Sunday, February 13, 2011

Kimmi Crack Corn

I recently pulled this old favorite out for a party. It was the perfect thing to share as we watched movies. It's sweet, but not too sweet. The addition of peanuts is wonderful, but it can be made without them if someone has a nut allergy.

Beware: Do not put this out before dinner or no one will have room for dinner.
People WILL over eat this. It's SUPER ADDICTIVE!
Typically I'll only make this when a crowd is coming or I'll end up eating too much of it myself.

Be sure to read through directions before starting. Once caramel is cooked you must have everything prepared to be able to work fast.

Printable version of Recipe

6 quarts of freshly popped popcorn
1 cup salted butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-4 cups roasted peanuts (to your taste)

large flake kosher salt (optional)

medium pan
2 jelly roll pans
large stock pot
2 wooden spoons

Important Preparation Tips:
Put the popped corn into a very large pot. I use my large stock pot. The pot must be large enough to mix the caramel into the corn without spilling or touching it with your hands. The caramel will be scalding hot and if you touch it it WILL burn you. Sugar burns really suck. Use the wooden spoons.

Lay out 2 jelly roll pans (cookie sheets with sides) so that you are prepared for the mixing to follow. Do not grease these pans. Do NOT put parchment paper on them either as popcorn will stick to it.

Preheat oven to 250°F.

On the stove top over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and teaspoon of salt (do not skip this salt.) Bring to a boil while stirring. Once at a boil, boil for 5 minutes WITHOUT STIRRING. Remove from heat. Working fast, stir in the baking soda and salt. Add peanuts and pour over popcorn, getting as much of the caramel out of the pan with a rubber scraper as you can. Any left in the pan will harden quickly. Using the wooden spoons stir to mix well.

Once blended, spread the mixture onto the two jelly roll pans. The caramel will begin to harden quickly so you need to spread it fast.
At this point you may sprinkle a little bit of the large flake salt onto the popcorn. This will give the popcorn a sweet-salty taste. If you don't want the salty taste, don't add the salt in this step. Bake for one hour. Stir occasionally while baking (although sometimes I don't stir at all and it comes out fine... stirring helps to limit pools of the caramel.)

A few short minutes after removing from the oven, remove from the pans. Do not wait too long or you may have trouble getting it out of the pans. I break it up into a large bowl and allow it to cool.

Once cooled, you can store at room temperature in an air tight container.

Printable version of Recipe

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Beer and Poha Chiwda

When my fella's Mom came to visit last fall she brought will her a container of Poha Chiwda that had been made by a family friend because she knew how much he loved it.

What is it? Think Spicy Indian Chex mix.

Typically it's served in a bowl with a spoon. You spoon some into your hand and eat it from the palm of your right hand. You don't put your hands into the bowl. When we finally finished it up I requested the recipe from his Mom which she gladly passed along! I finally remembered to get the last missing ingredient and voila -- my own Poha Chiwda.
The perfect snack to go with a beer or iced tea!

Printable version of Recipe


1 lb. *Thin Poha (pressed rice often sold in 1lb. & 2lb. bags - poha shown at right)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup peanuts
1/4 cup broken cashews
4-5 green chilli cut into pcs.
8-10 pc. *curry patta (curry leaves - use fresh if at all possible)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
small pinch of red chili powder (optional)
3/4 cup vegetable/canola oil (I used only 1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp *rai (black mustard seeds)
2 tsp sugar

Heat oven to 350°F.
Bake Poha on a dry pan (ideally a jellyroll pan as shown in photo above right) for about 5-7 minutes, stirring often. The poha will go from tough to crunchy. Remove from oven and pour cooked poha into a large bowl. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil and add rai, green chili,curry patta and salt to taste. BEWARE. The rai will start to pop, so have a cover nearby to put above it after you put them in. When rai begin to pop and the curry leaves have begun to give off their scent (they smell SO GOOD when cooking!) set aside cover, stir, then add peanuts, raisins, cashews and grams. Continue to stir as nuts brown and raisins puff.

Add turmeric and red chili (optional) stir. Add to bowl of baked poha. Stir to combine well until all poha is slightly covered with a yellow color from the turmeric.

Sprinkle 2 tsp sugar all over, cover for 2 minutes.
Uncover, stir and let it cool completely. I stirred it a few times over the next few hours to help it cool without becoming soggy. Store in air tight container. Enjoy!!

* Commonly found in an Indian market near you.

Printable version of Recipe