chile lime tequila popcorn


So, March is here.  I’m not sure how it came around so fast, but it did, and I’m pretty excited about it.


I’ve been experimenting with my fair share of gluten-free snacks these days and this popcorn was one I tried a few weeks ago as a contribution to a neighborhood game night.


It’s deliciously spicy, naturally gluten-free and party friendly.  Whether you’re celebrating March Madness, St. Patrick’s Day or simply looking for a spicy snack, this popcorn is a sure winner.


chile lime tequila popcorn
yield: 2 quarts (about 8 cups & about 8 servings)

recipe notes:  I like to pop my popcorn in a brown paper bag in the microwave à la Mark Bittman.  I measure out 1/4 cups of kernels, place them in a brown paper bag with nothing else (Bittman says to add oil but I’ve found you don’t need it), fold the top down many times and microwave it for 2 minutes until there are at least 3-4 seconds between pops.  You can also pop it over the stove in a little bit of oil à la Heidi’s instructions.  In regard to tossing the popcorn, I’ve done the bag way and also tossed it in a big bowl.  I didn’t notice much of a different between either.

2 quarts (8 cups) popped popcorn
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon tequila
1/2 small jalapeno, seeds and membrane removes, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1.  Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

2.  Put the popcorn in a large bowl, a large paper bag or a clean washable muslin bag.  In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the butter, lime juice, tequila, lime zest and jalapeño and set aside.  In another small bowl, combine the pepper, salt, red pepper flakes and cumin.

3.  Pour the butter mixture over the popcorn, a little at a time, tossing the popcorn to coat as you go.  Next, pour the spice mixture over the popcorn and toss to coat.

4.  Spread the mixture out on the baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes or until dry.

source: 101cookbooks



spicy brittled peanuts


So I got to meet Deb.


I got to watch her brown butter over an electric burner for salted brown butter crispy treats.


And let me tell you, folks, she just as (if not more) charming in person as she is on her blog.


And her cookbook?  It’s a winner, as are these peanuts.  They’re like peanut brittle but less brittle and more peanuts and a kick of cayenne for good measure.


Thank you, Deb, for the recipe, the cookbook and the brown-butter demo.  It was lovely to meet you.

spicy brittled peanuts
yield: 2 cups peanuts

recipe notes:  I’ve copied the recipe just as it appears in Deb’s lovely book.

1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
2 cups (280 grams) shelled raw or roasted unsalted peanuts, papery skins removed

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.  If you don’t have either, coat your baking sheet with a think slick of vegetable oil.

In a small bowl, whisk together the baking soda, sea salt, and cayenne, and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, the heaviest one you’ve got, heat the sugar, butter, and water over medium-high heat until it begins to turn golden, about 7 to 10 minutes.  Add the peanuts and start stirring, coating them with the sugar mixture.  After a minute or two, the sugar will seize up a bit, making the peanuts look grainy and crusty, and it will be harder to stir them – you’ll be convinced that it’s gone irreversibly south, cursing me under your breath, but fear not, keep stirring, and in about 3 minutes it will melt back into a golden caramel.  Keep stirring, breaking up any clumps with your spoon, until the nuts are evenly coated, then remove the pot from the heat.  Stir in the baking-soda-spice mixture as fast and evenly as you can, then spill the caramelized nuts out onto your prepared sheet, spreading them in a single layer and breaking up any clumps that you can before they set.  Cool completely.

Once they’re cool, break the nut clusters into smaller pieces and put them in a serving dish.  The nuts will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, but rarely do because they’re habit-forming.

source: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook