Even with Spring temperatures around the corner we have had cold
snowy nights in the past two weeks and that is certainly a great excuse to
watch your favorite TV show and be seduced by the commercial candy industry. We
don’t have to worry - they have us covered! Being a couch potato and snacking
on paper-thin, delicate slices of potato chips, perfectly spicy salsa & extra
crunchy tortilla chips, milk chocolate covered salted pretzels, peanut butter
cup ice cream and other junk food goodies to a point where it does not feel
right around the waist line anymore. Admit it this happens to most of us - hopefully
not too often though.
Last week my spouse diversified our snacking habits. She came along with honey caramelized popcorn rolled in extra bitter chocolate. Salty, decently sweet and a cracking-sound and crunchiness made them a success. In addition I liked it because popcorn is a gluten free treat, and being a whole grain they have plenty of fiber and roughage. I have been cutting down on the daily gluten intake and it feels really good on my body. That popcorn was our dessert for the day and it while still decadent it was easier to get up the next day!
I think most of us agree that popcorn is awesome. It can be a snack, appetizer and/or dessert. It’s versatile depending on what kind of additional ingredients are tossed into the steaming, puffed heap. Popcorn is a canvas for flavors to experiment with - they adapt to just about every flavor very well. In addition, popcorn can add volume to a party menu without breaking the bank and is prepared within minutes with the push of a button on the microwave. Another way to make popcorn is the old fashioned way on the stove top shaking the pan back and forth. I don’t get why people buy the bagged version of popped popcorn in a store to eat at home. Popcorn can be prepared within 4-5 minutes and it tastes so much better freshly popped and the best is you get to control all the added ingredients.
A few versions
I’m listing some of my favorite popcorn recipes, which are addictive. The recipes are for an average 3.5 oz package of un-popped corn. I buy mine at Whole Foods or some decent brands can be purchased online check out Qyinn popcorn which I tried recently at a friend’s house. I prefer the organic kind, which has nothing, added except salt and a little non-GMO canola oil.
A whiff of fragrant Mushrooms : add 2
tablespoons truffle oil to freshly puffed popcorn and shake in a bag to coat
- BBQ: 1/8-tsp smoke liquid (available in most health food stores) 1/8-tsp cayenne, 1 teaspoon paprika powder. If not eaten out of the bag this version can be sprinkled over grilled or barbecued meat dishes.
- Umami Popped Corn: add ½ cup finely grated Parmesan, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and a dash of light soy sauce. This is a sinful version with lots of flavor.
- Dulce de Leche with Coconut & Maple: in a sauce pot heat ¼ cup maple syrup and heat on medium heat setting until the syrup is dark brown, add ¼ cup coconut milk then cook to reduce by half the volume. Pour the goodness over the popcorn.
- Popcorn with bacon and maple: Cut bacon slices into 1/8-inch wide strips then cut across 1/8-inch wide into cubes. In a saucepot combine bacon and 2 tablespoons water and cook on medium heat setting for 5 – 8 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and cook for 2 minutes longer. The bacon should have a brown roasted color. Poor bacon bites including fat over the freshly popped corn.
- Hot Chile Popcorn – combine the following ingredients n a bowl and mix with a wire whisk: 1 teaspoon hot sauce (Tabasco, Sriracha), 3 tablespoons cider vinegar, 3 ounces chopped blue cheese (Maytag, Roquefort), 3 tablespoons buttermilk. Poor mixture over freshly popped corn.
…enjoy your movie night with guilt free - ok relatively guilt free snacking.