Real vegetarian food, served in an imaginary world...

Monday 29 October 2018

A Meal for Halloween - DINNER WITH THE VAMPIRE

When Zelda says the vampire, she means The Vampire, the one and only Count Dracula. Here are some ideas for a fun Halloween meal.
There is no better guest for this evening than 'The Count' himself, 
whether as Vlad,

or as portrayed by

Bela Lugosi, or Christopher Lee.

He may not eat much solid food, but he can enjoy the event.


1tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1tbsp dried oregano
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp fresh chopped basil
1 400g tin of plum tomatoes
2 slices bread
2tbsp Marmite
50g cheddar cheese grated very finely

Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion over a medium heat until it just softens. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Then add the oregano and basil.
Tip in the plum tomatoes with their juice. Refill the can with water and add that to the pan, too.
Bring to the boil, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Then blend and season, and return to the pan.

To make the croutons:
Toast the bread on both sides and then cut out the bat shapes.
(I used a bat-shaped cutter. Place it on the toast and press down hard, then turn the toast over and use a rolling pin to roll over the back. It will give a lovely clean shape.)
Spread each one with Marmite and then top with cheese.  (Don't worry if it looks messy - it will be fine when finished.)
Place on a baking tray.
Grill for a few minutes until the cheese is melted.

Spoon the soup into bowls and top with the croutons.

Main: ‘CHICKEN’ PAPRIKA/ QUORN PAPRIKA  (my version of the dish eaten by Jonathan Harker on his first night in Transylvania)

4 Quorn fillets, defrosted if frozen
2tbsp olive oil
Knob butter
1 onion, chopped
2tbsp paprika
1tbsp flour
300ml veg stock
2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped into strips
4 large juicy tomatoes, chopped
3tbsp parsley, chopped
250ml sour cream

Heat oil and butter. Add onions and peppers and cook until just starting to colour.
Turn down the heat and add the paprika and flour. Stir well to coat the peppers.
Add the stock and the Quorn fillets.
Bring to the boil.
Add half the parsley and the tomatoes.
Simmer gently for about an hour. (Add another 100ml water if needed halfway through the cooking time.)
When ready to serve, stir in the sour cream and the remaining parsley.

Can be accompanied with rice, couscous or (as here) with Dear Little Roasties


For the Carpathian Cupcakes:
(makes 12 little cakes - serve 2 per person)

125g butter, softened
125g caster sugar
125g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
2 medium free-range eggs
2 tbsp milk
6-8 drops red food colouring 
4tbsp strawberry jam

Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases or (as I did) place 12 silicone cases on 2 trays.
Beat the butter until soft.
Add the sugar, salt, flour, eggs and milk. Stir all together until smooth. 
Add the food colouring a few drops at a time and stir in - you want it to be a nice vibrant red.
Divide the mixture between the cases. They don't need to be even.
Place both trays in the oven and bake at 190°C/ Gas 5 for 15 minutes. Then swap the trays over and cook for about 5 minutes more.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Green Slime Topping:

140g/ 5oz butter, softened
280g/ 10oz icing sugar
2tbsp milk
2-3 drops green food colouring 

Beat the butter until soft and free of lumps.
Add half of the icing sugar and beat again until smooth.
Add the remaining icing sugar and 1tbsp of  the milk and beat until smooth.
The add the food colouring and stir until the whole lot is green throughout.

When the cupcakes are cool, add the second tbsp of milk. This will make it more 'gooey'. Place the buttercream in a piping bag (or a freezer bag and cut a small hole in the bottom corner).
Pipe on top of the cupcakes so that it splodges and runs over the sides. 
Allow to set for at least an hour

For the Red Currant Compote:

125g red currants 
3tbsp sugar
3tbsp water
1tbsp icing sugar

Place red currants in a pan with the sugar and water. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the fruit is soft and sticky.
When cool, force through a sieve with a wooden spoon, discarding all the pips etc. which remain in the sieve.
Mix with 1tbsp icing sugar to make a smooth sauce.

When ready to serve, cut each cupcake in half and place on the plate.
Drizzle the compote over the top.


  1. Beautiful! The cupcakes are fabulously colorful and I loved the bat croutons! The “Chicken” Paprika looks delicious! I’m coming to “trick or treat” at your house!

    1. You are welcome! Remember to bring along some of your Vampira Cocktail!