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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Great Bar Snack Ideas

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Bar snacks, those little tidbits you get for free in bars, are put there to make you drink more. Usually salty or spicy, it’s a simple trick — and it works! At home you can get more creative, and I think it's time for some new (and borrowed) ideas.

Wasabi Almonds

Ingredients
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 lb natural almonds (brown skin on)
2 tablespoons wasabi powder
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 275°F. Line a baking sheet with Release Foil or lightly greased foil or lightly greased parchment paper. Whisk the egg white and water together until foamy. Add almonds and toss to coat. Place almonds in a sieve to allow excess egg white to drain off and toss lightly as you are draining them. Stir together the wasabi, cornstarch & salt in large bowl or Ziploc plastic bag. Add almonds and toss to coat. Spread the almonds on the baking sheet single layer and bake for 30 minutes. Stir gently lower heat to 200°F and continue baking for a further 20 minutes. Let cool completely. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Tamari and Maple Roasted Almonds

Ingredients
10 ounces natural almonds (brown skin on)
1/4 cup reduced-sodium tamari
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Nonstick cooking spray

Procedure
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until lightly toasted and fragrant, 7 to 8 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine tamari and maple syrup. Add almonds, and toss until thoroughly coated. Lightly cover the baking sheet with cooking spray, and spread almonds evenly on sheet. Roast in oven until deep brown, stirring once, 15 to 17 minutes. Immediately transfer to a clean baking sheet, and spread out almonds, separating so nuts don't touch. Let cool before serving.

Potato Chips with Nori Salt

Ingredients for nori salt
3 7 by 8-inch sheets of nori seaweed
3 Tablespoons kosher salt

Ingredients for Potato Chips
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 large baking potatoes, peeled, sliced 1/16-inch thick

Procedure
For the Nori Salt: Preheat oven to 325° F. On a baking sheet, toast the nori in the oven until brittle, approximately 10 minutes, and then grind in a mini food processor. Mix the nori powder with the salt.

For the Chips: In a large pot, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350° F over moderately high heat. Rinse the potatoes until water runs clear, and then pat them dry. Working in small batches, fry the potato slices, stirring occasionally, until golden, approximately 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potato chips to paper towels to drain. Generously sprinkle the chips with the nori salt and serve.

Truffle popcorn

Ingredients for popcorn
about 1/3 cup pop corn kernels
about 3 tablespoons corn oil (or other high-smoke-point oil)

Ingredients for topping
truffle oil, to taste
chives, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Procedure
Heat the corn oil in a large heavy-bottom pot. Add the popcorn kernels, cover and cook over moderate heat until they start popping. Cook, shaking the pot continuously, until the popping has almost stopped. Carefully pour the popcorn into a very large bowl. Add the truffle oil and toss well. Season with chives, salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Bollywood Popcorn

Ingredients for popcorn
about 1/3 cup pop corn kernels
about 3 tablespoons corn oil (or other high-smoke-point oil)

Ingredients for coconut curry seasoning
1 3/4 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
7 tablespoons madras curry powder
3 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 3/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Procedure
Mix all the seasoning spices together. Heat the corn oil in a large heavy-bottom pot. Add the popcorn kernels, cover and cook over moderate heat until they start popping. Cook, shaking the pot continuously, until the popping has almost stopped. Carefully pour the popcorn into a very large bowl. Shake on coconut curry mix and serve immediately. Where's my big musical number?