Once you've notified your friends, you can focus on more important things, like the menu. Select an assortment of finger-licking good foods that evoke the vampire culture.
Tomato soup filled test tubes resemble the addictive vampire blood popular in the HBO series, True Blood. Stefan Salvatore, the kind bloodsucker on the CW's Vampire Diaries who loves garlic, would devour a platter of garlic and cheese crostini. Guests will feel like Buffy the Vampire Slayer when they stake steak bites with skewers and dunk them into a bloody Mary dipping sauce. Finally, spicy sriracha doused chicken wings are so hearty they'd satiate even the toughest Cullen brother's hunger. Get these festive recipes when you read more.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 fennel bulb, chopped, about 2 1/2 cups
1/2 large onion, chopped, about 1 cup
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
2 cups homemade vegetable broth or low-sodium canned
2 cups tomato juice
6 basil leaves, torn
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat.
- Add fennel, onion, garlic, salt, fennel seed and crushed pepper, if using, and cook until vegetables soften and brown slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Drain and reserve juice from the tomatoes, then crush tomatoes gently with your hands. Add the tomatoes, increase heat to high, and cook until they begin to brown slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Add the reserved tomato juice, vegetable broth, tomato juice, and basil leaves. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook until vegetables are cooked through and soup reduces and thickens, about 30 minutes.
- Remove pot from stove and puree the soup in batches, with an immersion, regular blender, or food processor. Stir in lemon juice and season with pepper to taste. Serve.
- Appetizers, Other
24 (1/3-inch-thick) baguette slices (from a baguette at least
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
3/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano (preferably imported)
5 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
- Arrange bread slices in 1 layer on a large baking sheet and brush tops with 3 tablespoons oil.
- Stir together remaining tablespoon oil, cheese, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle each slice with about 1 teaspoon cheese mixture, mounding it slightly.
- Bake until topping just starts to melt, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and kosher salt to taste. Serve warm.
Makes 24 hors d'oeuvres.
- Appetizers, Crostini
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup vodka
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
1 rounded tablespoon prepared horseradish
Salt and pepper
1 1/3 pounds beef sirloin cut into large bite-sized pieces, 1 by 2 inches
Steak seasoning blend or coarse salt and black pepper
6 to 8 inch bamboo skewers
- Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add oil and onions and saute 5 minutes.
- Add vodka and reduce by 1/2.
- Add Worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato sauce and horseradish. Stir to combine the dipping sauce and return the sauce to a bubble. Add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings.
- Heat nonstick skillet over high heat. Coat meat bites lightly in oil. Season with steak seasoning blend or salt and pepper, to taste.
- Cook the meat until caramelized all over, about 2 minutes on each side.
- Transfer dipping sauce to a small dish and place at the center of a serving platter. Surround the dip with meat bites and set several bamboo "stakes" or skewers along side meat.
- Appetizers, Meats
10 pounds chicken wings, split
1/4 cup coriander seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup Sriracha chile sauce
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Finely grated zest and juice of 3 limes
3 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
- In a very large bowl, toss the wings with the coriander and cumin seeds, cinnamon, kosher salt and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread the wings on 3 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for about 30 minutes, until firm but not cooked through. (At this point, if you don't want to fry the wings, you can roast them for 1 hour longer, until crispy and golden.)
- Wash out the bowl. Add the Sriracha, butter, cilantro, lime zest and juice.
- In a deep fryer or a very large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil to 375°.
- Fry the wings in 4 or 5 batches until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes per batch; drain, shaking off the excess oil. As each batch is finished, add the wings to the sauce and toss well. Transfer the wings to a platter, leaving the sauce in the bowl for the remaining batches. Serve hot.
- Appetizers, Poultry