Homemade Halloween

As seen on Brand Attic

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It’s that time of the year again, and aren’t we glad. As soon as we wave goodbye to summer, it is safe to say that we are looking forward to the first pumpkins popping up and gordy decorations hitting the shops. All Hallows’ Eve is here, and it’s time to get spooky. There’s just one problem; what if you’re just a bit bored of dressing up as a sexy cat and getting off your trolley in town? What if you’re after something just a little more civilised, or maybe luminous green cocktails just aren’t for you. Well, that’s where we come in.

Alright, so how’s this for a plan? Have the girls round (costumes optional), get a couple of cheeky cocktails down you, and finish things off with some proper good grub. And, you’re in luck, G&T have designed a fool-proof menu just for you. We’ve taken our inspiration from the Mexican Day of the Dead just to keep things eerie… it’s Halloween after all.

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Start things off with salsa, chips and a sophisticated tequila cocktail. Keep on these all night, and you’ll be doing the Monster Mash until sunrise. The salsa uses bold scotch bonnet chillies which are a whopping 350,000 on the Scovill scale – just to put this into perspective our good friend the Jalapeno only comes in at 2,500-8,000. Dip your chip… if you dare.

Follow this with the green chilli rice and Pipan Verde de Pollo. The latter is a really authentic Mexican dish made up from pumpkin seeds, coriander and chilli. It isn’t what you expect from South American food, but it is so aromatic and flavourful. You can always satisfy your sweet tooth with a little chilli chocolate afterwards too- it sticks with the theme and it isn’t Halloween without a little chocolate.

Make a night in of it or enjoy it before going out dancing or performing a séance, just don’t go without… we heard only peckish people come back as ghosts.

Happy Halloween.
G&T

Bloody Sunrise

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Makes two drinks

1 measure of lime juice

1 measure of silver tequila

4 tsp agave nectar

Dash of Chambord

Ice

Champagne or sparkling wine

Slice of lime

Demerara sugar

Rim two glasses with lime juice and dust with sugar. Pour the juice, tequila and agave nectar into a cocktail shaker and top up with ice. Secure the lid and shake for 15 seconds. Pour into the two glasses halfway and top up with champagne. Finish with a slice of lime and a dash of Chambord.

Baked tortilla chips with scotch bonnet salsa

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Serves…lots

 1 red pepper

200g cherry tomatoes

½ small onion

3 cloves garlic

Handful coriander

2 limes

6 tbsp. olive oil

2 scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded

Salt & pepper to taste

1 pack of corn tortillas

Pop all the ingredients except 4 tbsp. oil and the tortillas in a food processor and pulse. The thickness of the salsa is up to you, keep going until it is to your liking. Pour into a bowl and chill for no less than an hour.

Meanwhile, fire up the grill to 200 degrees. Cut your tortillas into triangles and place on a large baking dish. Brush with the remaining oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Pop under the grill for 3-5 minutes until brown and crisp. You may need to do this in batches. Allow to cool and serve with the salsa.

Green chilli rice

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Serves 4

2 green chillies, deseeded and cut in half

600ml chicken stock

Large handful of coriander

4 cloves of garlic

1 medium onion, sliced

200g white rice

3 spring onions to serve (optional)

Bring the chicken stock to the boil over a medium heat and add the chilli. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook the chillies for 10 minutes until hot. In a blender or juicer, add the coriander, complete with stems, along with the stock, chilli and the garlic. Blitz into an emerald green liquid.

Fry the onion in a little olive oil and add the rice. Cook for five minutes over a medium heat until the onion is soft and the rice slightly browned. Add the chilli liquid, season and stir into the rice. Cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. Stir again and serve with sliced spring onion..

Pipan Verde de Pollo
(Chicken in pumpkin seed sauce)

 

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Serves 4

5 skin-on chicken thighs

1 large onion, split in half

4 cloves of garlic

1 large carrot

1 stick of celery

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 tsp. marjoram

150g pumpkin seeds

A large bunch of coriander, plus extra for garnish

3 romaine lettuce leaves

1 bunch of radish leaves

2 green chillies

Olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

To start, make a broth with 1.5 litres of water, half the onion, carrot, celery, half the garlic, bay leaves, thyme and marjoram. Bring to the boil and add 2 tsp. salt. Pop the chicken thighs in the bubbling broth and poach for 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Save the broth for later for the green chilli rice.

In a frying pan, toast the pumpkin seeds over a medium heat. Be sure to move them around a little, so they do not burn. They will pop when they are ready. Make sure they have all popped over the heat and transfer to a blender or food processor. Add the rest of the onion and garlic along with the lettuce, radish leaves, green chillies and 250ml of chicken broth and blitz into a puree.

Pour the puree back into the frying pan and cook over a medium-low heat for 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Finally, transfer back into the processor and blitz again, this will bring a smoother texture to the mixture. Season to taste. Brown the chicken skin side down and season in a heavy-based skillet. Remove the chicken and add the puree with a bit of chicken broth to loosen it up into a sauce. Check the seasoning and add the chicken on top. Garnish with extra pumpkin seeds, coriander and lime wedges.

 

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Hello! We are Ginseng & Thyme, two friends and work colleagues from Manchester with a passionate affinity for food, drink and lifestyle. Here’s our food story, what’s yours? Twitter: @ginsengandthyme Instagram: @ginsengandthyme

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