Cooking On A Budget: Game Day Snacks

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Game Day Snacks

With the game day approaching and grocery stores advertising specials on snacks like chips, I think you can make your own and save money.
Popcorn for instance is expensive if you buy the already bagged variety or the microwave bags. You can make a variety of flavored popcorn using a bag of popcorn kernels, some vegetable oil, butter, grated cheese and spice blends. I'll explain how I do it and give you ideas for jazzing up the popcorn. You will need a deep, heavy bottomed stainless steel stock pot. Hopefully you have one on hand.  If not, any other deep sauce pot will work, but you will have to extra careful not to burn the popcorn.
Have on the ready: 2 sticks of melted butter, your grated cheese and your spice blends and some large bowls.
Over medium heat begin by adding enough oil to really coat the bottom of the pan. Add in popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover. The oil will heat to a bubble and when the kernels begin to pop, lower the heat to a medium low and keep moving the pot around on the burner. As you hear that the popcorn is slowing the popping, remove from the heat and put the popped kernels in a large bowl. You can keep making the popcorn so that you have three to choose from.

You put the grated cheese or spice blend on first then some of the melted butter in and mix well. That's it!

Here are the flavored popcorn ideas:
Popcorn with Butter and Grated Parmesan Cheese (as much as you like)
Creole Popcorn (see recipe below for spice blend)
Ranch Popcorn (use a packet of dry ranch dressing)

Creole spice blend
2 tbsp. sweet paprika
1 tbsp. granulated garlic
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Another crowd pleaser is Tortilla Chips. It's easy to make your own. Buy 1 or two packages of flour tortillas and cut them into triangles - like you would a pizza. Fry them lightly in 325 degree canola or vegetable oil. After frying remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and sprinkle on the spices. Lay the chips on sheet pans to cool. You leave some of them plain and serve with your favorite salsa.

Here are the flavored chip ideas:
Creole Tortilla Chips (see recipe above for spice blend)
Ranch Chips (use a packet of dry ranch dressing)
Dessert Chips (use a cinnamon sugar mix)

Another fun and tasty idea is to cut wonton wrappers into strips and fry them up and serve with home made duck sauce.
Duck Sauce:
You can make homemade duck sauce by combining apricot jam melted with dry mustard.  Melt 1 jar of apricot jam in the microwave or on the stove top.  Add 1 to 2 tbsp. dry mustard and mix well. Add in 2 tbsp. cider vinegar and stir.  It’s ready to serve.

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