Today is Halloween, the spookiest day of the year! From sweet treats to creative costumes to boo-tiful decorations, it’s a fun and festive day onboard every Holland America Line ship. Guests on one of our cruises will be celebrating in oceans around the world and ports in New Zealand, Greece, Nicaragua, Curacao, the Chilean Fjords and at Half Moon Cay.
For our culinary experts, the holiday is about more than just candy. This year they’ve developed some Halloween-themed cocktails that will be featured in the bars throughout the day. From chocolaty to tart, they are sure to make the day even more spook-tacular!
VAMPIRE MARTINI – Luscious, deliciously evil and chocolaty
Chilled Martini glass
White chocolate fine flakes for rimming the glass
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and mix with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass and line the rim with the white chocolate flakes.
MIDNIGHT PUMPKIN – Tangy cocktail with a sweet finish
Cocktail glass with ice
Rim the glass with a cinnamon and sugar mix. Mix all ingredients into a shaker. Shake and strain into a glass filled with ice.
FREDDY’S BROKEN HEART – Potent strawberry colada
Cherry and pineapple wedge
Add the ingredients to the glass to build. Garnish with pineapple wedge and cherry.
WITCH CRAFT – Hand-pressed limes with a wild, sweet-tart bite of cranberry and green apple
Slice of red apple
Squeeze the limes to get the juice and combine all ingredients in a shaker; strain into the glass. Serve in a red-sugar rimmed cocktail glass, then garnish with a slice of red apple.
Halloween Dishes Feature Pumpkin
In addition to these delicious cocktails, pumpkin-themed dishes take the spotlight this Halloween. Master Chef Rudi Sodamin created these pumpkin-centric recipes that you can try at home.
MINI PUMPKIN SOUP BOWLS
Yield: 12 Servings
Here’s a delightful way to celebrate Halloween. Though the traditional jack-o’-lantern variety of pumpkin is fine for the bowls, use any other variety, even butternut squash, for the soup.
6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 pounds pumpkin or other winter squash (such as butternut), halved, with strings and seeds discarded
12 small (6 to 7 inches in diameter) unblemished pumpkins
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups chopped onion
4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
1 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dry white wine (such as sauvignon blanc, chenin blanc or pinot blanc)
3 cups apple cider, plus extra as needed
8 cups low-sodium store-bought chicken broth or stock, or homemade, plus extra as needed
1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 5 fresh parsley stems, 4 star anise, and 10 black peppercorns bundled in a piece of cheesecloth and tied with a string)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a shallow baking pan with 1 tablespoon of the oil and arrange the pumpkin or squash in the pan cut sides up. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until soft. Spook out the pulp (there should be 6 to 8 cups) and transfer it to a bowl with any pan juices. (The pulp can be stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before using.)
Increase the oven heat to 375 degrees F. Cut the tops off the small pumpkins and reserve them, then scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut the butter into bits and divide it among the pumpkins. Replace the pumpkin tops and place the pumpkins in the shallow baking pan. Roast them for 30 to 40 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced with a knife but still intact.
Meanwhile, make the soup: In a large soup pot, heat the remaining 5 tablespoons oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, leeks, carrot, celery, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cumin, and salt. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables soften, about 8 minutes.
Add the wine and cider and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, stirring to dissolve them. Add the reserved pumpkin pulp, chicken stock, and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let the soup cool for at least 5 minutes.
Discard the bouquet garni. Transfer the soup in batches to a blender and puree until smooth. (When pureeing hot soups, fill the container no more than halfway and release one corner of the lid to prevent a vacuum effect. Place a kitchen towel over the top of the machine while you pulse.) Strain the soup through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Return the soup to the stove and bring it to a simmer. Adjust the consistency with additional cider or stock. Season with salt and pepper.
The roasted pumpkins and soup should be done at about the same time. To serve, lift the tops from the pumpkins and carefully ladle the soup into each one, filling it about two-thirds full. Replace the pumpkin tops and serve immediately.
PUMPKIN PIE WITH CRUNCHY PECAN AND WALNUT TOPPING
Yield: 6 Servings
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chilled vegetable shortening
2 cups pureed pumpkin, canned or fresh made
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 (13-ounce) can evaporated milk
Crunchy Pecan and Walnut Topping:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Directions for the Piecrust:
In a cup, mix 6 tablespoons water with ice and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. Using your fingertips, a pastry blender, or two knives, work the shortening in the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a food processor, using short pulses.)
With a fork, stir in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, using only as much as needed to gather the mixture into a soft ball. Pat the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a round about 1/8 inch thick. Drape the dough over a rolling pin and fit it into a 9-inch pie pan. Fold the edge under and crimp. Place the pie shell in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Directions for the Filling:
Heat the oven to 425 °F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, spices, and salt. With an electric mixer, beat in the eggs and evaporated milk until thoroughly combined.
Pour the pumpkin filling into the prepared pie shell and jiggle the pan gently to level out the top. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for another 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted halfway between the center and edges comes out clean. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Directions for the Crunchy Pecan and Walnut Topping:
Heat the broiler. In a small bowl, combine all the topping ingredients. Mix with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the pie and place it under the broiler about 5 inches from the heat source until the mixture begins to bubble, about 1 minute. Let the pie cool to room temperature before serving.
Maasdam’s Crew Have a Frightening Good Time
To get into the spirit of the holiday, the crew of Maasdam held an early Halloween party where they pulled out all the stops to ensure everyone had a ghoulishly good time.
How will you be celebrating Halloween? Will you dress up or host a party featuring one of our delicious cocktails. Tell us your plans below!