What to Make for Halloween

Chicken wings tossed in pipian verde
Chicken wings tossed in pipian verde Photo: Jay Murray

Halloween isn’t just about gorging yourself on store-bought candy — it’s about stuffing yourself with home-cooked treats as well. We talked two of Boston’s top chefs into sharing recipes with us: Jay Murray of Grill 23 contributes a recipe for Pipian Verde that’s a handy way to use up the pumpkin seeds left over from jack-o-lanterns, and Bambara’s Jay Silva shares his favorite Halloween treat, a sweet and spicy seasonal popcorn.

Pipian Verde

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
16 ea tomatillos, quartered
4 cloves garlic
2 onions, chopped
2 bn cilantro, chopped
2 tsp cumin
4 jalapenos, chopped
1/4 cup salt
1 cup water

1) Blend all ingredients and set aside

4 cups pumpkinseeds, ground thoroughly
½ cup peanuts, ground thoroughly
6 cups hot chicken stock
2 cups duck fat

2) Heat duckfat over medium flame and add the above reserved puree, stirring constantly for 6 minutes.

3) Add nuts and stir until smooth.

4) Stir in hot chicken stock until smooth, bring to boil and remove from heat.

Jay Silva’s popcorn

Jay’s Scary Spicy Halloween Popcorn

5 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1) Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place popped popcorn in a very large bowl.

2) In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, salt and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla. Caution the caramel may tend to rise up. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.

3) Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

Related: Sugar Babies and Peanut Butter Cups: Chefs Share Their Favorite Candies

What to Make for Halloween