A Halloween appetizer featuring lil’ smokies cut to look like fingers and a trio of frightening dipping sauces.
HOW TO MAKE LIT’L SMOKIESLOOK LIKE FINGERS:
Turning the Lil’ Smokies into horrid little fingers is really much easier, and much faster work than I had originally planned for. I found the simplest way to transform them was to stand them right-side up on the cutting board, and using a small, sharp knife (e.g. a paring knife) slanted at a diagonal toward the sausage, shave about a 1/2″ worth of sausage away. This forms the fingernail. Then, lay the sausage flat and cut two slits directly under the nail, and three slits on the opposite end from the fingernail. This creates the finger and knuckle creases.
A TRIO OF DIPPING SAUCES:
To accompany your Dead Man’s Fingers, try any one of these awfully delicious dips, created specifically to complement the flavors of the sausage: Mummy Mush, Dracula’s Bloody Stew and (my personal favorite) Lizard Leg Brew
MUMMY MUSH (HOMEMADE PICKLE RELISH DIP):
Mummy Mush is a quick and simple dip to whip up, with flavors very closely resembling a pickle relish. It is easy to make with the aid of a food processor and requires very little effort beyond the pushing of a button!
DRACULA’S BLOODY STEW (CRANBERRY BARBECUE DIPPING SAUCE):
Dracula’s Bloody Stew was created to look like bloodied intestines and spilled guts (how terrible does that sound!) and begins on the stovetop with thawed cranberries and sugar. It quickly morphs into a tangy and sweet barbecue-style sauce, completely ideal for little sausage dippers.
LIZARD LEG BREW (SPICY PEPPER JELLY SAUCE & CREAM CHEESE DIP):
Oh, and let us not forget the Lizard Leg Brew. This slimy, spicy sauce starts with a rough chop of fresh jalapeños and quickly comes together on the stop top via the addition of red pepper jelly, vinegar and the help of a few spices. It is spicy, a little tangy and a lot of delicious. Once the sauce has cooled, it is poured over room temperature cream cheese and served. I love a good variety, so all three dips are right up my alley, however, if you are hosting a Halloween party, very likely you may find yourself pressed for time. Entertaining always seems to come down to the last minute, doesn’t it? The last thing you want is to feel overwhelmed by to-dos as guests are walking through the door. All of these dips can be made in advance, however, just one of the three is perfectly sufficient, and will make for a gruesome (and tasty) conversation piece amongst your guests. Please, enjoy.
- 1 1/2 pound (24 ounce package) Lit'l Smokies
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
Preheat the oven to 350° and have ready a rimmed baking sheet, lined with aluminum foil. Pat the sausages dry with paper towels. Stand sausage right-side up on the cutting board. Using a paring knife, shave about a 1/2" worth of sausage away. This forms the fingernail.
Lay the sausage flat and cut two slits directly under the nail, and three slits on the opposite end to create the finger and knuckle creases. Transfer the sausage to the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with canola oil and toss to coat. Spread apart on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Serve warm alongside dipping sauces and enjoy
- 5 dill pickles minced
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise + 1 tablespoon
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons Chalulah Hot Sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- Pinch of Kosher salt
Add half of the pickles and the remaining ingredients to the bowl of food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Process until well combined, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in the reserved pickles. Serve and enjoy.
Makes about 1 cup.
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed)
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin preferably McCormick brand
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat, add the brown sugar and cranberries. Stir until the sugar has melted, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the remaining ingredients, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
Remove from the heat, serve and enjoy.
Makes about 1 1/2 cup.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 4 jalapeños seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup store-bought red pepper jelly
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin preferably McCormick brand
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 6 ounces cream cheese room temperature
Add canola oil to a small saucepan over medium-high heat and allow to come to temperature. Add the jalapeños, and sauté 4-6 minutes, or until softened. Add the red pepper jelly, cumin, smoked paprika and salt, and stir until the jelly has melted down. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Place the cream cheese in a serving dish and spoon jalapeño mixture over the top. Serve and enjoy.
Makes about 1 cup.