Tag Archives: snack

Superbowl Recipes: Part 2 Homemade Bacon Bourbon Popcorn

4 Feb

Not just for Superbowl, mind you. Movie night, date night, party time, picnic… just watch your waistline!

BACON BOURBON POPCORN

Thanks to Sarah Sprague

  • 5 quarts of plain popped corn (Freshly air-popped or oil-popped corn is recommended.)
  • 1/2 to 1 pound of thick cut bacon, chopped and fried to just about crispy, well-drained
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 ounces of bourbon (Any old bourbon will do here, so don’t feel like you have to break out your best reserve for the dish.)

Preheat your oven to 250º.

Melt 1 cup of butter over medium heat.  Mix in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt and then stir until boiling at the edges. Lower the heat slightly and let boil until the caramel is 250º or until a spoon dipped into the caramel comes out, well, looking like there is caramel on it. Remove from heat and add the baking soda and bourbon. Once fully incorporated, stir in the bacon.

If you don’t eat bacon, mix in 1 cup of chopped pecans. Pecans and bourbon are always awesome together.

Divide the popcorn into either two very lightly greased roasting pans or whatever else it fits into and coat with the caramel. Mix well — don’t worry if the caramel starts to cool on you here, it will warm back up in a second –  and then put the popcorn into your oven for about 45 minutes to an hour, mixing every 10-15 minutes so every last kernel of corn is coated in bourbon bacon bliss.

Once done, pour onto either parchment paper or wax paper to cool and break into pieces.

If whatever reason you don’t eat all of the bacon bourbon popcorn in one sitting (doubtful), refrigerate it for up to a week.  I actually think it tastes better when made the night before and has had a chance rest in the fridge overnight.

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Superbowl Recipes Part 1: Greek Nachos

3 Feb

Superbowl is 60% football, 40% food. I mean, really. You can’t watch the game without good food, but you can have good food without the game =) You have to have your hot dogs, burgers, chili, nachos, pizza – all at the same time on this special day. Hey, it’s only one day out of the year to indulge without judgement, right? That, and Thanksgiving.

GREEK NACHOS

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 4

Ingredients

Baked Pita Chips:

  • 5-6 Pitas or storebought pita chips to cut down on prep time (OR nachos (I like the local Que Pasa, though in this case it might not hold up the toppings))
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon+ dried oregano
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 teaspoons of lemon zest (optional)

Hummus:

  • 1 15-16 ounce can chickpeas
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 tablespoons of tahini (tahini sauce or peanut butter with sesame oil can be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste, (About 1/2 teaspoon each should be more than enough.)
  • Water

Greek Vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil (optional)
  • 1/4 salt
  • Pepper, to taste

Toppings:

  • 1 cucumber (I would use mini Japanese cukes)
  • 2-3 fresh tomatoes (I would use 1pt of grape tomatoes, halves)
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives
  • 3-4 ounces crumbled feta

Instructions

Pita Chips:

  • Preheat the oven to 350º.
  • Slice the pita bread pieces in half and then cut into triangles.
  • Line a cookie sheet with either parchment paper or foil. Brush the pita chips with olive oil, or put in a giant plastic bag with the oil and shake until coated, or just give a quick spray with olive oil kitchen spray, then place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with dried oregano, lemon zest and salt.
  • Bake until golden brown, approximately 4-6 minutes.

Hummus: (buy or make your own below)

  • In either a food processor, bowl with a stick blender, or a traditional blender; chop the roasted garlic.
  • Then add the drained chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, paprika, salt and pepper, and blend until smooth.
  • The hummus will be very thick, so using either the reserved water from the can or plain water, slowly add a tablespoon of liquid at a time while blending to thin to desired consistency.
  • In medium bowl, mixed together all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette.
  • Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and cucumbers. Chop the tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and red onions and toss in the vinaigrette.

Set aside to marinate.
Layer the pita chips, hummus and most of the feta on an ovenproof platter and bake for about 7-10 minutes. The feta will not melt, but will soften in the oven.
Drain the excess vinaigrette off of the chopped vegetable mix and put over the baked nachos.
Top with the remaining feta and serve.

Taiwanese Salt Pepper Chicken (鹽酥雞)

16 Jun

chickenAs usual, all measurements are just a guideline, but this came out quite delicious! Just need to figure out now to make it even crispier – if I remember correctly, my 2nd uncle (who’s a fantastic cook) double fried it in a large vat with lots of oil and over a gas stove outdoors.

Ingredients:

Marinade:
1 lbs chicken – cut into bite sized pieces
1 tbsp cooking wine
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 scallion/green onion – segmented
sliced ginger – large pieces
sugar

Coating:
sweet yam flour/starch
corn starch
flour
egg <– I didn’t use this, but will try the next round

Seasoning:
peppercorns
salt
five spice powder

Other:
oil
pan
pot
tongs/chopsticks
gloves
paper towels/lettuce leaves

1) Combine all the marinade ingredients and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Don’t cut the ginger and green onion too small or they might stick onto the chicken and will burn when you fry it.
2) Heat oil slowly in wok/pan/pot. I also pan fried a few pieces to see the effect – about the same, but used less oil. For best results use a gas stove, heat on low heat for about 5 minutes, then increase to low/medium. Adjust accordingly.
3) Combine all the dry ingredients for the coating. Should be 50% yam flour, 15% flour, 35% corn starch.
4) When the oil is hot enough, coat the chicken in the egg wash (optional) then dip into dry coat mix. Make sure it’s fully coated, squeeze as much powder as you can get on it (makes it crispier/fluffier) and drop into oil. Try a piece at first to test if the temperature of the oil is right. Fry till brown and remove onto paper towel or lettuce leaf.
5) Top with seasoning (see below) and serve immediately.

Seasoning:
1) In pan, panfry dry ingredients on very low heat till fragrant. Pepper 50%, salt 40%, five pice powder 10%.

Homemade Salsa

16 May

Want to whip up something healthy for when guests come over? Hate that overprocessed salsa in the jar? Well I was inspired by the peppers episode from Chef at Home with Michael Smith to chop and combine a delicious homemade southwestern salsa. Play with the ingredients, substitute with organics, everything to taste – and that’s why there are no measurements in my recipe!

  • Tomatoes – cubed or chopped coarsely but still bite sized. I used a combo of tomatoes I found at my neighbourhood grocer – steakhouse, roma and hothouse. UPDATE: Use all romas for best flavour – maybe toss in a few heritage ones for colour.
  • Onion – diced a bit more finely. I prefer to use red, but use what you will.
  • Cilantro – Michael Smith said that this was the core of Southwestern cooking. Chopped finely.
  • Poblano Pepper – diced finely. A mild chili pepper from Mexico – gives it a bit of a bite, without the fire. When dried, this is the Ancho chili. Start with 1/3 of the pepper, then add more if you want it spicier. I got mine at Whole Foods – they have a pretty good selection of peppers. Well they should, as they’re based in Texas!
  • Lime – all of the lime peel (grated, thank you) and lime juice. Tip: to get the most juice from your lime, microwave it for 10 seconds. Start with 5 if you have a powerful microwave or else you’ll be burned (from experience).
  • Seasonings – sea salt and freshly ground pepper – The salt makes all the difference! Be liberal with it! And pepper to taste.

UPDATE (1 hour later)

As per usual, I decided to up the recipe. Added:

  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp virgin olive oil – to make it more smooth <– or less
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Agave syrup, for a bit of sweetness
  • and more sea salt

Eat with nachos (I prefer the local Que Pasa corn nacho chips) or Jalapeno Cheese bread from Save on Foods bakery