Last Halloween I was beyond impressed with the number of creative and scary recipes I saw bounding about the blogosphere. How do people come up with this stuff?
I don’t remember this sort of thing happening when I was a kid. Or is it just because back then all that mattered to me was where Malibu Barbie, Francie, PJ and Skipper were going to head off to in the camper trailer and would they ever find Ken? Poor PJ, she never quite made the cut and always had to sit in the back.
This year I was inspired to throw my hat into the Halloween themed ring of fire and so I did what I always do when I need a creative consultation: I went to my partner in crime, G-Dawg—aka my husband who I think puts MacGyver to shame—and set him to task in scheming how we were going to create eyeballs out of cheeseballs.
After watching an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives a while back where I learned the secret to the perfect deep fried anything and everything I knew I wanted to create a recipe for deep fried mozzarella eyeballs. The secret dredge worked perfectly to form golden orbs of melty, bloodshot eyeballs.
Our original idea was to deep fry Mozzarella bocconcini balls stuffed with olives but realizing we’d have to use the larger sized Ovolini to accomodate the whole olives and in turn rake up the dollar signs we had to reassess the plan. G decided to create a combo mix of cheese with a touch of onion and a hollowed out olive on the inside. And of course add a little blood.
The bloody shot of Cholula—you can use Frank’s Red Hot or similar hot sauce—gave the eyeballs an extra side of gore. And the spicy kick makes the cheeseballs tasty all on their own. But if you do have a hankerin’ for dippin’ then go ahead and hit the sauce—bottled marinara will work just fine—for a more bloodified version.
Like I said, the secret to these golden beauties is in the dredge. First flour, then egg, then panko. And repeat the process a total of three times. Yep, three times. Don’t skimp and think you can just do two. Why would you even think of it? I know you won’t though, because you want the crunchy, golden crust that’s sturdy enough to hold just about anything and totally fun to break into to discover an eye-popping, gross-out surprise.
Ooooo, grossly delicious.
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3 green onions, whites only minced
- 3-4 tablespoons Chohula or Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
- 10-15 small black olives
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 3 cups canola oil
- Blend cream cheese, mozzarella cheese and whites of the green onions in a medium bowl. Scoop cheese mixture with an ice cream or cookie scoop and level off the top. Place olive in the middle of the cheese, hole side up. Fill hole with hot sauce then cover with a spoonful of cream cheese mixture. Mold into a ball and drizzle with more hot sauce. Repeat with the rest of the cheese.
- In a small saucepan or deep fryer, heat oil to 350 degrees.
- Gather three shallow bowls and place flour in one bowl, whisk eggs in another bowl and place panko bread crumbs in remaining bowl. Dredge a cream cheese ball first in flour, then egg and then in panko. Repeat flour, egg and panko steps 2 more times. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the cheese balls.
- Fry cheese balls in batches of three or four at a time for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Slice in half or serve whole with marinara sauce on the side.
Now that we’ve got you looking over your shoulder and jumping at every stray sound, here are a few other food blogger’s spooked-up, Halloween surprise treats to get the scary show started.
Sommer is sure to gross out anyone younger than 32 thanks to tapioca ball eggs o’ plenty in A Spicy Perspective’s Spooky Worm and Spider Nests. Eek.
Kristan continues enthralling us with her Twinkie obsession by creating a green Halloween monster that’s a little bit scary but makes me a lot bit happy with Confessions of a Cookbook Queen’s Frankenstein Twinkie Pop. Nice bangs Frankie.
Marian does her best to be scary, but Sweetopia’s Decorated Halloween Cookies are just about too cute to eat. Really, how does she have such a steady hand?
Inspired by a cool summertime drink, Aimee shares her secrets for her Spooky Halloween Drink to create My Gathering Table’s custom scary quencher. How cool are those glasses?
Jenny knows how to make her kids happy: by getting their freak on with scary food, like Picky Palate’s Breadstick Mummy Dogs. Anything wrapping a hot dog is a-ok in my book, especially if its a mummy.