The Maine Dish
Halloween eats: martha stewart’s bloody brain
Now I’m not a big holiday theme girl. I’ve been looking for a pre-decorated Christmas tree for years and I don’t even have a jack-o-lantern for the kids this year, which thankfully none of them seem too upset about. I prefer to focus instead on honing my zombie makeup skills in the weeks leading up to Halloween because I’m apparently gaining a reputation among the fine mothers of Winthrop as the go-to girl for gory facial prostheses and hairy nose moles. Hey. Someone in every small town needs to be the special effects makeup artist, right?
I may not be the Martha Stewart of holiday decorating, but I certainly share her zeal for holiday food, and I give her mad props for paying attention to the importance of eating something on Halloween other than Tootsie Rolls, the only candy my kids will share with me. And her recipe for Bloody Brains is just the thing: cocktail shrimp suspended in a lemon, horseradish and Old Bay seasoned gelatin, and served with cocktail sauce.
Martha obviously expects you to own a brain-shaped gelatin mold, but here’s a pro tip from someone who doesn’t: use the dome lid from a rotisserie chicken. If you ask nicely, most times the deli clerk will give you one.
You end up with a pink and white veiny brain covered in goo. Seriously. Look at the picture…look closely. Yet despite the yack factor, the flavor effect is astonishing. When the shrimp hits your mouth, the gelatin melts and all of a sudden you’re having your very own Violet Beauregard moment (minus the sudden onset obesity and skin discoloration):
“I can taste the horseradish! It’s going down my throat! It’s changing…Old Bay and lemon!”
Dipped in a little spicy cocktail sauce, these shrimp are super tasty. Like Martha, you can wrap the mold mummy-like in a length of cheesecloth. And for an authentic Maine twist, I like to serve my cocktail sauce in a broken Allen’s Coffee Brandy bottle (click here to learn how to break bottles without gross bodily injury), the top of which can be artfully displayed beside the brain.