Hey guys thought I would share a recipe that I stole from Paula Dean about 4 or 5 years ago for Halloween and changed it up quite a bit to make it my own. It always geta a bunch of great comments, the kids love it and I have yet to have a single piece left over. I may have to start making 2. Its fairly simple to make but you do need to have a little artistic talent and some patience as it doesn't come out shape wise the same until you have a few under your belt. You can find Paula Dean's version on the Food Network under "Snake Bites". Her version basically used deli meats and cheeses and condiments and although I think it would be really good as well, it is much harder to shape and keep the dough from splitting all over the place. I decided to go with a taco filling version that I have got down to a science over the years and my friends and family ask for it every year. I also make a version shaped like a wreath for Christmas with the same filling.
- 1 can Pillsbury Crescent rolls
- Flour for dusting
- 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
- 1 package taco seasoning mix (I use Wick Fowlers)
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 2-3 garlic cloves diced
- 1-2 cups finely shredded mexican cheese blend (I use Sargento)
- Liquid Food Coloring
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 small piemiento-stuffed olives
- 1 Red Bell Pepper (You will only use a small piece)
Preheat Oven to 375° F.
Line a cookie sheet with foil and grease, set aside.
Brown ground beef in skillet with onion till translucent then add garlic and saute a few minutes more. Drain as much fat as possible and place back on heat. Add taco seasoning mix to meat mixture and stir in well. This is where you add the water to the mixture. Start with amount listed on taco seasoning packet but only add enough to mixture to blend, you will have to eyeball this as you do not want the mixture to soupy. Remove from heat and chill completely.
When meat mixture is cool add shredded cheese to taste. At this point you could also kick up the heat with your favorite hot sauce, just make sure mixture doesn't get to loose. Set aside.
Dust a flat surface with flour. Spread out the crescent dough-do not separate. Pinch together the seams so that you have 1 piece of dough. Roll out to make a large rectangle, making sure not to roll to thin and make sure dough does not stick to surface.
Lay meat mixture in center of dough and shape with hands to resemble a snake, large head area tapering down to narrow tail. When you have the meat shaped the way you want it fold one side of dough over and then the other. Now use hands to form the snake into shape desired, sealing any dough leaks as you go. Lay on greased cookie sheet and shape in an "S" curve.
Now comes the fun part.
Beat the 3 egg yolks together. Transfer to 3 separate bowls. Add food coloring to each bowl to make colors desired. I like to use Orange, Green, and Black. Using a clean paintbrush, I have a set just for baking, paint stripes on the snake in any thickness you want.
Bake in oven for time listed on crescent roll dough making sure dough doesn't burn and is golden brown.
Place 2 cloves in head for nostrils. Use 2 toothpicks for top of head and place 2 pimiento-stuffed olives on top for eyes. Cut a piece of red pepper and cut out a snake tongue shape with a long narrow end on one side to fit into mouth. Place a slit with a knife in snake head and slide tongue in.
Thats it, enjoy the pictures. There are some steps missing picture wise as my wife got tired of me asking her to take pictures of the various steps so I'll try to update this when I make it later this month.
Sorry about the crappy finished pictures my guests wouldn't wait till I could take some pictures before devouring it and I was busy with some last minute special effects before the trick or treeters showed up.
Happy Halloween to all!