The horror field

ingredienti
  • The horror field menu
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  • The field from which the remains of the past are emerging
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  • The mummy in its sarcophagus
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  • The skull
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  • The spectral masks
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  • Wine
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  • Lambrusco
  • Difficulty:
    easy
  • Time:
    about 3 hours plus pumpkin baking time

This is one-plate meal idea for Halloween dinner party, a new style to celebrate Halloween.
We called it "the horror field" for it reminds a field (we think inside a cemetery and we hope it's really a cemetery!) from which remains of the past are emerging. A skull that comes up from underground and is full of grass, a mummy in its sarcophagus and spectral masks of characters imprisoned by some spell.
To create the right atmosphere our tip is to serve it, lights out, and place the serving plate near candles on the table. Generally we are contrary to the candles on the table but on the Halloween night everything is allowed!
So, let's work! Here are step-by-step instructions!

Shopping list (it serves two or more people)

  • - a kohlrabi or a big potato from which you'll have the skull
  • - 300g (10 1/2 ounces) fresh sausage
  • - 1kg (2.2 pounds) frozen spinach
  • - 500g (1.1 pound) fresh pumpkin to clean
  • - 400g (14 ounces) white mushrooms with big caps
  • - 125g (4.4 ounces) mozzarella cheese
  • - 1 egg
  • - a leek
  • - 80g (2.8 ounces) fresh young onions, finely chopped
  • - 2 sun dried tomatoes
  • - 40g (1 1/2 ounce) black and green olives, stoned and sliced
  • - plain dried breadcrumbs
  • - grated Parmesan cheese
  • - 5 peeled almonds
  • - square crackers or savory cookies for the sarcophagus
  • - black mayonnaise made with black olives
  • - 4 capers in vinegar
  • - Extra virgin olive oil

The first thing to do

The first thing to do is baking your pumpkin. You can make it in advance, even the day before, and chill it, covered with cling film.
Then remove its skin and seeds, cut pumpkin into big pieces, wrap them with foil. Bake, about 45 minutes, at 180C (350C). It is difficult to say how much time is necessary to complete its cooking for it depends on a lot of factors.
Baking pumpkin is the best way to have a dry and savory pulp, ideal for a lot of recipes.

The skull

We chose a kohlrabi for it tastes fantastic but we know it's difficult to find it. You can substitute it with a big potato especially if you prepare this one-plate meal for kids.
Steam it, after cleaning, about 10 minutes. Calculate this time since the water begins boiling.
Let it cool and then dig to have a skull. Look at the photo for more details. Seasone to taste with salt outside and inside.
Meanwhile prepare spinach mixture (read more below). You'll use this spinach mixture to fill your skull and mushroom caps and to simulate the fiels in the serving plate. So be careful on the amounts you'll use.
Line a baking pan with foil and brush it with a tablespoon olive oil and a tablespoon water. Fill your skull with a bit of spinach mixture, place it on baking pan and bake at 180C (350F). The kohlrabi is hard. You'll need at least an hour and more. The cooking time for potato is different. You'll need less time but you should be careful digging it for it could break easilier.
Few minutes before the end of cooking remove your skull out of the oven and insert almonds on the bottom to simulate the teeth. Complete cooking.

The field

To prepare spinach mixture that simulates the field you have to soak dried tomatoes and clean mushrooms before.
Prepare dried tomatoes. Soak them in cold water, about 15 to 20 minutes, pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper and cut into little pieces.
Clean mushrooms, remove their steps and gills under their caps. Put apart their caps and cut mushroom steps into little pieces.
Put spinach still frozen in a non-stick frying pan together with two tablespoons olive oil, onions, tomatoes, one third fresh sausage, mushrooms steps and olives. Cook on low heat, stirring now and then. Just before the end of cooking, add two third steamed pumpkin after crushing it with a fork. Season to taste with salt and stir accurately. Cook for other few minutes stirring now and then.

The spectral masks

The spectral masks are mushroom caps filled with spinach mixture and baked for about 30 minutes at 180C (350F).
Here's the recipe.
Clean mushrooms removing all soil with a dampened cloth or a little brush. Then remove their stems. You'll use them to prepare spinach mixture as described above.
Dig the bottom of their caps to remove all gills helping yourself with a teaspoon.
Puree in a blender a bit of spinach mixture and fill mushrooms caps.
You can bake them in the same baking pan with the skull but remember their cooking time is only 30 minutes.
Just before serving, grate mozzarella cheese and sprinkle it on mushroom surface. With the handle of a teaspoon make openings for eyes and mouth. Look at the photo for more details.
Bake again to let mozzarella melt. When mozzarella melts it may cover some openings you've just made. Don't worry! As soon as you remove your spectral masks out of the oven, you can make them again easily.

How to do the mummy

Clean leek. Let it whole and steam, about 10 minutes. Calculate time since water begins boiling.
Meanwhile puree in a blender remaining fresh sausage and pumpkin together with an egg and 200g (7 ounces) remaining kohlrabi or potato once digged to make your skull.
Surely you'll have a mixture still too soft. Season to taste with salt and add two tablespoons plain dried breadcrumbs and two tablespoons grated Parmesan. Stir accurately. If the mixture would be too soft, add other plain dried breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan up to a mixture suitable to be shaped and wrapped in the leek leaves.
Let leek cool, separate its leaves and cut every leaf into strips (a finger wide) lengthly.
Shape your mummy. You'll obtain two big mummies. Look at the photo for more details: this serving plate is a pizza plate.
Wrap mummies with leek leaves that simulate mummy bandages and apply capers (mummy eyes).
Line a baking pan with foil and brush it with a mixture made with a tablespoon olive oil and a tablespoon water. Place both mummies on the foil and bake at 180C (350F), about 30 minutes or until their surface is golden as you can see in the photo.

Prepare your serving plate

While you're heating all the components, spread mayonnaise on a face of the savory cookies you've chosen for the mummy's sarcophagus. This face will be the inside of the sarcophagus.

Arrange some spinach mixture on the bottom of your serving plate. Place mummy in its center and savory cookies all around and directly on your mummy.
Put a savory cookie near mummy and place the skull on it. Cover the skull with a bit of the spinach mixture. At last put your spectral masks.
Your Halloween one-plate meal is ready!