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Halloween Fiesta

Submitted by on October 20, 2009 – 6:35 AMNo Comment
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Halloween Fiesta

This year, Halloween’s on a weekend, which means it’s like a double holiday.  You don’t have to wait until you get home from work to hit the video store to pick out the flicks for your double-feature scary movie fest.  This year, why not turn your Halloween movie marathon into a fiesta? Instead of grabbing some fast food and a six pack of whatever’s chilling in the cold case, how about celebrating the evening like it’s a real holiday and not just another Saturday night.

We’re not talking a big production here.  All you need is your three courses—cerveza, chips and guac to start; quesadillas with salsa for the entrée with maybe a salad on the side; and something sweet for dessert.


bluechipsYou will need one bag of tortilla chips per every two people.  If you’re having a crowd, then it’s fun to mix up the kinds of tortilla chips—maybe one bag of white corn chips to go along with the traditional yellow corn chips, maybe a bag of blue corn, or even those blue corn chips with sunflower seeds and sesame seeds embedded.

Either buy a tub of guacamole in the required quantity (1 tub for every two people) or make it yourself.  There is a great guacamole seasoning pack available at most grocery stores in the veggie department that comes in your choice of mild or spicy.  Each seasoning pack makes one bowl of guac and requires two ripe avocados.  Plan accordingly.

Step Two:  The Salad and the Quesadillas

Make the salad first.

Buy one package of prepared greens for each two people.

Pour salad greens into a large bowl.

Add any combination of the following:

tomato-avocado-salad-recipe-A can of corn, drained
-A can of garbanzo beans, drained
-A can of kidney beans, drained
-Sliced black olives
-Sliced jicama strips
-Sliced red onion
-Ripe tomatoes, diced
-Ripe avocado, diced
-Green pepper, diced

Don’t add cheese because there will be enough cheese in the quesadillas to satisfy anyone.

Don’t mix the ingredients together, just put the whole salad bowl in the fridge to chill.  When ready to serve, mix everything up and add a bottle of your favorite dressing.  Ranch dressing works well, or a simple vinaigrette.

Now make the quesadillas.

quesadilla-mainFull-main_FullMaking quesadillas is no harder than putting together a PB&J and a lot more impressive if you have guests.  They’re also infinitely customizable.  Got a friend who’s a vegetarian?  Just load the tortillas up with jalapenos and onions and tomatoes and leave out the chicken.  Got a gf who’s still on the low-carb diet?  No problemo amigo, there are low-carb tortillas out there.

1. Treat a cookie pan with Pam or other kind of spray so nothing will stick.  (If you don’t have a cookie sheet, you can buy one-time use ones in the baking section of your supermarket.)

2. Lay out as many flour, corn or carb-free tortillas as you can fit on each pan.  Top with your choice of chopped onions, diced jalapenos, chopped tomatoes, sliced olives and then sprinkle with your choice of cheese—cheddar, jack, pepper jack or one of those “Mexican cheese” mixtures you can get in the dairy case.  If you use shredded cheese, it melts faster and more uniformly.

3. When the cheese has melted, flip one half of each tortilla over to make a half-moon shaped little sandwich.  Serve immediately.  Make more than you think you’ll need and keep bringing them out until everybody says no mas.
Set out two or three different kinds of store-bought salsa—one hot, one medium, maybe one with fruit—and pour into bowls.  Add another bowl full of sour cream for garnish.

Crack open your favorite Mexican beer and enjoy.

Step Three:  Dessert

You might want to screen a movie between dinner and dessert.  ice-cream-sundaeOr you could just open up a bag of Halloween candy and dig in.  Sweets made with chocolate or caramel (or both) go well with Mexican food.  Ditto anything flavored with cinnamon or coffee.

If you want something fancy, serve coffee ice cream with Mexican chocolate sauce.

Make Mexican chocolate sauce:


3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream, 1 tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. chile powder (pure ancho if you can find it) in a medium saucepan and heat to a high simmer.  (Don’t scald the cream by letting the heat get too high.)

Stir in:

1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and ¾ tsp. vanilla extract. Stir until the chips have melted into the spiced cream mixture, then take off the heat.  Serve immediately.  If you really like to drown your ice cream in chocolate, then double the batch.

This meal works especially well if you add a Mexican horror movie like Guillermo Del Toro’s Chronos to the mix.

With a spicy meal like this, you’ll want a cerveza that won’t disappear on your tastebuds—something like Negra Modelo, a rich, malty lager that pairs well with just about any combination of chili and cheese or the well-balanced Carta Blanca.  Another reliable choice is Tecate, with its crisp citrusy undertone.  Salud!