What you need:
A hollow skull (The top comes off and there is a space inside
for candy or whatever)
Cherry or strawberry Jell-O mix
Cold cuts (ham and turkey look good)
Red or green food coloring (optional)
This recipe is rather labor intensive and must be done ahead of time!
First, we prepared some red ice (water and food coloring mixture)
although green ice or no color at all should work equally as well.
We also modified our skull slightly by drilling holes from the internal
compartment to the outside of the skull to allow for drainage.
Second, wash the skull completely, making sure that it is clean enough
to eat off of (which is what you will be doing). I worked in two sections
and put each section into zip lock plastic bags after I was finished.
It is important to store everything in the *FREEZER* until maybe an
hour before you serve it.
Third, prepare your Jell-O. I make mine in several pans and make sure
it is only 1/4' thick. When it has set up, you will be slicing it up
into 2-3" strips which can be layered over the skull sections.
Fourth, cut up your cold cuts. I typically use thin sliced meats and
cut them into 2x6" strips but almost anything will work. If you use ham,
the head will look more natural but using turkey looks like a zombie head.
You can experiment with other meats see how they look Even using a
combination of meats looks good.
Fifth, once everything is prepared, take the two halves of skull and
pick one to work on. I decided to go all out and grabbed a pair of
those spring glasses (the ones with the eyeballs on springs) and cut
the eyes out. I washed them and placed them into the eye sockets,
which gave the skull a very interesting look. Layer the slices of Jell-O
over the skull and on top of it, layer the sliced meat. The meat will
act as a bonding agent to hold the whole mess together. It will
probably take 10-15 layers of meat to make the head look "natural"
and will probably take some practice to get it to look right.
Personally, I've learned not to put the meat down in any pattern,
just to have it crisscross and go any-which-way. As each half of the
skull is finished, put it into a sealable plastic bag and put it into
the freezer. This keeps the meat and Jell-O cold but keeps the moisture
in the meat from freezing solid. About an hour before serving, remove
the pieces from the freezer. Fill the skull with the ice that you had
prepared previously and seal the two ends of skull together with more
cold cuts. I suggest putting it into the refrigerator to let any ice
that had formed in the freezer time to melt. Place it on a platter of
lettuce and serve.The effect it gives is quite interesting. As parts
of the meat head are cut away, both the red Jell-O are exposed and
parts of the skull. The Jell-O also does melt somewhat and starts
to ooze through the meat. As the ice inside the skull melts. it
drains through the holes that I previously mentioned and starts to
pool on the platter.