“Another glooorious morning!”
Either you adore Hocus Pocus or you’ve never seen it, and I won’t hear anything different. It’s probably the most crowd-pleasing Halloween movie there is, and it never gets old. No, I mean it! I watched it about 6 times in the past month in the name of research for this post. Oh, the sacrifices I make for my readers.
You should definitely have your friends over to watch it this year, or even just have a night in with your family– or yourself. Yes, forget everything I just said. Have a solo date night in and don’t share any of this food. (This is why I’m a food blogger; I’m full of good ideas.)
You and your “guests” will have almost as much fun with this menu as you’ll have watching the actual movie which is both spooky and hilarious and deserves a worthy spread!
Let’s begin with the main dish: amok, amok, amok, amok, amok!!!
I did a little research and it turns out that in addition to being an adjective to describe a frenzy, “amok” is a Cambodian dish consisting of a protein (traditionally white fish, but you can choose whatever you like- chicken, scallops, shrimp, etc) with coconut milk and curry, steamed in a banana leaf. Don’t worry– I simplified this and made it as user-friendly as I could, so there will be no banana leaves here.
I chose to serve this over black rice, also known as “forbidden rice”, to add to the Halloween aesthetic. Black rice can be found at most grocery stores and at Whole Foods. If you can’t find it, black wild rice will also do. You could also use black beans, but from a taste and texture perspective, I think rice is better.
Easy Slow Cooker Amok serves 2-3
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 C sliced carrots
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1/3 C frozen chopped spinach or ¼ C chopped fresh cilantro
2 thick fillets white fish, or 2 skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
3 C cooked black rice, wild rice, or black beans
Set slow cooker to high and add coconut milk, lime juice, tomato paste, ginger, and garlic. Whisk to combine sauce and dissolve tomato paste. In a small separate bowl, combine curry powder, cornstarch, and salt. Mix well; this prevents the cornstarch from clumping in the sauce. Whisk dry spices into the coconut milk mixture. Add carrots, place the lid on the slow cooker, and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, prep other ingredients.
Once sauce has boiled for several minutes, it should be slightly thickened and carrots should be slightly softened. Add all other ingredients, stir, and turn slow cooker down to medium. Cook covered until fish or chicken has cooked through– about 8-10 minutes for fish, or 15-20 minutes for chicken. Scallops or shrimp will take about 8 minutes.
Serve over rice and garnish with chopped cilantro.
Next is a very simple and cute little snack. This is a finger food that replicates Winnie’s beloved Book of Spells. Her book is said to be bound in human skin and contains her most powerful and evil spells. I promise, these will taste way better than that.
Spell Book Cheese and Crackers
I will confess that these are a bit time consuming, but I thought they were worth the effort. Do these no more than 2 hours before the party and refrigerate them until they’re ready to serve. Here’s how I did it:
Slice a red delicious apple and place the slices in acidulated water (that’s just a pretentious term for cold water that has lots of lemon juice in it). Using a vegetable peeler, peel the all but the middle third of each apple slice’s peel, and then round out the remaining peel’s edges. On the slice that will be the top lip, peel a little dip in the top to replicate the cupid’s bow of the lip. When you are finished peeling, submerge the slices in the lemon water again to prevent browning.
To assemble, dry the apple slices well on a paper towel. Adhere the two “lips” together with a thin smear of peanut butter. Cut a mini marshmallow in half, and adhere both halves on the front of the lips with another dab of peanut butter. Turn the lower parts of the marshmallow out a bit to look more like Winifred’s overbite.
Thackery Binx Cookies
These are pretty straight-forward, and they taste quite a bit like Oreos! I used this Chocolate Shortbread recipe and added a bit of black food coloring. Before baking, I pressed in a couple of yellow Nerds for eyes.
“Give him fur black as black…”
Hocus Poke Cake
This one is kind of fun. It’s nothing more than boxed white cake with orange Jell-o “pokes” and purple-tinted icing. I do wish I had tinted it much, much more purple. I will probably re-shoot that next year.
I did discover some tips to getting a good poke cake that doesn’t look sloppy, as some can.
1. Over-bake your cake just a bit. That will make it more sturdy and a bit more “thirsty” to take on liquid.
2. Level the cake. This just means cutting off any “dome” on the top. If the cake isn’t flat on top, liquid will just pool to the edges.
3. Chill the cake for a while before adding the gelatin. This will cause the gelatin to set up quickly and not bleed elsewhere.
4. Add only half the amount of boiling water the package of Jell-o calls for, and let it cool to room temperature before use.
5. Use a small spoon to pour the liquid Jell-o into the holes you’ve poked. This further ensures that it will go where you want it to go, and stay there. Even better, if you have a dropper, this is the perfect time to use it. A dropper makes the application truly foolproof.
By the way, I also included a couple “dead man’s toes” atop this cake. They’re just a Wilton brand decorating accent I bought at Michael’s. They’re a set of fingers, but I just used the thumbs.
“His thumbs. His buns?? Chungs… dead man’s chungs…”
Lastly for the edibles, we can’t leave out some Halloween candy! Of course we need some “lucky rat tails”, which are just black licorice. I have also recently discovered that licorice is coming out in flavors like root beer and chocolate which would work just as well.
“The Chocolate-covered finger of a man named Clark”
“Ugh, it’s candy.”
Be forewarned: these can be extremely difficult to find. I probably spent at least 5 hours actively trying to figure out how to get my hands on some. I looked online, made trips to 6 different stores around the city, and made 4 phone calls in the name of a determined hunt. Ultimately I made a short road trip to find them at a store called Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory. Look for stores in your area that sell “retro” or “nostalgic” candy, and give them a call to see if they carry them. If you want to buy a few online, this is a good place to buy them individually, rather than in bulk. Personally, I think it actually makes more sense to serve Clark Bar Jr.s which are fun-sized, but I couldn’t justify paying shipping for them. If you want to cheat and do it the really easy way, here’s a tip: Clark Bars and Butterfinger are almost identical. Just serve “Butterfinger Bites” (the ones with no wrapper) in a bowl and label them as I did the Clark bars. No one will know the difference.
Last but not least:
Life Potion Punch
Unfortunately Oil of Boil isn’t readily available, so I had to come up with some other ingredients.
This delicious punch fits the theme like a glove because it’s green and bubbly, and it also just tastes like fall. Drink it, and you’ll be younger in the morning.
Life Potion Punch serves 5-8 people
1 liter Ginger Ale
3 Cups (24 oz. bottle) Green Apple Pucker
1 Cup Fireball whiskey
Now go have a party and “Dance! Dance until you die!!”Add to Favourites