I love french fries. I will choose them any chance I get: with an inappropriate amount of ketchup at the dining hall in my college days, with a burger at In ‘n’ Out, at a McDonalds on a road trip, dipped in Dijon mustard and served with steak in Paris. They are my weakness. I can’t say no.
So it had always irritated me that I couldn’t make good, crispy fries in my own kitchen.
Caramel corn. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I’ve never liked it. It is usually tooth-achingly sweet: the caramel doesn’t taste like caramel as much as it does plain sugar. And it is so, so sticky: you can’t eat it without it getting stuck in and between your teeth. Plus, it always seems to come in a ball the size of my fist. Do you take a bite straight off the side and risk getting all of your teeth stuck to the whole thing? Try to break it apart, making your hands sticky through multiple hand washings?
So, I’ve always taken a pass.
But then I found myself home alone with a sweet tooth and no chocolate in the house (the horror!). I did, however, have plenty of popcorn kernels. Then I remembered a caramel corn recipe I’d seen in one of my favorite cookbooks. Skeptical but desperate (again: no chocolate), I set to work. Continue reading “Nutty spiced caramel corn”→
Have you been asked to bring appetizers to Thanksgiving? Want to move beyond a pre-made vegetable-and-dip plate from the grocery store? Feel that hummus, however delicious, isn’t quite special enough? Worried that bringing good cheese for 15 will break the bank?
Here’s the plan: run to the store for canned artichokes, olives, capers, and lemon. Heat some oil and infuse with rosemary. Then whirl everything together in the food processor to make this glorious, earthy, herby artichoke dip. Put in a couple of pretty bowls, bring a few baguettes, and your job is done. Everyone will love you for it.
An avid meal planner, I run out of steam by the time it comes to think about snacks. An apple with peanut butter? Some almonds? Yes, fine, whatever. Somewhere deep down, I think I believed that procuring/making/eating snacks was too boring to bother with when I could be procuring/making/eating, say, a chocolate tart.
I was utterly wrong. This kettle corn is salty, sweet, and earthy all at once. It is savory enough to sneak by as an afternoon snack, filling enough to get me through a run, and sweet enough to be enjoyed by the handful after dinner while marathoning BBC’s War and Peace.
Warning: I usually can exercise reasonable control around food. Yet I could not control myself around this popcorn–especially once I hit on the idea of sprinkling some Trader Joe’s truffle salt over the top, something not included in the original recipe. Proceed with caution, or throw caution to the wind and dive in with wild abandon. Continue reading “Truffled kettle corn”→