Foodie Friday: Spooky and Delicious Halloween Party Appetizers

Eyeball Caprese
Via The Stir Cafe Mom

Trick or treat?!  Are you ready to get your Halloween on?  Whether you are hosting a Halloween party or attending one, you will need some new appetizer recipes.  Or maybe you just want some fun snacks to get you in the spirit.  Here are some spooky and festive appetizer recipes:   

Eyeball Caprese

Balls of fresh mozzarella cheese (ideally, mozzarella di bufala)
Green olives
Black olives
Fresh basil leaves

1. Using a paring knife, cut a thin, clean, round slice from the tip or side of one of the green olives. This is a shallow cut, so it doesn’t matter if the olive has a pit or not, but do try to make a nearly-circular slice.

2. And now use the end of a plastic drinking straw to cut a hole through the center of your olive disk. This is the hole for the "pupil". To do this, push down on the straw with a slight twisting motion. It will slice out a neat cylindrical core, which you may need to remove with a toothpick or similar instrument.

3. For the pupil use the black olive. Use the same straw to poke a hole in a black olive to get a little plug of material that will exactly fit in the pupil hole of your green olive disk. Depending on your relative olive thickness, you may need to trim the back of the black plug as necessary.

4. Stick your olive irises to your mozzarella balls. Assuming that the surfaces are wet, they should stay in place by themselves. If your cheese is particularly curvy, you might find it helpful to cut a small flat surface for them to attach to.

5. Serve your eyeballs over tomatoes and basil. Drizzle with olive oil, if you'd like.

Halloweeño Jalapeño Poppers
Via The Hopeless Housewife

Halloweeño Jalapeño Poppers

Serves: 20 Poppers

10 jalapeño peppers, sliced in half lengthwise and pith/ seeds removed (use rubber gloves so your hands don't burn from the jalapeño). Leave the stem if you can on some or all of the halves.
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
8 ounces jack cheese, shredded
1 scallion (green onion), finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
1 package refrigerated crescent rolls
2 eggs, beaten
candy eyeballs (can be purchased at Michael's or on Amazon)

Preheat oven 400° F. 
In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, jack cheese, scallion and salt until well blended.

Roll out the crescent rolls and separate into 4 rectangles (not triangles) with a perforation in the middle of each. Press your fingers into the perforations to seal them. Using a pizza cutter, cut each rectangle into 10 long pieces lengthwise.

Fill each jalepeño half with the cheese mixture. Wrap each jalapeño half with the dough, leaving a space for the eyes. Use two pieces of dough if necessary. Brush with egg mixture and place on baking sheet.

Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and press the eyes into the cheese where the opening is. Serve immediately.

Chicken Fingers with Romanian Romesco Sauce

Chicken Lady Fingers with Romanian Romesco Dipping Sauce

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch by 3-inch strips
tablespoon olive oil
tablespoon unsalted butter
Smoked Spanish or regular paprika

Romesco Dipping Sauce
large red sweet peppers, halved lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed, flattened
cup day old crusty bread, cubed
3/4 cup chopped fresh tomato (1 large)
1/3 cup sliced natural almonds, toasted
tablespoons sherry vinegar
cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish or regular paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

For sauce, preheat broiler. Place peppers on a broiler pan. Broil peppers, 4 to 5 inches from the heat, until skins are blacked, turning once. Remove, stack pieces together, cover with aluminum foil and let stand 15 minutes. Peel off skins; discard skins. In blender combine peppers, bread, tomato, almonds, vinegar, garlic, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover and blend. Add 1/4 cup olive oil in steady stream through the top of blender until mixture is almost smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl or storage container. Cover and chill until serving time.

Prepare sauce; cover and chill. For Chicken Fingers, in large bowl combine flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Coat chicken strips in flour. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add chicken strips, one-third at a time, browning well on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Dip the end of each chicken strip in ground paprika. Serve with Romesco Dipping Sauce. Makes 10 servings (about 40 pieces).

You can prepare the sauce ahead of time. Cover and chill up to 3 days.

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