Sriracha-Sesame Popcorn

After a bit of a hiatus from RITK we are back and I have some great recipes coming up for your reading pleasure in the next few weeks. It’s been a crazy last few months with lots of cake orders, some blog construction, and just general life business. Today’s recipe is one of my favorite snacks to make for parties, I hope you enjoy it!

I’ll have a new recipe next week on the blog so, be sure to subscribe to RITK so you never miss a delicious post!

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I started making stove top popcorn as a way to make popcorn a bit healthier (this is way better than those microwave packets full of salt and fake butter!)  I love stove top popcorn with just a bit of salt but after a while I thought of ways to make my snacks more savory and spicy. Today’s recipe is one of my concoctions to keep my snacks interesting. This recipe is also great to make in large batches, store in a airtight container and pack in lunches.

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So let’s talk about the method, below I will guide you through popping kernels on the stove, this is my favorite way to make popcorn at home and the method I use even if I’m not adding this sauce. I use olive oil although you can use sesame oil or coconut oil. After the popcorn is coated in spicy sauce, it goes into the oven to dry out. Before I added this last step I was eating soggy popcorn that required a few napkins, however drying the popcorn out in the oven cuts down on the messiness and also adds some more crunch.

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Sriracha-Sesame Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c olive oil
  • 1 1/3 c unpopped corn kernels
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp Sriracha

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

To pop the popcorn; I find it’s easier to do this in two batches. Start with a large-sized pot and heat 6 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat. Heat until the oil is shiny and easily coats the bottom of the pan. Add 2/3 c of corn kernels to the warm oil and stir with a wooden spoon so that the kernels are evenly coated and spread out over the base of the pot. Cover and let the kernels pop (approximately 10-12 minutes).

Stay close to the pot, if you don’t hear any popping within a 4-5 second interval it’s time to take the pot off the heat. Once the kernels are all popped remove from heat. VERY CAREFULLY, using hot-pot-holders, firmly hold the lid down on the pot while you flip it over 2-3 times. This releases the steam from the popcorn. Next pour the popcorn into 2 shallow baking pans and pick out any burned or unpopped kernels and throw away.

Next, in a small saucepan combine the hot sauce, butter, and sesame oil over low heat until well combined and makes a thin sauce.

Distribute the sauce as evenly as possible over the popped corn (I like to use a combination of a slotted spoon and my hands). Then bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Store the popcorn in airtight containers or plastic bags.

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Cheesy Pull Apart Biscuits

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A few weeks ago I made some Monkey Bread Muffins  from Pioneer Woman, and they were so amazingly delicious. Seriously, you should stop what you’re doing right now and make these yummy treats. They were so easy to make they got me thinking about savory applications of this recipe. So after some slight tinkering, this is the result; a cheesy pull apart biscuit. Brace yourself, because these rock.

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Here’s what you’ll need for this naughty biscuit;

Ingredients:

  • 1 tube/can of premade biscuit dough, I used Pillsbury Grands
  • Salt
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic (about 1 clove)
  • Parmesan or Romano Cheese, grated
  • Cheddar, grated
  • jalapeno, chopped finely (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375

Start by cutting up the butter into small slices and put one pat of butter in the bottom of a muffin tin. (If you use a can of Pillsbury Grands you will get 11 muffins).

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How much is a pat of butter? This much:

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Next cut up the preformed biscuits into fourths and put the dough in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

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Drizzle the dough with 1/2 tsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, a (teeny tiny) dash of salt, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Using your hands, toss the dough until it is evenly coated.

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Next, gently roll the dough into balls and place 3 in each muffin tin.

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Now, you can stop right there and top them with more butter and cheese and they will be delicious, wonderful biscuits. OR, you could take it a bit further if you dare…

If you wanted to, you could create little pockets full of cheese and jalapeno. I warn you, these are not for the feint of heart! Because these are so delicious, so very wonderful you will want to eat them all the time. I warned you.

If you choose to create cheesy spicy pockets, simply fill each fourth of dough with small amount of diced jalapeno and grated cheddar cheese.

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Seal it together by pinching the sides together and place into the muffin tin.

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Now top the muffins with a dash more of cheese, and the remaining small pats of butter.

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Bake in the oven for 19-22 minutes. The tops will be golden brown and lovely. Eat while they are hot. But try not to eat all of them yourself. Or if you do, no judgements, these are pretty yummy.

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Cheesy Pull Apart Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 1 tube/can of pre-made biscuit dough, I used Pillsbury Grands
  • Salt
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic (about 1 clove)
  • Parmesan or Romano Cheese, grated
  • Cheddar, grated
  • jalapeno, chopped finely (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut up the butter into small slices and put one pat of butter in the bottom of a muffin tin. (If you use a can of Pillsbury Grands you will get 11 muffins).

Next cut up the preformed biscuits into fourths and put the dough in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Drizzle the dough with 1/2 tsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, a (teeny tiny) dash of salt, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Using your hands, toss the dough until it is evenly coated.

Fill each fourth of dough with small amount of diced jalapeno and grated cheddar cheese. Seal it together by pinching the sides together and place into the muffin tin. Now, top the muffins with a dash more of cheese, and the remaining small pats of butter.

Bake in the oven for 19-22 minutes. The tops will be golden brown and lovely. Serve warm.

Satisfying the Crunch Factor

The crunch factor; a craving that can only be satisfied by consuming crunchy food items. Food items can be of either the sweet or salty persuasion. The crunch factor often occurs; while working on the computer for a prolonged amount of time, watching the tv or movies, playing video games, or around 4 pm (aka snack time).

Ah, yes, the crunch factor. I’m always looking for ways to keep it healthy and still satisfy the CF. While I’ve tried out a variety of crunchy snacks, roasted chickpeas is my new favorite way to satisfy my crunchy cravings.

Roasted chickpeas are an ideal CF snack because they are (1) easy to make, (2) store well in air tight containers, and (3) are a healthy and flavorful alternative to potato chips.*

*Ok, fine I’m not a nutritionist, but I swear these crunchy beans are better than Doritos and Cheese-its.

So here it is, roasted chickpeas two ways; spicy and sweet.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
Ingredients:
2 cans of chickpeas (15 oz cans)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
Optional Add-in: a dash of “Perfect Pinch” for chicken (or any other pre-mixed spice combination of your choice)

First drain the chickpeas in a strainer.

Wash with cool water to rinse the starch off.

Next pour the beans onto a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to air dry. The key to these becoming a crunchy snack inside-out is allowing them enough time to thoroughly dry. I recommend allowing them to air dry for at least 1 1/2 hours-2 hours.

After allowing the peas to dry, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Next, in a small mixing bowl combine the chickpeas with the olive oil and all spices.

Give it a good toss to evenly distribute.

Next, pour the chickpeas onto the prepared baking sheet so that they are in a single layer and pop into the oven.

These will take 40 minutes in the oven before reaching optimal crunchiness. Every 10 minutes take the tray out and toss with a spatula. Do not shake the pan to rotate the peas when they are hot, as this might cause them to pop/explode in one’s face. You’ve been warned.

Sweet Roasted Chickpeas
Ingredients
2 cans of chickpeas (15 oz cans)
1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp granulated sugar
Optional Add-in: a dash of apple pie or pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp honey

To make the sweet version of these crunchy peas follow the directions above EXCEPT only toss the dried chickpeas in olive oil, cinnamon, sugar, and any additional spices you have selected. Immediately after taking them out of the oven, pour the chickpeas into a small mixing bowl and toss them with the honey while still piping hot. Pour them back onto the baking sheet and allow them to cool and the honey to harden.

Also, since these have sugar on them they need to be monitored more closely in the oven to prevent burning. Bake for only 30-35 minutes.

 

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Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of chickpeas (15 oz cans)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

Directions:

First drain the chickpeas in a strainer. Wash with cool water to rinse the starch off.

Next pour the beans onto a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to air dry. The key to these becoming a crunchy snack inside-out is allowing them enough time to thoroughly dry. I recommend allowing them to air dry for at least 1 1/2 hours-2 hours.

After allowing the peas to dry, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Next, in a small mixing bowl combine the chickpeas with the olive oil and all spices.

Give it a good toss to evenly distribute.

Next, pour the chickpeas onto the prepared baking sheet so that they are in a single layer and pop into the oven.

These will take 40 minutes in the oven before reaching optimal crunchiness. Every 10 minutes take the tray out and toss with a spatula.

 

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Sweet Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of chickpeas (15 oz cans)
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • a dash of apple pie or pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • 1 tbsp honey

Directions:

First drain the chickpeas in a strainer. Wash with cool water to rinse the starch off.

Next pour the beans onto a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to air dry. The key to these becoming a crunchy snack inside-out is allowing them enough time to thoroughly dry. I recommend allowing them to air dry for at least 1 1/2 hours-2 hours.

After allowing the peas to dry, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Next, in a small mixing bowl combine the chickpeas with the olive oil and all spices.

Give it a good toss to evenly distribute.

Next, pour the chickpeas onto the prepared baking sheet so that they are in a single layer and pop into the oven.

These will take 30-35 minutes in the oven before reaching optimal crunchiness. Every 10 minutes take the tray out and toss with a spatula.