Wednesday, March 7, 2012
So, I can't claim to have a ton of recipes to post for you this week. And the ones that I do have (except for the Brussels Sprouts) are not healthy... but they are certainly delicious. As I mentioned before, I'm cooking for just one and while I did cook a new recipe last week, I've decided to include it in a special round-up of recipes that is coming your way next week. So please bear with me, I promise lots of good, healthy, real food recipes next week and two slightly sinful recipes this week. Here we have Caramel Peanut Popcorn. It is addictive. I made it to eat while we watched the Oscars, and I honestly thought the popcorn wouldn't even make it to the red carpet. As I cleaned my house and got organized for the evening's festivities, I ate a handful of this popcorn every time I passed by the kitchen. And I then I started taking detours to the kitchen just because it is so delicious. Luckily, the recipe makes a lot!
Caramel Peanut Popcorn
3 tablespoons canola oil (for popping on the stove)*
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
1 1/4 cups Demerra brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 250°F. Generously butter heavy large baking pan.
If popping on the stove: Pour the oil and popcorn kernels into a large heavy bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid. Turn the heat to medium. Stir until the kernels are coated with oil. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan often. Once the popping starts, shake the pan constantly, cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes or until popping has almost stopped. Let the pan stand for one minute.
Mix warm popcorn and peanuts in prepared pan. Place in oven while preparing syrup.
Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves and butter melts. Attach clip-on candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until thermometer registers 255°F, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, about 4 minutes. Don't be alarmed if the caramel starts to look like it is burning or if it smells funny. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract, salt and baking soda (mixture will bubble). Gradually pour syrup over popcorn and nuts completely.
Bake until caramel feels dry, stirring frequently, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Using metal spatula, scrape mixture from bottom of pan to loosen. Cool completely in pan. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)
*You can also air-pop the popcorn, just pop as you normally would then skip to the step where you mix the popcorn with the peanuts!