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Black is the new orange.

Briana Riddock
October 23, 2017

Create a Halloween menu that features foods that are naturally black, to create a dark, chicly ghoulish spread that’s as tasty as it is… well, dark. Black sesame seeds tint pastries, burger buns, and grilled tuna, while delivering a toasty, nutty essence that’s especially awesome for a fall menu. Squid ink is another ingredient that essentially acts as a natural black food coloring with notes of briney flavor. 

And if you really want to push the boundaries, track down a silkie hen, A.K.A black chicken. Black chicken, which you’ll likely have the most luck finding at an Asian market, has black-toned skin, flesh, bones, and internal organs. It has a similar flavor to chicken you’re familiar with, but with a slightly gamier undertone. You can prepare it in the same ways you would any chicken by roasting, braising, frying, or grilling. Just imagine presenting your friends with an oven-roasted, black-skinned chicken surrounded by roasted purple potatoes and black garlic... It will definitely be a stunning/creepy conversation starter for the party. Now, if you’re not going the black-skinned chicken route, here are a few more black-out foods to whip up for a Halloween dinner party.       

Black Bean Hummus

Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower

Start your dinner off with this take on hummus using black beans instead of chickpeas. The dip is lightly spiced with fresh crushed red pepper, garlic, and cumin. To make it an extra-dark app, serve the dip with blue corn chips for dipping. 

WATCH: How to Make Black Bean Hummus

 

Squid Ink Paella

Photo: Greg Dupree; Styling: Mindi Shapiro

The seafood-rich rice dish is blackened with squid ink when the rice begins to cook. The ink is mixed in with seafood stock, allowing the rice absorb the liquid and turn black as it fluffs. Just a heads up—squid ink tends to stain anything it comes in contact with fairly quickly, so cook with caution.   

Black Rice Salad with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Seeds

Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Kevin Crafts

Naturally black rice is used to make this versatile grain salad that can be eaten warm or cold. The bright orange butternut squash and red pomegranate seeds pop against the black rice, creating a beautiful display. 

Black Sesame Ice Cream

Photo: Daniel Agee; Food Styling: Tori Cox; Prop Styling: Kashara Johnson

The alluring deep charcoal hued ice cream becomes even more attractive when you find out it’s a no-cook and no-churn recipe—meaning no ice cream maker necessary. Black sesame seeds are toasted and proceed into a paste with honey, then mixed with whipped cream. With 6 hours of patient waiting, you’ll have ice cream for dessert.   

Lemon-Black Sesame Baked Doughnuts

Lemon-Black Sesame Seed Doughnuts image

Photo: Daniel Agee; Food Styling: Tori Cox; Prop Styling: Kashara Johnson

No worries if you don’t feel like standing over a pot of boiling oil in your Halloween costumes, because these devilishly dark doughnuts are baked in the oven, then drizzled with a simple, slightly darkened lemon glaze. To achieve the color, black sesame seeds are ground into a coarse meal and mixed into the dough. We opted to enhance the intensity with a bit of black food coloring paste, however this is completely optional.   

Black Sesame Cupcakes

Photo: Caitlin Bensel

End a night of spooky eats with a cupcake featuring dark chocolate cocoa powder and black sesame seeds. Even the vibrant orange icing is naturally made with the use of dried goji berries. Given that they’re on the lighter side, you can eat one of these delicately sweetened cupcakes, in addition to one of the other dark desserts featured above, without feeling guilty—and that’s always a good feeling.   

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