large bowl. Pour in the cheese and gently toss to combine.
- Plate and serve.
Homemade pasta often sounds like it promises to be most dire and stressful, but once you try it, you’ll see it really can be easier than riding a broom.
Makes: about 1 pound (6 servings) | Prep Time: 1½ hours | Cook Time: 3 minutes
1 cup 00 flour
1 cup semolina flour
pinch of salt
3 large eggs
5 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon olive oil
- Pour both flours on a clean countertop into a neat pile and sprinkle a pinch of salt on top.
- Use a fork to quickly blend flours and salt together. Then, with the fork, move most of the flour into a circular ridge, with just a small portion (a few tablespoons) in the center of the ridge.
- Crack the 3 eggs into a large bowl.
- Separate the yolks from the 5 eggs and add the yolks to the bowl.
- Add the olive oil to the eggs and beat with a fork.
- Pour the eggs into the center of the crater.
- Using a fork, start combining the eggs with the flour by pulling portions of the flour from the ridge into the center and whipping it with the eggs. Continue to do this until a dough forms that is firm enough for you to start kneading it with your hands.
- Once the dough is ready to be kneaded, knead the dough by folding it in half and rolling it forward in a motion that pushes the top half into the fold. Then repeat this motion in the other diagonal direction. As you are doing this, continue to sprinkle flour on the countertop to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.
- Continue to knead the dough until it is no longer sticky to the touch. To test its readiness to sit, form the dough into a ball and gently push down on it in the center with your thumb. If the thumb imprint bounces back into shape, the dough is done being kneaded.
- Cover the dough in plastic wrap sprinkled with flour and let it sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes.
- Unwrap the dough and cut it into four pieces.
- Select a section of dough and sprinkle it and the counter with flour.
- Roll the dough out with a rolling pin by placing the rolling pin in the center of the dough and rolling it forward once and backward once. Flip the dough upside down, turn it 9 degrees, and roll it again. Continue to roll out the dough, adding flour to the counter as needed, until it is thin enough that you can see your hand through when you lift it from underneath.
- Use a large knife (or preferably a dough cutter) to cut your pasta into spaghetti, ravioli, pappardelle, or whatever shape you want.
- Wrap the scraps lightly sprinkled with flour and set them aside.
- Repeat this for the remaining ¾ of dough. Then combine the scraps and, if not too stiff, try to roll out the scraps to get another sheet of pasta.
- Hang the pasta sheets on a pasta tree, or gently and loosely fold it and let it sit out for at least 30 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta.
- Cook the pasta for approximately 3 minutes stirring constantly. (You may want to have a small piece of the pasta, separate from the sheets in the water, so you can taste a small piece to test if it is cooked.)
- Drain the pasta.
Excerpted from The Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook by Bridget Thoreson. Copyright © 2021 Ulysses Press. Reprinted with permission from Ulysses Press. New York, NY. All rights reserved.