Unlike the picture adorning this post, I don’t go for funny looking foods at my Halloween BBQ. My emphasis is always on providing a tasty and satisfying feast. So, that’s the first test to any Halloween food choice. Still, there’s some fun involved with conjuring up a Halloween menu.
More oven than BBQ
I have two BBQ’s each year. One for my birthday in May and the one for Halloween. Since May is (basically) summer, I opt for a more traditional menu of classic BBQ (ribs, dogs, burgers, etc.).
For the Halloween BBQ, however, I tend to use more recipe dishes. These I usually pre-cook a day or so before the party. Of course, I still provide dogs and burgers, for the people who like simple (and sauceless) selections.
They still fit the theme…with a little imagination
Okay, so the selections for this year didn’t crystallize for me until last week. But they kind of work for Halloween. If you use your imagination along the way.
Chicken Parmesan – unless you’re a vegetarian or don’t like sauces, this is a pretty happy dish for people. And, all that red sauce sure could be Halloweenish…but don’t tell my guests.
Chili – spicy, as I like it, though sometimes too much for my guests. Plus, it’s slow cooked in a bubbling cauldron (but I tell my guests it’s a Dutch Oven).
Jambalaya – Another super spicy dish, possibly causing the taste buds to scream in terror, but what a way to go!
Sausage & Peppers – A friendly little dish…that is, until you happen to bite into a piece of the hot Italian sausage instead of the mild. Surely those sausages were made in the devil’s own kitchen!
Of course, some things just have to be there
There’s really no special Halloween theme for the side dishes. That’s because they have become standards at every BBQ. And that’s because I constantly get asked for them to be there. You might say they are just scary good dishes!
My 7-cheese macaroni & cheese – Seven! You read that right. So thick a box of macaroni actually makes two full serving pans of cheesy goodness.
My hand-crafted baked beans – slow-cooked for a day and filled with mystery spices that even I can’t easily write down. But, mmm, mmm good!
Bi-color corn – a BBQ favorite, corn on the cob. But the bi-color is the secret. Sweet and crispy!
Cucumber salad – learned during my GNABRT, it has now become a standard at my BBQ’s. I’ve since made it “clean”, with just the vinegar, sugar and onions. That seems to have widened its appeal.
Scalloped potatoes au gratin – New for 2018, this dish is basically mac and cheese with sliced potatoes substituting for the macaroni.
And a little change to start
Normally, along with random snack items (chips, popcorn, peanuts) I put out some sliced cheese, cut veggies and fruit salad.
This year, I believe I’ll switch out the cut veggies for a classic salad (featuring the same cut veggies, only cut even smaller and in a bunch of lettuce).
That’s about all there is to conjuring up a Halloween menu
I don’t do desserts. Usually, between one and three guests bring sweet stuff. For example, this year, my sister is bringing her homemade mango cobbler. People will be quite happy,
There is also the issue about alcohol. I don’t drink, so I let others make those decisions. BYOA, in whatever form they prefer. I even have a corkscrew and wine glasses, for those whose tastes run that way.
And that’s it. That’s my conjuring up a Halloween menu.