Chili by the Cauldron

Featured Article,Halloween,Holidays
September 27, 2011

A bubbling cauldron of thick Texas-style chili headlines our Halloween night menu.

Black Bean and Beef Chili
Mark Boughton/styling: Teresa Blackburn

Whether this year’s brood includes a mermaid, a monster or The Monopoly Man (my little guy), one thing’s for certain: Everyone needs to eat. And a wicked good dinner will make you a hero—Superman, maybe?

Fire-roasted tomatoes add depth and smoke to a steaming cauldron of chili. Make it ahead and refrigerate for up to three days, or freeze for up to a month, then warm it gently and serve it up (in a hollowed-out pumpkin, if the spirit moves you) with an array of toppings.

Break out your cast-iron skillet for a luscious sour cream cornbread to serve alongside. It, too, can be made ahead and frozen, then thawed and warmed in the oven—you can even slide it back into the skillet for serving. And marinated black olives work their black magic overnight, making speedy work of a salad with fresh oranges, its jolt of bright flavor as welcome as its pitch perfect color.

Dessert on Halloween should be a felony, but since it isn’t, go for a make-ahead caramel sauce that turns ice cream into what just might be the treat of the day. Top each serving with a shower of salted peanuts, or grab a fistful of the Butterfingers you have waiting by the front door, let the kids smash them with their light sabers, and sprinkle those over the top. Happy Halloween.

—By Laraine Perri


Orange and Black Olive Salad

This simple orange and black salad is as scrumptious as it is striking—a perfect quick-and-easy side for almost any entree.


Beef and Black Bean Chili

This thick Texas-style chili will be the hit of your Super Bowl Party! To crank up the heat, add chopped chipotle peppers in adobo.


Brown Butter and Sour Cream Cornbread

Brown butter and sour cream add richness and flavor to this simple cornbread.


Caramel-Peanut Sundaes

The luscious flavors of a caramel apple in a simple sauce to spoon over ice cream. Have your kids unwrap the candies!


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