Spooky quesadillas? Sure, and they’re easy-to-make Halloween food—a light dinner for trick-or-treaters or for anyone staying at home who wants some Halloween fun (adults: enjoy them with a pumpkin ale).
Watch the video below to see how the Food Network’s Sandra Lee turns a quesadilla into a “spookadilla,” using tomato-basil tortillas. (Look for tomato-flavored tortillas from The Tortilla Factory or Tumaro’s Tortillas, two of our favorite brands. Their tortillas have flavor in addition to color.)
Sandra demonstrates two options: A jack o’ lantern face cut into a tortilla and a face added with vegetables. What she leaves off, in our humble opinion, is the “blood”: the salsa or tomato sauce that makes a basic pumpkin face spookier.
We like the veggie decorations as a creative, make-your-own spooky food activity (not to mention, it hopefully gets people to eat their veggies). Sandra uses quartered tomato slices for the eyes, sliced pimento-stuffed olives for the nose and sliced mushrooms for the teeth. (Feel free to add your own selections.) Put the sliced veggies in bowls—on a turntable, perhaps?—and let the revelers create.
To spice things up on Halloween, try Cabot Habanero Cheddar. An easy substitute: mix crushed red pepper flakes or minced jalapeño into shredded cheese.
Shredded Cheese Vs. Shredding Block Cheese
You’ll often read that grating your own cheese is a cost saver. Yes, but you may be saving just a penny per ounce.
At FreshDirect.com, for example, Kraft shredded cheeses are $4.49 per eight-ounce package, or $.56/ounce. Kraft Cracker Barrel Cheese varieties are $5.49 per 10-ounce block, or or $.55/ounce.
The real reason to grate your own is a broader choice of cheeses. We love the whole variety of Cabot flavored Cheddar cheeses: Garlic & Herb, Horseradish, Hot Buffalo Wing, Hot Habanero, Smoky Bacon, Tomato Basil and Tuscan. The company also makes reduced-fat Cheddars: 50% Cheddar, 50% Jalapeño, 50% Pepper Jack, 75% Cheddar and 75% Habanero, all so good that you’d never guess they were reduced-fat.
To easily grate cheese, we use this OXO Good Grips box grater. It has a detachable container that catches, measures, and stores (with a snap-on lid) the grated cheese.
To those who read ingredient lists: Shredded cheese typically contains anti-caking agents—calcium carbonate, microcrystalline cellulose or potato starch, for example—which prevent the shreds from sticking together. These are natural ingredients, unlike chemical preservatives that some consumers seek to avoid.
On to the spookadillas!
Jack o’ Lanterns were not originally pumpkins. To keep away spirits and ghosts on Samhain, people placed candles in their windows, using hollowed-out turnips and other vegetables as the holder.
Get spooked: more Halloween trivia.
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