Halloween’s here again, dear friends – time for a bit of fun! Decorating the flat, putting on scary masks, watching horror movies; and maybe a special Halloween meal, too? Here’s what I did last year: stuffed peppers and toffee (in the US better known as candy) apples.
If you’re familiar with Greek cuisine, you’ll probably know the recipe for stuffed peppers, anyway – the only difference is making the peppers look like little Jack o’Lanterns! A wonderful occasion for showing a bit of creativity, and it’s a lot of fun carving the little faces into the peppers.
Halloween stuffed peppers
Preparation time: 1 hour
4 bell peppers of various colours
250ml tomato sauce
salt, pepper, basil
Boil the rice in a medium pot for 15 minutes with just enough water to absorb and a pinch of salt. Put the mincemeat, the chopped onion and the tomato sauce in a pan with oil, add salt, pepper and basil, and cook for 10 minutes. In the meantime, sit down with your better half, your kids or your friends and carve funny little Jack o’Lantern faces into the bell peppers!
Mix the mincemeat with the rice, cut the bell peppers open around the top, and stuff them with the mixture. Put the lids back on to the peppers, put them in a baking tray and bake them in the oven at 180° for about 40 minutes – ready!
The perfect dessert for Halloween are, of course, the good old-fashioned toffee (candy) apples. I’d never tried doing them myself until last Halloween, and I was a bit scared – the procedure sounded so complicated on all the online sites! But actually, it’s not at all difficult, and it’s a lot of fun, too.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
4 shashlik sticks
1tsp lemon juice
50ml golden syrup (or corn syrup)
1 tsp red food colouring
Wash the apples and put them on the shashlik sticks; prepare a sheet of baking foil to put them on later on. Heat the sugar, the lemon juice and the water up in a big pot (preferably with a Teflon coating), then add the golden syrup. Now many cookery sites will tell you that you need a candy thermometer for checking whether the mixture is hot enough, but that’s not really necessary: it’s hot enough when it’s really bubbling, simple as that.
Take the mixture off the cooker, add the food colouring and swirl the pan to combine (don’t stir it). Then, tilt the pot so that the toffee mixture goes to one side, and dip the apples into it one by one, then place them on the baking foil. They’ll dry in no time, and the toffee will actually stick to the apples! I couldn’t believe how simple it is…
And a tip for cleaning the pot afterwards: just heat it up again until the dried toffee gets liquid again, then pour it into the sink and quickly wash down with lots of water. Believe me, the pot will clean just fine!
So those are my ideas for a nice Halloween meal, dear friends; this year, I’ll do a big pot of tasty, blood red goulash… And don’t forget to get a bottle of red wine or at least some blackcurrant juice to go with your meal!
Happy Halloween everybody!