RECIPE #291, DAY #490
ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Swamp-Creature Snack Mix,” from the “50 Spooky Snacks” insert from Food Network Magazine*
TIMING: 5 minutes
DIFFICULTY: Easy, as long as you don’t overmix
TOOLS: Some way to pop popcorn (and mine is an electric popcorn popper) and a large bowl
COOK TYPE: Popcorn popper (or your method)
HEALTH: With just a fraction of the butter, salt, and processed components of your usual popcorn, this is not so bad. Actually, I usually condone popcorn eating, since we make ours at home, and this particular recipe has pluses and minuses. Plus: Seaweed. Low butter. Minus: Cheese puffs.
EXPERIENCE: I panicked when I realized just how close it is to Halloween and how little thematic cooking I had done. So I shoe-horned a couple recipes into the weekend and vowed to do my best to blog quickly over the next week. This recipe came from my annual perusal of my collection of October Food Network Magazines. Actually, this particular recipe came from this year’s edition, where they had an insert titled “50 Spooky Snacks.” (The “50…” insert is my favorite part of most FNMs.)
At first try, this snack seemed a little seaweed-y (thus the “swamp” in the title), but it quickly became addictive. And I wasn’t the only one. In fact, my son kept trying to find the seaweed bits, while everyone else had their own favorites.
NOTES: This recipe calls for 2 tablespoons butter, which might work if you stick strictly to the popcorn and cheese puff measurements. I didn’t. Mine were a lot more eyeballing it, so I needed more butter (or olive oil, which also works fine here).
- Pop popcorn to equal about 6 cups. I use an electric popper. Set aside.
- In a food processor or blender, grind 4 cups cheese puffs until a fine powder.
- Drizzle popcorn with 2 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter. Dust with the cheese powder, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, and a generous sprinkling of salt. Toss gently to coat, but not too much.
- Crumble a pack of toasted seaweed snacks over top and dump on the remaining cheese puffs from the bag. Toss, again very lightly. Taste for seasoning and serve.
Serve with hard cider and a party that’s just warming up.
*Recipe changed from the original.