How to: You only Live Once – Spicy Buffalo Caramel Corn

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To me, love is caramel and buffalo wings.

As such, I plan on really showing my love this Valentine’s Day.

By combining the two.

Like a crazy person.

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I found this intriguing recipe in February’s Bon Appetit magazine.  It was appropriately featured in a Superbowl snack piece.

I’m thinking spicy buffalo caramel popcorn is totally a year round thing though.

IMG_2425I make my own popcorn these days.  ½ cup popcorn kernels, 3 Tbsp canola oil.  Heat over medium, cover with a tight fitting lid. Once the kernels start popping, shake the hell out of the pot (cover remains on) for 2-3 minutes until they’re all popped.  Remove from heat and season to your liking.

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You’ll get a super fresh and fluffy batch every time and nearly every kernel pops.

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Once the popcorn is done and you’re ready to start on the caramel, get everything ready.

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The caramel with change colour quickly once it starts and you want to avoid burning it by having the butter and hot sauce right by your side to whisk in.

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Adding the baking soda at the end will give the caramel a light and fluffy consistency which will make it a bit easier to toss with the popcorn.

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There was very little time for photos! You’ll have to work quickly to coat the popcorn evenly before the caramel cools.

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If you want to eat the remaining spicy caramel from the bowl with a spoon, I’d consider that completely reasonable.

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Happy Valentine’s Day friends!

Erin

Spicy Buffalo Caramel Popcorn

Serves Makes 8 cups
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
From magazine From February 2015 Bon Appetit Magazine

Ingredients

  • 8 cups plain popped popcorn (from ½ cup popcorn kernels)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup Frank's Red Hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less depending on your spice tolerance)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly coat a large bowl with a non-stick spray and transfer popcorn to bowl.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and water to a boil. Boil, swirling the pan occasionally for about 10 minutes until the caramel develops an amber colour.
3. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and hot sauce. It will bubble vigorously. Return to a boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in salt, baking soda and cayenne.
4. Working quickly, pour caramel over popcorn and toss to coat. Transfer to baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
5. Allow to cool before breaking up in to pieces. Store in airtight container.

 

How to: Seasonal Cooking – Grilled Pineapple, Two Ways

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GRILLING SEASON!!!!

(all caps totally necessary)

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Grilled pineapple needs to be on to your list of ‘things to grill’ this summer.

NEEDS TO BE.

(once again, legit all cap use)

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To convince you I’m posting two recipes, and both are blow-your-hair-back good.

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First up is grilled pineapple salsa.

The photo below pretty much sums up how delish it is.

Can’t go wrong with that crew of ingredients.

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By the way, that wee little jalepeno was SO hot. I find they can really vary in heat level.  Once you’ve minced it, try a little piece to test the heat before throwing the whole thing in. Also, don’t touch your eyes or any other sensitive areas after you’ve handled them.

Take it from me and my burny eyeball.

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For these photos I made a half batch of the salsa and ate most of it in a single sitting with my fave tortilla chips ever – Neal Brothers Organic Blue Tortilla with Flax Seeds.

It’s awesome as a grilled meat and seafood topper too.

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You may also eat it straight up with a spoon – no one will judge you.

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Next up is not so much a recipe as an idea to use grilled pineapple as a dessert.

I confess, I don’t love making dessert.  I’m always on the hunt for super simple ideas for good dinner party options.

Grilled pineapple and some premium quality ice cream – BAM. done.  I found some toasted coconut ice cream (PC Black Label) and jeez man, it was magic in my mouth.

If you want to go all out, try making your own Spiced Rum Caramel Sauce. Check out our post for salted caramel. For the spiced rum version, add 3 Tbsp of spiced rum after the cream for deliciously boozy results.

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Then drizzle that hot mess all over the show.

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Enjoy,

Erin

Grilled Pineapple

Ingredients

  • 1 pineapple
  • oil for the grill

Directions

1. To prepare pineapple, cut off the top and bottom first and stand it on its bottom end. Working your way around, cut the rind off in strips. If there are hard bits or seeds remaining remove them with a sharp knife. Slice the pineapple in to ½" inch rounds. You'll get 6-8 depending on the size.
2. Use an apple corer or sharp paring knife to remove the more solid core.
3. Heat a grill to medium high heat. Spray or brush grill thoroughly with oil.
4. Grill pineapple sliced 2-3 minutes per side.

Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Serves Makes 6-7 cups
Prep time 20 minutes
Website Adapted from Closet Cooking

Ingredients

  • 1 grilled pineapple (chopped)
  • 1 mango (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/4 red onion (About ⅓ cup, minced)
  • 1 jalepeno (seeded and minced)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Note

This salsa works as a snack with tortilla chips and as a killer condiment for grilled meat or fish of any kind.  It's sweet and savoury with a pinch of heat and kick of acid.

Directions

1. Add all ingredient to a large bowl and store gently until well combined.

How to: You Only Live Once – Salted Caramel Dipping Sauce

Salted caramel is a thing lately.

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I know this because I’ve recently made it for both apple slices and mini soft pretzel bites as a dip-able and shareable snack for coworkers.

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Has it ever been the talk of the town since.

The very first question I get is “Is this on the blog?!”

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Well, it’s kind of a healthy eating blog so no, sorry.

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Thing is, I’m tired of seeing the look of disappointment my answer brings.

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So as of today, we’re introducing a brand new category!

Dedicated to those once-in-while, over-the-top indulgences that just make life worth living. We’re calling it – You Only Live Once.

There is room for all foods in a healthy eating plan, and while we’ll continue to dedicate most of our time and energy developing healthy recipes, we won’t shy away from sharing some of our favourites that may not fit in to that category.

This one’s a doozy!

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But it can also bring a group of coworkers together for a few moments of joy during the daily grind.  That to me, is worth it.

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Enjoy,

Erin

Salted Caramel Dipping Sauce

Prep time 3 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 18 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 85g unsalted butter (about 4/5 of a stick)
  • 125ml whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or fleur de sel

Note

A perfect dip for fruit or soft pretzels, this also works as a delicious topping for frozen treats when slightly warmed.

Directions

1. Pour sugar into a heavy bottom sauce pan. Pour water over top, but do not stir. Place pan over high heat and bring to a boil.
2. Watch pan closely while boiling. After 8-10 minutes the sugar will start to yellow and lightly brown around the edges. You can swirl the pan to evenly distribute the colour. Watch the colour very closely, when you reach a light caramel colour, add the butter immediately while whisking.
3. As soon as the butter is melted, remove pan from heat. Add whipping cream very slowly while whisking (otherwise it will bubble over).
4. Add salt, allow to cool for 2 minutes before transferring to glass jars/ containers.