It’s only fitting that my Halloween celebration this year was entirely food-focused. Halloween fell on a Wednesday which, being a weekday, is in my book a night reserved mostly for parties of the dinner variety. My cooking buddy Amy and I wanted a festive menu for our Wednesday night feast, minus the garish food coloring and grotesque shapes often synonymous with spooky food.
Instead, we went the way of the wordsmith, devising a menu of ‘devilish’ fare. Our cocktail of choice, kill devil punch, sported a raspberry-induced not-quite-blood-red hue. Devils on horseback and deviled eggs served as appetizers. We crisped chicken al diavalo-style wings on the grill, and capped off the night with pumpkin devil’s food cake whoopie pies sandwiched with lemon-almond meringue frosting.
It really wasn’t fair to serve anything alongside the devils on horseback which, for those of you unfamiliar with the lesser-known varieties of bacon-wrapped edibles, are unfathomably delicious, grilled bacon-wrapped dates. They’re not the type of appetizer over which people play nice and refuse to take the last one off the plate.
That said, I’d like to make a case for the deviled eggs, which were consumed with only slightly less gusto than the devilish equestrians. Inspired by the za’atar my new friend Tammy gave me last weekend at Eat Retreat (more on that later), I added a few interesting touches to the deviled eggs’ usual one-two punch of mayonnaise and mustard.
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely destroy at least a couple eggs when trying to peel them. I try every trick in the book – using week-old eggs, adding vinegar and a lemon wedge to the boiling water, chilling the boiled eggs in an ice bath for hours. I chalk up my regular egg peeling failures to my absurdly fresh CSA eggs, but either way I base my deviled egg recipe on nine eggs, rather than a full dozen. I usually mash up the deformed bits and pieces with some greens, mayo, and mustard, and spoon the deconstructed deviled eggs atop crackers.