Thursday, March 31, 2016

Antipasto de los Muertos

I realize we are just a few short weeks into spring and a long way away from fall and my favorite holiday, Halloween, but I just couldn't help myself! I plan my Halloween recipes all year and this year I have over 16 really cool and fun recipes to share, so I decided to get them started early.

While playing around with cooking techniques to make my Death Cap Kabobs look and taste good, I searched for different ways to prepare mushrooms. The usual, sautéing and grilling popped up. Then I came across boiling mushrooms, which not only helped me with the Kabobs but, it also gave me the idea to make this Halloween inspired Appetizer by marinating the mushroom skulls. I coupled these marinated mushroom skulls with my Pickled Shrunken Heads from last year. I added roasted radishes because they just look like creepy Halloween food. I made a handful of mozzarella eyeballs and sliced up roasted red pepper guts along with more traditional antipasto ingredients like artichoke hearts, pepperoncinis and olives to round out my Antipasto de los Muertos.
Hope you find this inspiring! Happy (early) Halloween!

Antipasto de los Muertos

Serves 8-10

1 cup roasted red bell peppers, sliced
1 small jar pepperoncini, whole
1 cup container of marinated mozzarella balls
1-2 cups cucumber skulls
1-2 cups hard salami, sliced and cut up
1 cup green olives with pimento
1-2 cups marinated mushroom skulls
1 cup artichoke hearts
1 cup roasted radishes or pickled onions
bed of mixed greens (I used baby kale)

Prepare mushroom skulls, roasted radishes and cucumber skulls a day ahead. Assemble all ingredients on a platter and serve with your favorite vino and crusty bread! Happy Halloween!

Antipasto Mushroom Skulls
1-2 lbs. baby bella or button mushrooms, carved into skulls
1/2 cup olive oil plus about 1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large shallot, sliced
1 t each of dried oregano and dried parsley
1/2 t Italian seasoning
1/2 t salt (or to taste)
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t red pepper flakes

Cut Skull faces into mushrooms by using a large diameter straw for the eyes and a paring knife for the nose and the mouth.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add mushrooms. Boil for 10 minutes and remove from water and set out on paper towels to drain and cool completely. While cooling, make the marinade.
In a canning jar or a bowl that has a tight fitting lid, add all ingredients to container and shake well to mix. Once mushrooms have cooled, add them to the marinade. Seal lid and gently turn the jar upside down a few times to coat the mushrooms. Place in refrigerator over night. Mushroom will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.

Roasted Radishes

2 bunches radishes, greens trimmed, roots intact
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 large shallot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 t dried parsley
1 t. dried basil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Add all ingredients to a shallow baking dish, cover with foil. Bake for 45 min-1 hour or until radishes are soft when pierced with a fork. Cool and refrigerate overnight.
salt pepper to taste

Here's another Halloween Inspired Appetizer to try:
                                                        Ghoulish Goat Cheese Torte

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