This Halloween we teamed up with House Curious for a series of Instagram Live videos, talking through some of our favourite freaky recipes. Go and check them out for inspiration on how to decorate a gorgeous Autumnal table.
Roast Pumpkin, Smoked Pancetta, Hazelnut and Crispy Sage Risotto
This is a really fantastic way to use any pumpkin left over from Halloween. A hearty and warm Autumn dish that works really well as a starter followed by a delicious rare beef or steak with rocket and gremolata sauce or as main course in itself.
- 1 small pumpkin
- 300g Arborio Rice
- 1 stick of celery, finely diced
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 100ml white wine
- 500ml chicken stock
- 6 slices of smoked pancetta
- 100g hazelnuts
- 1 bunch fresh sage
- 200g butter
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
- Parmesan to serve
1. Prepare your pumpkin by slicing it in half and scooping out the seeds with a spoon. Slice your halves into chunks, coating them in some olive oil, salt and pepper and pop them in the oven on 180c for approximately 30min. When the pumpkin is starting to brown and is soft throughout then remove and set aside.
2. Whilst the risotto is cooking, or your pumpkin is in the oven, pop your pancetta under the grill and keep an eye on it until it’s superbly crispy and bubbling. The hazelnuts need to go on a plain baking tray for 10mins so you could always pop these in at the same time as the pumpkin.
3. To make the risotto base, melt 100g of butter in a large heavy bottom pan on a medium to high heat. Add the clove of garlic, shallots and celery and sweat down for approx. 5 mins until the onions and celery have become soft. Be careful not to let the butter burn and add a splash of olive oil if it starts to turn a little brown.
4. Add in the risotto rice and stir thoroughly until the grains are well coated. After another couple of minutes pour in the wine and let bubble on a high heat until it has reduced by 1/3.
5. Reduce the temperature to a simmer - you are now ready to start adding you stock in small amounts and stirring thoroughly after each addition. Your risotto may need a little more, or a little less liquid – you’re looking for al dente rice with all the liquid absorbed.
6. Put half of the pre roasted pumpkin aside and chop the remaining half finely, until almost a paste. Mix the well chopped pumpkin in with the risotto until piping hot again and get ready to serve!
7. To make the crispy sage butter, simply melt the remaining 100g of butter in a small sauce pan and add the sage leaves individually. The butter will foam and the leaves darken, which is when it is best to either remove them and dry on a piece of kitchen roll (for very crispy sage) or to pour the delicious sage butter over your finished risotto.
8. To serve, place the risotto in the bottom of a bowl (or hollowed out pumpkin) and lay some of the roasted larger pieces of pumpkin on top along with a few shards of pancetta, the sage butter and some chopped toasted hazelnuts. Add parmesan to taste and enjoy!
Mulled Cider with Amontillado Sherry
Hot booze is one of our favourite things about Autumn. Getting a thermos filled and sharing with friends around a bonfire is an absolute treat and a great alternative to mulled wine, which we can worry about in December!
MAKES 4 GLASSES
- 1L good-quality English medium cider
- 6 cloves
- ¼ nutmeg , finely grated
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla pod
- 2 orange, juice of
- 200ml apple juice
- 200ml Amontillado sherry
- Sugar or maple syrup to taste
1. Pour the cider into a large pan on a low heat and let it warm through, then add all the spices and turn the heat up.
2. Add a few strips of orange peel and the juice from both fruits, and the apple juice and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and leave to infuse on a simmer for approx. 10mins.
3. Taste test and see if you’d like to sweeten the cider a little, sometimes they can be very dry. To serve mix through the sherry at the last moment to finish and serve with a slice of orange. This is really an adaptable recipe – so seasonal and mull away until you’ve found your sweet spot, it will only get tastier!
White Hot Chocolate with Cardamom and Orange
Jess is truly obsessed with hot chocolate, it’s official, and this is her favourite seasonal twist on a white chocolate comfort-in-a-cup.
MAKES 4 MUGS
- 800ml full fat milk (or substitution of your choice eg. coconut, almond etc)
- 200g good quality white chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 8 cardamom pods
- 4 strips of orange peel
- Cinnamon to garnish
1. Bring the milk, zest and cardamom up to a vibrant simmer on a high heat. Once the milk is warmed through and infused approx. 10min (be careful not to let it burn on the bottom of the pan or over boil) then simply strain into a jug, add the chocolate pieces and mix thoroughly until the chocolate has melted.
2. Serve immediately with a pinch of cinnamon to garnish.
Charcoal Whisky Cocktail
We mentioned in the live video that we love this cocktail not only because it’s delicious but because it looks really cool - something a bit different for a Halloween party. Don’t be tempted to go overboard on the charcoal as it can make your teeth feel squeaky clean – we have found that the below gives great colour and taste.
- 50ml Caol Ilsa (or other peat rich) whisky
- 1 tsp of activated charcoal powder (available from health food shops)
- 10ml chamomile syrup
- Chamomile syrup:
- 100ml water
- 100g sugar
- 4 tsp loose chamomile or 4 tea bags
1. To make the chamomile syrup, combine the sugar and water in pan over a high heat until the sugar dissolves. Whilst the mix is still hot, steep the tea for approx. 20mins and leave to cool.
2. Mix the whisky and charcoal in a glass to dissolve then add the chamomile syrup and serve over lots of ice. You could scale up this mix and keep in the fridge in a bottle, then shake it up before guests arrive and pour out over ice!
This is our basic recipe which you can add different essences and flavours to in order to create your perfect marshmallow! We find this recipe sets quite quickly which is great for baking, but don’t hesitate on transferring the mix from bowl to tin or you might find yourself eating set marshmallow straight from the bowl.
MAKES APPROX. 20
- 1 egg white
- 50g icing sugar
- 50g corn flour
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 200g sugar
- 200ml water
- 1 tsp golden syrup
- 1/2 tsp good quality vanilla bean extract
- 12g powdered gelatin
1. Whisk the egg white until stiff peaks appear and place aside. Prepare a 20cm square baking tin by oiling it and dusting with corn flour and icing sugar.
2. Put the sugar, 100ml of water and golden syrup in a heavy bottomed saucepan and mix with a wooden spoon. Bring to the boil and continue to heat until the sugar reaches the hard ball stage (121c).
3. Meanwhile, gently melt the gelatin in 100ml water until dissolved, this will only take a few seconds so best to do it right before the sugar reaches temperature.
4. When the sugar is at temperature, remove from the heat and slowly pour in the gelatin, stirring all the time. It will spit and foam so do be careful. Next, pour the hot liquid in a steady stream into the egg whites, whisking continuously with an electric hand whisk. Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens.
5. Pour the mixture into the pre prepared baking tin and set aside to cool for approx. 1 hour or until the marshmallow has set. To remove them simply pull gently at the edge of the tin and the marshmallow should roll out as a sheet which you can put on a board dusted with icing sugar to slice up into squares, remember to dust the raw edges of the cut marshmallow so that it doesn’t all stick together again!
SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
Who doesn’t love salted caramel on absolutely everything?
MAKES ONE 300G JAR
- 200g caster sugar
- 100g unsalted butter, cubed
- 120ml double cream
- Large pinch of salt to taste
1. Melt sugar on a medium to high heat, until it turns into a golden liquid whisking with a hand whisk all the time.
2. Add the butter and continue to stir, the mixture will foam so do be careful.
3. When all is melted, turn to a low heat and pour in the double cream slowly as it will spit and foam again, then just add the salt!
4. Leave the salted caramel to cool and then drizzle on your marshmallows. If you have left overs, you can always refrigerate it and put back in a saucepan to make it liquid again.
This bright red cherry sauce makes the marshmallows look rather gory – perfect for Halloween!
MAKES ONE 400G JAR
- 1.5kg cherries, pitted
- 300g sugar
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the fruit has softened.
2. Stir the compote with a wooden spoon and continue to simmer until thickened, approx. 30-40mins
3. Leave the cherry compote to cool and then drizzle on your marshmallows. If you have left overs, you can always store it in sterilized jars to be used in other baking adventures.
Makes enough for a full fondue ‘cauldron’ of chocolate sauce. This can also be easily served in small bowls for children or along with some fruit for dipping.
- 400g dark chocolate
- 85g unsalted butter
- 280ml carton double cream
- 300ml milk
1. Melt the ingredients in a saucepan and transfer to your fondue ‘cauldron’ for kids and big kids to dunk in to.