[A version of this article was originally published October 28, 2020.]
‘Tis the season to be strange and unusual, and what better way to celebrate Halloween than with Broadway’s favorite ghost with the most?
Whether you're fueling up pre trick-or-treating, having a COVID-safe bash, or just chilling with the quirky new tenants of the house you died in, we’ve come up with a few original recipes inspired by Broadway’s Beetlejuice to ensure a hearty, festive, and spooky Halloween. The musical is heading back to Broadway next year, and in the meantime, lives on Spotify, TikTok, and now, in our stomachs.
Fright of Your Life Shrimp Cocktail
No Beetlejuice party is complete without a shrimp cocktail. This particular variation won’t resurrect and grab your face by its prawny, re-animated hand, but thanks to a chimichurri-inspired aioli (for you, Miss Argentina), it packs a pungent, garlicky punch that’ll raise hairs and bring to mind the mossy flesh of a certain bio-exorcist. Serves 2.
For the shrimp:
• 10-12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails kept on, ideally)
• 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the aioli:
• 1/3 cup mayonnaise
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 small shallot, minced
• 1 red chili pepper (such as a fresno or red jalapeño), chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• Cutting board
• Paring knife
• Baking sheet
• Parchment paper
• Food processor or blender
• 2 small stemware glasses (snifter, coupe, wine glass, martini glass, etc.)
For the shrimp:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Flatten the shrimp: Place the prawns belly side up on a cutting board and, with a paring knife, make three perpendicular slits along the length of the underside. Keep the cuts shallow and short—they should not slice through the whole shrimp. Flip shrimp back side up, and with your fingers or the side of a knife, gently press down so that the shrimp is straightened and lengthened. This step will prevent the shrimp from curling up as they cook.
3. Pat shrimp dry and toss with olive oil and salt.
4. Arrange straightened shrimp back side up on a baking try lined with parchment paper. Roast for 8 minutes, until shrimp are opaque. Let cool as you assemble sauce.
For the aioli:
Combine all sauce ingredients and blitz in a blender or food processor until almost smooth. The sauce should take on a green hue, but you should still be able to make out flecks of parsley and peppers.
Fill a small glass (ideally something quirky—I used a snifter) about of a third of the way with sauce. Arrange shrimp tail side up into the sauce. Bonus points if arranged to look like a hand!
This vegetarian dish highlights fall flavors and pays homage to the visual aesthetic of the musical. Flatbreads are easy and versatile, especially when using a Greek yogurt-based dough such as this one (no yeast required!). A bit of food coloring (or squid ink) helps achieve that black-and-white duality the Ghost With the Most seems to love. Dollops of butternut squash puree offer a dayglo pop. Seared slices of bitter radicchio nod at that ubiquitous purple haze and the hills of scenic designer David Korins’ graveyard set. And lastly, a bit of blue cheese rounds it out with just the right amount of Beetlejuicy
mold funk. Serves 2.
• 1 1/3 cup flour (plus more for dusting)
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
• 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
• 1/4–1/2 teaspoon black food coloring (alternatively, one tablespoon squid ink)
• 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (about 7 oz)
• 1 medium head radicchio (about the size of a softball)
• 1 cup butternut squash puree (see NOTE below)
• 1 ounce blue cheese
• Optional: 1 teaspoon cornmeal or semolina
• Mixing bowl
• Wooden spoon
• Cutting board
• Baking sheet
• Rolling pin
1. Place a baking tray on the lower-third rack of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (you want the tray to already be hot when adding the flatbread later).
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/3 cup flour, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt.
3. Add Greek yogurt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dry and wet ingredients combine and create a shaggy, clumpy consistency.
4. Mix the dough by hand until the dough comes together as one piece. Continue to knead by hand until the dough feels elastic and smooth, about 5–10 minutes. This is the perfect opportunity to let out any anger or stress caused by, say, your life coach/soon-to-be stepmom.
5. Divide dough into two separate pieces of roughly equal size/weight. Add black food coloring (or squid ink) little by little to one of the halves as you incorporate it by continuously kneading. This might take 1/4–1/2 teaspoon, depending on the strength of the dye; start small and add gradually. (You may want to wear gloves for this and use a stain-proof bowl.)
6. With your fingers, roll the black and white doughballs out into two separate ropes (or sandworms, if you will) of equal length/thickness. The longer they are, the more spirals your flatbread will have.
7. Arrange the two ropes into a spiral. Start by overlapping the two slightly (this will be the center of the spiral) and sprawling them clockwise, making sure there are no gaps between the black and white layers. We’re not going for perfection here; the Ghost With the Most isn’t exactly known for his neatness. See the gallery below for some visual guidance.
8. Dust your work surface, the top of the flatbread, and a rolling pin with flour and roll the spiral into an oblong crust that will fit onto the baking tray. Try to keep the dough at an equal thickness across the entire crust (1/8–1/4 inch).
9. Remove baking tray from oven (which should be preheated by now) and either dust the bottom with cornmeal or semolina, or coat with one tablespoon olive oil (this will prevent the dough from sticking as it bakes).
10. Carefully place flatbread dough on the baking tray and bake for 14 minutes.
How to Make the Beetlejuice-Inspired Netherworld Flatbread
11. As the flatbread bakes, prepare the radicchio by discarding the outer leaves from the head and slicing into quarters, making sure the core remains intact. Cut each quarter into thinner slices, each containing a bit of the core so that they maintain their structure (instead of turning into shredded lettuce).
12. Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet placed over medium-high heat and sear the wedges for 1–2 minutes each side. (Searing will tame the bitterness of the vegetable, and provide a nice, spooky char.) Season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
13. Once flatbread has baked for 14 minutes, remove from oven. Add dollops of butternut squash puree, the sliced and seared radicchio, and crumbled blue cheese. Avoid covering the entire crust so that the spiral dough is visible under the toppings.
14. Bake for 4 more minutes, until toppings are warmed and cheese begins to melt.
NOTE: Butternut Squash Puree
To make your own, peel and seed butternut squash and cut into 1-inch cubes. Toss with a light coating of olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until tender. Mash with a spoon or mixer, or puree with a food processor or blender. Add cinnamon and honey to taste. Alternatively, you can use mashed sweet potatoes, or even canned pumpkin puree.