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ideas for "scary food"- themed dinner

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My food club is having a dinner with the theme "scary food."

We're pretty upscale as to ingredients and techniques so nothing is off the table. What I don’t want: squid ink anything (taken), offal (taken/done for past theme), balut, fugu, nor anything cute like spider web decorated cupcakes, cookies in the shape of fingers, etc.

My only thought so far is something referencing pink slime—not to actually cook with it but make something that looks like it or relates to it. Don’t know what.

So, you creative cooks out there, any ideas?

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  1. So you want something that looks visually revolting then?

    Serve some cod that hasn't been verified for parasites. Or get some yamaimo and grind yourself some snot; reinforce with natto to look like boogers.

    Update: you can serve the latter as a side alongside some braised snout (done like rafute).

    Update 2: I did think of something else but it depends on whether you can get the base product - fermented tofu, as in stinky tofu or the fermented varieties which have the mycelia all over it.

    1. Raw oysters or clams with a bit of blood-red sauce on them

        1. Black pudding
          Blood soup
          Painfully hot and spicy
          Frog legs

          1. Anything with trans-fats, hfcs, meat glue, rice.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Vidute

              Vidute, don't forget the Pink Slime!

            2. ok.you.and several Vodkas got my sick, demented mind going............

              Hard boiled eggs, sliced like devilled eggs..scoop out the yolks for something else...put one of those raw baby clams in the hole and give it a squirt of Srichiacha for "pink-eye"

              Sculpt a "nose" outta a carrot.with two snots of green garlicky mayo

              Finish off with a jagged mouth of thinly sliced canteloupe that is "bleeding" a bit of raspberry jam

              Actually, the combo, eaten in succesion, might not be so bad

              1. souffle. strikes terror into the heart of all attempting it,

                1. Insects -- fried for dinner, chocolate-dipped, or lollipops for dessert.

                  1. How about an entire cow tongue? I like the taste but when you see one on a table, it looks so much like....well, a giant tongue. Would freak the bejeezus out of a lot of people I know.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Bkeats

                      I was traumatized for life by my parents storing a whole boiled tongue in the fridge periodically through my childhood (whenever we got a side of beef). I still haven't tried it.

                    2. I wonder if there is a way to line a bowl with strands of linguini and spaghetti (cooked) and then fill it with pink jello.....turn it out on a plate and remove the spaghetti bits to make it look like a brain?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                        Jello has come out with a brain shaped mold this year, and it comes with a recipe book! One recipe includes some cream cheese, looks more like brain!

                      2. Liver, kidneys, tongue with a nice Chianti...

                        1 Reply
                        1. Pig's head.

                          Or sheep's head.

                          Scary-looking but delicious.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: drongo

                            Ooooh, you just took me back to growing up in a Greek neighborhood, and seeing those sheep heads in the meat counters. Complete with eyes. I'm sure they could be prepared to be delicious but man they scared me:


                            Scariest food on CH: "I forgot my sauce/stock/meat on the stove overnight - is it still good?"

                            1. re: DuchessNukem

                              FANTASTIC picture! That's even scarier than I remember.

                          2. Always the best point of reference for upscale cookery, there was an episode of Come Dine with Me a while ago where they guy did a roast rib of beef but he removed the outer layer of fat, or acquired a roll of fat from elsewhere, then re-barded the joint after it was cooked. Because the fat was really dried out, it looked a bit like the whole thing was rotting, iirc. I couldn't find any pictures online.

                            You could also do a tower of sugared fruits, on an antique-looking stand, with cobwebs strewn around and maybe some bugs - I'm thinking Miss Havisham's abandoned wedding feast.

                              1. re: drongo

                                Week. That is gay alright. Gazing right at me.

                                1. re: suzigirl

                                  excuse me if i'm reading you wrong, suzigirl, and i'm really sorry if i am, but did you just use "gay" as a derogatory term?

                                  1. re: chartreauxx

                                    Oh lord I wish I had reread that. I meant gazy. I wouldnt post something like that. I am not that heartless or mean. It was my spellcheck. My bad. It was supposed to say eek not week also. Stupid spellcheck.

                                    Supposed to say " Eeek. That is gazy alright. Gazing right at me"

                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                      hahahah whew! *^_^* so glad i asked! you may appreciate this...


                                      1. re: chartreauxx

                                        I'm glad you asked too. Now people won't think I'm a jerk. That is totally funny. Thanks for that

                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                          as a friend of mine says, never attribute to malice, what spellcheck might explain! <-- words to live by :-)

                                          1. re: chartreauxx

                                            Amen, sistah! or brotha.... I don't know which...

                                            I am actually the worst at determining someone's sex on here. I swear, every day I'll be sitting here and think "OMG I thought that was a man/woman! Hope I haven't embarrassed myself this time!"

                                            1. re: kubasd

                                              I thought I was the worst at the guy/girl guessing.

                                            2. re: chartreauxx

                                              Tell your friend they are very wise.

                                        2. re: suzigirl

                                          That's classic... I really did think you had responded to my post with "Weak. That is gay...".

                                          1. re: drongo

                                            I am so sorry that you thought that. I was trying to be funny. Guess my odd sense of humor and my spellcheck aren't compatable. ;-) I thought your pie was a good idea. Very creepy.

                                  2. In the Momofuku cookbook, David Chang turns over some pages to Wylie Dufresne to talk about "meat glue", so if you want to get your molecular gastronomy on, you can use some transglutaminase to make a franken-steak. Perhaps it would be too cute to put together poultry parts in the shape of a human so that you can make a "tastes like chicken" joke.

                                    Aspic can look scary.

                                    1. Oh boy...if you really want to reference pink slime, try the Finnish vispipuuro. First, take a look: http://www.google.com/search?q=vispip...

                                      The first time I saw "pink slime" images, I flashed immediately to this pudding, one of our family's all-time favorites. There are many recipes, but at the core, it's a berry (we always used fresh cranberries) and farina pudding that is chilled and whipped. It's delicious, by the way. And pretty, if one is not just thinking of pink slime.

                                        1. Here's a link to Penn & Teller's Bleeding Heart cake, but you could always use FriedClamFanatic's suggestion of a heart and use an anatomically correct Jell-O heart mold and Jell-O instead of cake.


                                          1. Procure some take-out containers from Olive Garden (or other similarly maligned chain) and serve your own food in those....

                                            1. I find p'tcha pretty terrifying. Also that bacon-wrapped turkey that appears on Chowhound every so often. It's a traditional dish for zombie Thanksgiving, I think.

                                                1. "Scary food," eh?

                                                  Going back some years now, there was a US outbreak of Mad Cow Disease. We then attended a culinary event at our country club, along with a wine maker and his offerings. The mains that night were Calves' Brains." Oh, what bad, and scary timing! I do not think that any of the 50 +/- in attendance ate the main dish.

                                                  That WAS "scary," but probably NOT what you are looking for.


                                                  1. Fish head soup?

                                                    Or serve one of my favourite dishes from a restaurant chain in Japan - a bowl of white rice topped with natto, tororo (grated japanese mountain potato - it comes out very slimy), sliced okra and tuna sashimi, topped with a raw egg. The Japanese apparently translates as "bomb bowl".

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                      Wasn't that a Rolling Stones album? No, cancel that. It was "Goat's Head Soup."


                                                    2. Watch 'Nothing But Trouble' with Demi Moore and John Candy. Check out the 'dinner' scene where the huge grey sausages travel round the table. Now THAT's a scary dinner. LOL

                                                        1. re: j8715

                                                          My wife is of Norwegian ancestry and she periodically inflicts some of these foods on me. I shall have to make sure she never sees this website!!

                                                        2. Ok, I may be reading your post wrong and this may not even be anything like what your asking for. Espceially if your saying your upscale dining. I don't have money and never have eaten upscale but have watche a lot of cooking shows. This is a pic of Meatloaf hands I made with Mash potatos. The cheese & ketchup or tomatoe sauce under the broiler makes it look burnt. Im sure with better ingredients and more time it could look a lot better than this. But, it's just an idea.

                                                          1. Octopus soup, unless it's too "cutesy..."

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                              I am doing that with potpie near Halloween. That's cute

                                                            2. Watermelon brain- this one ought to qualify.

                                                              1. Devil eggs; you could color the yolks orange and make 'em scary hot.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                                  Stealing this one too to send to work with my sweetie. Looks like pouty devils

                                                                    1. Anything my ex-mother-in-law ever cooked? :)

                                                                        1. I immediately thought of Heston Blumenthal's gothic feast. Here's a link to an article on his feast that he created, you may find it rather inspiring.