Black magic: Mark Hix's devilishly good Halloween recipes

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

It's nearly trick or treat time again, and to celebrate, our resident chef goes over to the dark side...

It's always tricky to know what to serve up to guests at Halloween – apart from giving them something warming and comforting, it also needs to be a bit of fun. Over the years I've given you lots of ideas for hearty pumpkin and squash recipes, so this year I thought I would devote my column to 'black' food that you can serve to your friends and neighbours – in between dishing out the sweets to the children.

Cuttlefish and pumpkin soup

Serves 4

Cuttlefish ink is the obvious ingredient to darken up a spooky Halloween supper; you won't need the black lipstick after you've eaten this one.

60g butter
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
50g flour
100ml white wine
1.2ltrs fish stock
250g cleaned cuttlefish, cut into 1cm chunks (tentacles as well)
700-800g yellow fleshed pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into rough 2cm chunks
5 (40g) sachets of cuttlefish or squid ink
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan and gently cook the onion for 2-3 minutes, without colouring, until soft. Gradually stir or whisk in the white wine and fish stock to avoid lumps forming.

Bring to the boil, season and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Add the cuttlefish, pumpkin and squid ink and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. Re-season if necessary and serve.

Black and black

Serves 4

You need a black drink to go with your black supper. The British drinks and liqueur market is on the rise at the moment and recently I was pleasantly surprised to be given a bottle of Sedlescombe organic blackberry liqueur from East Sussex (englishorganicwine.co.uk) by a couple of my guests at the kitchen table demo in Charmouth last month. Another great product is Jo Hilditch's British Cassis (britishcassis.co.uk).

So here are two ways to make a Halloween black and black. The first is to mix 1 part of either of the above with 5-6 parts Guinness or stout, or even Hix oyster ale. If you want to create a drink with a bit more of a Halloween kick you could mix equal quantities of Julian Temperley's Kingston black apple aperitif with the British cassis or blackberry liqueur (ciderbrandy.co.uk).

Black pudding baked potato

Serves 4

Try to buy the soft Spanish- or French-style black pudding for this dish as it's easy to mould it on top of the potato. If you can't get hold of it, then soften normal, good-quality black pudding with a little hot water or stock.

2 large baking potatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
200-250g French- or Spanish-style soft black pudding

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Wash the potatoes, place on a baking tray and bake them for about 1-1½ hours, or until soft. Leave them to cool a little, then cut off about a quarter of the top of each potato and scoop the flesh out into a bowl.

Mash as chunky or as smooth as you wish, then mix with the butter and season to taste. Return the potato skins to the oven for about 10 minutes to crisp them up.

Return the potato to the skins and spoon on the black pudding, mounding it up and moulding it with a spoon. Return to the oven for about 10 minutes to heat through the black pudding; serve.

Baby back ribs in Guinness HP

Serves 4-6

I came across this Guinness HP sauce down at Jamie Oliver's Feastival on Alex James's farm a few weeks ago. We put it to good use in the early hours with some tiny spare ribs that we found in the fridge; they went down a treat.

3-4 slabs of baby pork back ribs

For the marinade

200g Guinness HP sauce
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
60g root ginger, peeled and finely grated
½tbsp ground cumin

Smear the ribs with all the ingredients for the marinade in a stainless-steel or non-reactive bowl.

Cover with clingfilm and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 24 hours (the longer the better).

Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5. Transfer the marinated ribs to a baking or roasting tin and cook for 30 minutes, basting as they are cooking.

Turn the oven down to 160C/gas mark 3, cover the tray with foil and continue cooking and basting for another hour, then remove the foil and cook, basting again, for a further 30-45 minutes.

Remove the ribs from the oven and serve whole or cut into sections with a simple green salad, coleslaw or baked sweet potatoes.

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    SCRUM Master

    £30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

    Franchise Support Assistant

    £13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

    Financial Controller

    £50000 - £60000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful entertainment, even...

    Direct Marketing Executive - Offline - SW London

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A fantastic opportunity h...

    Day In a Page

    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

    The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
    Let's talk about loss

    We need to talk about loss

    Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album