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10.13.2005

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devilish delights spooky treats for your Halloween fete by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3 4
continued from page 1

vampires' teeth
(spicy pumpkin seeds)
Don't throw out the seeds from your jack-o-lanterns -- toast them to make these spicy party nibbles...

2 cups raw pumpkin seeds from your carved pumpkins (rinsed of strings and goo, and drained)
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne
tsp. black pepper
tsp. salt
2 tsps. olive oil

Preheat oven to 325F. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl for the seasoning. Toss the seeds with all the seasoning, add the oil and toss some more. Spread out the seeds in a single layer on a big baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes or so, stirring a couple of times during the cooking period, until the seeds are puffed-up and lightly browned. Let the seeds cool completely before digging in or storing in a well-sealed container (the seeds should stay good for a week or so).

eerie eyeballs
(radishes stuffed with cheese and topped with olive)
A take-off on the radish garnish used for the eyeball-tini, this stuffed radish appetizer looks creepy but makes for a yummy bite.

24 whole radishes, not too small
4 oz cream cheese
2 tsps. milk
1 Tbsp. capers
6-8 pimento-stuffed green olives
salt and pepper to taste

1 Chop up the capers as finely as you can. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and milk. Add the capers and stir some more. Season with salt and pepper.
2 Slice the olives into quarters. If there are any sections that are missing pimento, discard (or eat); you'll need to slice some more olives to make up for them.
3 Use a zester to roughly scrape off some -- but not all -- of the red skin of the radish, creating a sort of bloodshot effect. Insert the tip of a short paring knife at an angle close to the stem end of the radish; rotating the knife around the stem, cut out a conical cavity in the radish (the diameter should be about the same as an olive). Slice off a little of the radish at the opposite end of the hollow, to give the radish a base to sit on. Now hollow out the rest of the radish as best you can -- I use my 1/8 tsp. measuring spoon to scrape out the innards, but you might also try a melonballer or a demitasse spoon. The more radish you can remove, the more flavorful the appetizer will be as you'll be able to stuff in more cheese; still, don't go so crazy as to puncture your radish shell.
4 Use a butter knife to stuff the cheese mixture into the radishes; don't fill the radishes all the way to the top (as you'll need room for the olive). Top with an olive slice to form the pupil. Arrange on a platter and serve. (It's best to stuff shortly before serving. If, however, you must prep ahead, store in a covered container in the fridge while you wait for party time. The stuffed radishes will start to seep water as they sit in the fridge, so don't bother pre-arranging them on the serving plate. When you're ready to set them out, remove the radishes from the container, wipe off excess liquid if necessary, and serve.)

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