Salty Garlicky Roasted Edamame

I’ve been making snacks all weekend (Spicy, Chili Cheesy Dip, Cocoa Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Chickpeas, Circles and Squares). I couldn’t stop there, so I grabbed the bag of shelled edamame and got to work.

Salty Garlicky Roasted Edamame

1 bag frozen, shelled edamame
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

Thaw bag of frozen edamame in a strainer. For a quick thaw, run frozen edamame under running water. Spread thawed edamame onto a towel to dry.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, salt and garlic. Stir in edamame and toss to coat. Spread the edamame onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, shaking the pan regularly. Edamame is done when it is browned and crispy.

Store in an airtight container.

Optional: toss with 2 to 3 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese while stir warm.

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Crunchy Cocoa Cinnamon Sugar Chickpeas

I’m making snack foods this weekend. This is another really simple one that you can flavor pretty much however you want. I went for sweet plus chocolate goes really well with cinnamon. Because of the sugar, I didn’t add the flavorings until after they had roasted. If going the savory route, you can add the spices when you add the olive oil.

Roasted chickpeas are a healthy treat but don’t eat them all at once. They are still beans.

Crunchy, Cocoa Cinnamon Sugar Chickpeas

1 15.5 ounce can of chickpeas
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Drain and rinse chickpeas. Set them on a towel to dry. Peel off the skins – if you don’t do this step, the oven roasted chickpeas will not get crunchy. Dry again and put in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, shaking the pan midway through cooking.

Remove chickpeas from the oven and pour into a bowl. Drizzle olive oil over the chickpeas and stir to coat completely. Return to pan and the chickpeas to the oven and continue to bake for 30-40 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. They are done when they are golden and crispy.

In a small bowl combine sugar, cinnamon and cocoa. Stir to combine.

Remove chickpeas from oven and pour in a bowl. Toss with a couple tablespoons of the cocoa cinnamon sugar to coat. Place remaining cocoa cinnamon sugar in an airtight container for another use.

Return the chickpeas to baking sheet and place back in the oven with the heat turned off. Crack the oven door and let them stay in the oven to cool slowly.

Snack on them still warm or after they’ve cooled. Store in an airtight container.

Spicy Chili Cheesy Dip

It is Go Sports time again and I had a pound of Velveeta cheese in the pantry just begging to be used. What I ended up making is a super simple dip recipe but oh, so delicious. You’re just three ingredients away from your own party, whether you watch football, futball, or fussball!

Spicy Chili Cheesy Dip

1 can Ro-tel diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1 lb Velveeta cheese
1 small can Hormel chili no beans

Combine all ingredients in the top of a double boiler. Over low heat, melt everything together, stirring occasionally. Serve with tortilla chips or Fritos corn chips.

If you find Ro-tel too spicy (especially when you’ve rewarmed the leftovers the next day), add in a package of cream cheese and melt it with the rest. It cools things down and makes the dip even more creamy!

 

Chocolate Popcorn

Sunday is game day and I needed something salty, crunch and chocolatey. What hits the trifecta better than chocolate coated popcorn?

My friends, Charlotte and Thomas, gave me a Swedish popcorn maker from Lekue. It makes perfect popcorn every time, with very little oil and only few unpopped kernels per batch. It is one of my favorite gadgets for the kitchen and I use it all the time.

Chocolate Popcorn

1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup semi-sweet morsels
1 tablespoon butter

Make popcorn. Pick out any unpopped kernels (trust me, don’t skip this step). Salt generously. Melt chocolate with the butter. Stir in a large bowl until well coated. Gobble up a few handfuls while the oven heats to 260 degrees F. Place popcorn on a rimmed baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to recrisp the popcorn.

Serve in bowls with plenty of napkins.

Cheese Nibbles

It seems that every southerner I know has a cheese straw, cheese nibble, or cheese wafer recipe. In fact here are links to just a few (here, here, here) plus I’m including a picture of my family’s recipe from my maternal great-grandmother.

I’ve been lucky that Michelle has been working on perfecting her recipe. In the below picture, she added a little more flour to the puffy yellow ones (and a little red food coloring to the others to tell the difference). There wasn’t enough crunch, so she extended the cooking time and the result were very tasty!

Cheese Nibbles

10 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated cold and left to come to room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons and at room temperature
1 cup sifted flour
2/3 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
pinch cayenne

I recommend tripling the recipe but, as most mixers can’t handle such a heavy batter, do each batch separately.

Put the softened cheese and butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer. Using the heaviest mixer paddle attachment, beat until the mixture has the consistency of whipped cream, 15 to 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, sift the flour with the spices. Gradually add the seasoned flour to the cheese mixture by large spoonfuls, beating well after each addition.

Roll batter into nickle sized balls and press down on baking sheets with your thumb. Bake for about 15 minutes in a 350 degree F oven until bottoms are slightly browned.

Alternatively, you could place a portion of the dough into a cookie press fitted with the star tube and press the dough onto a cookie sheet in three inch strips. Repeat until the pan is full. Bake until straws are golden brown and crisp.

Cool on pan 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container. For longer storage, place the airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

To recrisp cheese nibbles that have been stored, bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees F.

White Christmas Party Mix

The New Orleans Saints are playing the Dirty Birds (aka Atlanta Falcons) on Christmas Eve, so I decided to take my usual party mix (Circles and Squares) and give it some holiday flair. If I had some red and green m&ms, I would have added them after the powdered sugar coating step.

Dirty White Christmas Party Mix

1-12 oz box of Crispex cereal
1-8.9 oz box of Cheerios cereal
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1-12 oz package of semi sweet morsels
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup confectioners sugar, divided

Stir the cereals together in a large pan. I use a disposable turkey roasting pan. In a small saucepan, melt together the butter, Worchestershire sauce and salt. Pour over the cereal and, gently but thoroughly, stir to coat. Bake in a 250 degree F oven for an hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

When there are about 20 minutes left on the baking cereal, put the semi-sweet morsels and peanut butter together in a double boiler and melt, stirring occasionally.

Remove the cereal from the oven. Pour the melted chocolate and peanut butter over the cereal and stir. Keep stirring until all the cereal is coated in chocolate. In a large, clean paper bag, sprinkle a half cup of powdered sugar. Pour in the cereal and then sprinkle on the other half cup of powdered sugar. Close and roll down the top of the bag and shake to coat all the cereal in sugar.

Cool completely on baking sheets – this takes about an hour. Store in an airtight container until time to gobble it up!

Who Dat!

Sweet and Nutty Turkish Cigars

Along with the savory recipes (see previous post), I also made some sweet versions. In some Middle Eastern cultures, these are known as Bride’s Fingers instead of Turkish Cigars. Not a fan of the name but definitely a fan of the finished product. Unlike baclava, which is a mess to make and eat, these are easier all the way around.

By the way, eating syrup and honey is believed to make life sweeter. Not sure what adding the chocolate means, other than chocolate makes everything better.

As mentioned before, cutting the filo sheets in half to form a square and then diagonally to form a triangle is the best way to prep. Use three layers of filo triangles per cigar, and a small amount of filling per cigar yields the best results. The cigars stay intact and the filling doesn’t burst through the center. By not going to the edge with the filling and folding in the edges there meant they looked like cigars without compromising filling integrity. I also found that buttering each filo layer individually was unnecessary. Brushing interior layer near the filling and the top of the cigar after rolling is sufficient.

Sweetly Nutty Cigars

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons orange blossom water
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (pistachios, pecans, walnuts, almonds or a mix)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted
1 lb filo dough, thawed

In a medium saucepan bring sugar and water to a boil. Stir well and continue to boil for 15 minutes. Bring the temperature up to 220 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir in the honey and orange blossom water. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine nuts, cinnamon and the orange honey syrup in a large bowl.

On a clean work surface roll out the thawed sheets of filo dough. My sheets measured 9×13, so I cut the sheets in half to form squares and then cut each half on the diagonal to form triangles. Start by taking out three pieces of the filo dough. Cover the rest of the dough with a damp kitchen towel (otherwise they will dry out and be impossible to work with).

Place three sheets of filo triangles on a flat work surface. Brush with melted butter. Place about 1 tablespoon of the nut mixture on the fat end of the triangle. Tuck in the edge and roll up like a cigar. Place the rolled pastry seam side down on a baking sheet. Brush the top with melted butter.

Transfer to oven, and bake until crust and nuts are evenly golden, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven and cool

Chocolate Cigars

1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 cup chocolate (I used Andes creme de mint baking chips but any kind of chocolate such as white or dark or milk chocolate can be used)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 stick butter, melted

Filo Pastry Sheets, thawed

Coarsely grind pistachios, sugar and chocolate in either a food processor or blender. Set aside.

Thaw the filo sheets as per the package instructions. Place three filo sheet on a clean working surface. Brush with melted butter. (Note: As you are working with one filo sheet at a time, cover the remaining sheets with kitchen towel to prevent drying.)

Cut the sheets in half to form a square and then each half along the diagonal to form triangles. You will have four sets. Place 1 tablespoon of chocolate-nut powder on the fat end of one set. Tuck in the edge and carefully roll the sheet towards the narrow edge. Place on greased baking sheet. Continue until all sets are used and then repeat with another three sheets.

Brush the cigars with melted butter. Bake at 350 degree F for 20 to 30 minutes or until the filo turns golden brown.