Dinner party ideas for Hallowe’en

Photo: Pixabay

Hallowe’en’s not just for children. Host a distinctly adult dinner party with these recipe ideas, all with an autumnal/Hallowe’en twist. These recipes are also useful for using up a seasonal glut of apples and pumpkins!

Halloween canapes

Use up a glut of apples with these quick and easy dinner party recipes. Photo: Pixabay

Apple and Stilton bites

What you’ll need:

  • 1 baguette, cut into thin slices
  • 60 – 100g Stilton
  • 2 – 3 eating apples

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking tray and put in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes, until they’re just starting to colour. Take the tray out and put it on one side. Meanwhile, peel and core the apples and cut them into thin slices. Arrange two or three slices on each piece of bread, and top with a spoonful of crumbled Stilton. Leave on one side until your guests are ready, then bake the canapes for around 6 to 8 minutes in a hot oven until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

Halloween starter

Warm apple, feta and walnut salad (serves 6)

  • 4 large eating apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunky slices
  • 50ml vegetable oil
  • 75ml olive oil
  • 8 teaspoons clear honey
  • 75ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse grain mustard
  • 150g walnuts, chopped
  • 1 large bag mixed salad leaves
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely sliced
  • 150g feta, crumbled
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius, and arrange the apple slices on a baking tray. Drizzle them with the vegetable oil and 4 teaspoons of honey. Roast for around 10 minutes until golden.
Arrange the salad leaves on six plates and scatter over the shallot and walnuts. Mix the balsamic vinegar, 4 teaspoons of honey, the mustard and olive oil together as a dressing, and either drizzle it over the leaves or serve in a jug at the table. Arrange the warm apple slices on top of the salad, and top with the feta cheese.

Halloween main course 

Pumpkins are ideal for roasting, and the spices add depth and flavour. Photo: Pixabay

Spicy roasted pumpkin (serves 6)

These cubes of golden roasted pumpkin are ideal to serve as a side dish with lamb or pork.

What you’ll need:

  • 1kg of pumpkin, skinned, seeds removed and cut into approx 2cm cubes
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of chilli flakes
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Put the pumpkin cubes in a large bowl, pour over the oil and spices and mix thoroughly. Tip onto a large baking tray (you may have to use two trays) and put in the oven for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, peel the garlic cloves and toss them in the same bowl as you used for the pumpkin so they get a coating of the leftover oil. After 25 minutes, add them to the trays and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes until the pumpkin is golden and cooked through and the garlic is soft.

Halloween pudding

Gooey pumpkin chocolate brownies are a fitting end to a Hallowe’en themed party. Photo: Pixabay

When it comes to dessert, forget pumpkin pie which is generally much too sweet for most people’s tastes  – try serving these squidgy brownies with ice-cream. They’re lower fat than regular brownies, too.

Chocolate pumpkin brownies (serves 6)

What you’ll need:

  • 65g cocoa powder
  • 130g self raising flour
  • 140g sugar
  • 300g cooked, pureed pumpkin (remove peel and seeds from fresh pumpkin, chop into chunks and simmer with water until very soft. Pass the mixture through a sieve or puree it in a blender)
  • 90ml sunflower oil
  • 60ml milk
  • 100g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 60g chopped walnuts or almonds (optional)

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Put the chocolate in a microwave-proof bowl, and pulse in the microwave in short bursts until completely melted. Mix the chocolate and the pumpkin together, then combine all the dry ingredients and mix well. Grease and base line a 20cm square tin, and spoon in the batter, flattening it off with the back of a spoon. Bake for around 20 to 25 minutes until risen and slightly soft in the middle. Allow to cool before turning out.

by Sara Walker

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