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America's CEO shares his recipes for a spooky Halloween party spread

Tim Laird is known as America's CEO or Chief Entertaining Officer

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HOUSTON – Planning a Halloween party? Candy and costumes are fun, but what about the food and drink? Tim Laird, America's CEO - Chief Entertaining Officer, shares his tricks and treats for a spooky Halloween spread.

Paloma

The most popular cocktail in Mexico!

In a rocks glass with ice, add:

2 ounces el Jimador Silver Tequila

½ ounce lime juice

Pinch of salt

Top with Grapefruit soda

Garnish with a lime wheel.

El Otoño

This translates to Autumn or Fall

In a tall glass with ice, add:

2 ounces el Jimador Reposado Tequila

1½ ounces apple juice

1 teaspoon agave nectar

Dash of ground cinnamon

Stir and garnish with a fresh apple slice and star anise.

Eyeball Garnish

1 lychee fruit

1 teaspoon raspberry jelly

1 blueberry

1 skewer

Fill the lychee cavity with raspberry jelly, then put the blueberry in the jelly, inside the lychee. Secure with a skewer.

Note: Canned Lychee fruit can be found in the Asian section of the grocery store.

Melon, Prosciutto and Mozzarella Skewers

40 melon (cantaloupe) balls

20 small mozzarella balls                                                           

20 slices prosciutto, halved lengthwise

20 skewers

1 small pumpkin for presentation

Thread onto each skewer:  1 melon ball, 1 slice prosciutto, 1 mozzarella ball, 1 prosciutto slice, 1 melon ball. Repeat with remaining ingredients on remaining skewers. Poke skewers into the pumpkin and serve.

Bat Sandwiches

Using a bat cookie cutter, stamp 2 bats out of pumpernickel bread. Spread one half with Bacon and Pecan Pimento Cheese, top with the other bat bread. Repeat for more sandwiches.

Bacon and Pecan Pimento Cheese

Makes: 3 cups

12 ounces grated sharp yellow cheddar (3 cups)

12 ounces grated extra sharp white cheddar (3 cups)

1 cup mayonnaise, such as Duke's

1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained

¼ cup toasted pecan pieces (see Note)

½ cup cooked and diced bacon (about 8 strips)

½ tablespoon Dijon mustard

Pinch cayenne pepper

Pinch celery seed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine the yellow cheddar, white cheddar, mayonnaise, pimentos, pecans, bacon, mustard, cayenne pepper, and celery seed. For a smoother mixture, use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes. When the mixture is completely combined, taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Note: To toast pecans at home, preheat the oven to 325°F. Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the nuts begin to brown and become fragrant.

Reprinted with permission from The Bourbon Country Cookbook by David Danielson and Tim Laird, Agate Surrey, 2018.

Candy Corn Crunch

15 ounces mini pretzels

12 ounces cereal (your favorite, I prefer Chex)

16 ounces roasted nuts (pecans, almonds, cashews or any combination)

10 ounces raisins

2 11-ounce bags white chocolate chips

1 22-ounce bag candy corn

In a very large bowl, combine the pretzels, cereal, nuts, raisins and chocolate chips. Microwave the mixture for 2-3 minutes until the chocolate has starts to melt. Add the candy corn and stir to fully combine. Spread the mixture on to parchment-lined cookie sheets and refrigerate to harden. Break into bite-size pieces and serve.

Note:  This recipes makes a large amount but keeps well in the freezer. Serve at room temperature.

To connect with Tim Laird, click here to visit his Facebook page.