Sweet and Spicy Chipotle Kettle Corn

Sweet and Spicy Chipotle Kettle Corn

Popcorn is and always will be one of the best snacks around. It can be buttery, salty, spicy, sweet or savory.

You eat it the movies, you eat it at a bar, you eat it at home in front of the TV. My favorite place to eat popcorn is Disneyland, because they pipe the smell of the popping corn out into the crowd, enticing you to buy a bag. And we do.

I recently needed a snack for a cocktail party I was going to, and decided to make a flavored popcorn. I went back and forth between a cheese popcorn, a spiced popcorn or a sweet popcorn.

I thought “Oh what the heck, what about a spiced sweet popcorn?” And it was good, really good.

My friends asked for the recipe at the party, so I made another batch. And I actually wrote the recipe down this time.

 

 

Sweet and Spicy Chipotle Kettle Corn

Be sure to use raw or turbinado sugar. White sugar will not  give you the depth of sweetness needed to balance the heat.

 

Sweet and Spicy Chipotle Kettle Corn
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • ½ cup raw sugar
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the salt and chipotle pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a deep pot heat the oil and a couple of popcorn kernels over medium high heat.
  4. Listen for the test kernels to pop, indicating the oil is ready.
  5. Add the popcorn and sugar, quickly stirring to mix.
  6. Immediately cover the pan with a tight fitting lid.
  7. Shake and swirl the pot as the corn pops.
  8. Remove the pot from the heat as needed, but continue to shake it so the sugar does not burn.
  9. Once there is no more popping, pour the popcorn out onto the prepared baking sheet.
  10. Sprinkle the salt and chipotle over the popcorn, and let it cool.
  11. Once cooled, place the popcorn into a bowl and enjoy.

 

Sweet Corn, Tomato and Basil Salad

 

This recipe was originally posted on my blog over three years ago, when my only readers were either related to me or had gone to school with me.  The photography is bad, but the recipe is good!

Markets are selling sweet summer corn, basil and tomatoes, so now is the perfect time to make this refreshing salad.

 

Sweet Corn, Tomato and Basil Salad

4 ears fresh corn, shucked

6 cups chopped fresh organic tomatoes, about 4 large

1 cup whole basil leaves + 1/4 cup basil chiffonade (thinly sliced)

1 medium shallot, roughly chopped

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup Yuzu rice vinegar* or white balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a large , deep pot of boiling water blanch the corn for about 3-4 minutes. Fresh corn does not take long to cook, so do not overcook it.  Remove the corn from the boiling water and place into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking and cool the corn.

Meanwhile, place the chopped tomatoes into a large bowl.

Chopped tomatoes
Chopped tomatoes

Once the corn has cooled, carefully cut the kernels from the corn cobs.

Cutting corn kernals from cob
Cutting corn kernels from cob

Place the kernels into the bowl with the tomatoes while you make the vinaigrette.

In a food processor, place the whole basil leaves, shallot, salt, pepper and yuzu vinegar.

*I used a Yuzu Rice Vinegar, which added a citrus kick to the salad.  A Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit, whose rind is very aromatic. You do not have to have a yuzu vinegar, as a white balsamic or champagne vinegar would also work very nicely in the dressing.

Process the mixture until it is very smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.  Slowly drizzle in the oil while the processor is running, until the vinaigrette becomes thickened and emulsified.

Basil Vinaigrette and Yuzu vinegar
Basil Vinaigrette and Yuzu vinegar

Pour the vinaigrette over the corn and tomatoes, add the basil chiffonade, and gently mix them together.

Mixing corn, tomatoes and vinaigrette
Mixing corn, tomatoes and vinaigrette

This is a salad that should be eaten right away.  The flavors really shine when it is fresh, but it good the next day also.  The tomatoes will continue to release their juices, so expect any leftovers to be really juicy.  I suggest dipping some crusty bread into the juice.  Don’t want to be wasteful, do we?

Corn, Tomato and Basil Salad
Corn, Tomato and Basil Salad

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

Creamed Corn with Maple-Pepper Bacon

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means it is time to start collecting your recipes for the big feast.  We all have favorites that we make time and time again, but sometimes change is good. This recipe is a good change, a really good change.

I am working on a wonderful campaign from Smart & Final and The California Milk Advisory Board called “Help Our Teachers, Help Our Kids.” Students and families collect Real California Milk seals from select Smart & Final First Street products, then their teachers submit the seals. Each seal counts as one sweepstakes entry. Teachers who submit 100 seals get 25 Scholastic books or a $25 school supply gift card. Each teacher who enters gets one Scholastic book.  The First Street products in this campaign are all items you probably buy each week, such as butter, milk, cottage cheese and ice cream.

My oldest sister is a teacher, and I know how much of her OWN money she puts into helping her kids get the best education they can, so when a program like this comes along I want to support it! And if you live in Southern California YOU can support it too!

The California Milk Advisory Board is going to announce winners in February, BUT Smart & Final is so awesome that they’re doing a separate sweepstakes! Entrants who go to FirstStreetSupportsSoCalSchools.com and tell why their Southern California school should win will be entered to win $500, $300 or $200 to be donated to the school of their choice EVERY MONTH! There will be a total of NINE winners, 3 per month for three months, from those that enter their school! Pretty cool, huh?

My task was to develop a dish for the Thanksgiving table using some of the First Street products that are part of the California Milk Advisory Board campaign. At first I was stumped, since they are all milk products. Of course I thought of my sinfully rich and fabulous Macaroni and Cheese, but that would be like cheating. I needed a new recipe. And then I thought about bacon.

I recently cured and smoked another batch of my Maple-Pepper Bacon. As I vowed in the post that I would never by store bacon again, I have stayed true to my word. Mind you, when I have run out of my own bacon, I have literally stood in front of the bacon section in the store for minutes. I have stood there staring at it, knowing my family had asked for bacon, but still I could not do it! I could not buy that store bacon.

Bacon, milk, butter. . . chowder? No, although I do love a good chowder. Corn, bacon, milk, butter. . . Creamed Corn! Now that is a side dish worthy of the Thanksgiving feast! And by using milk instead of heavy cream, I have lightened up the dish a bit.  Not a lot since there is a stick of butter in the recipe, but a bit! Let’s not quibble.

If you are a Southern California parent, please visit the First Street Supports So Cal Schools and Real Seal Appeal Sweepstakes page to help our Southern California teachers win for their classrooms!

print recipe

Creamed Corn with Maple-Pepper Bacon
This creamed corn with bacon recipe can be made with either fresh corn in the summer, or frozen corn when fresh is not in season. It’s a wonderful side dish for the holiday dinner table!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 40 ounce bag frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
In a large, deep skillet cook the bacon over medium low heat, until all the fat has rendered and the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon and drain the fat from the pan.Raise the heat to medium high. Add the stick of butter to the pan to melt. Add the thawed corn, and cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.Add the milk to the pan, bring it to a boil, then cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the milk is reduced by about 2/3 and slightly thickened.Add the reserved bacon and season with the salt and pepper.
Details

Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 20 mins Total time: 30 mins Yield: 12 servings

This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for  #collectivebias #CBias I received a gift card from Smart & Final to buy all groceries.


Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

Summer/Fall Melange:Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder Recipe

Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder
Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder

Summer has come and gone, and fall is upon us.  I love fall, when the weather gets cool and crisp.  Well, since I am back in Southern California, I’ll use my memories of life in NYC for the temperature.  My neighborhood does have a lot of trees that change color and lose their foliage, so while it may be 80 degrees, the red and yellow leaves begin falling gently to the ground.  The squirrels scurry about burying acorns, only to forget where they hid them. Yes they’re rodents, but they are cute rodents!

The bounty of produce in summer includes some of my favorite fruits and vegetables, but fall has it’s own luscious bounty.  Winter squashes, all sorts of potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, chard, apples, pears, persimmons, quince, pumpkins…too many to name here.

When a cold spell hit, for all of two days, I wanted something warm and comforting in my belly.  I had just made 8 quarts of chicken stock the previous weekend, so soup came to mind.  In my freezer was a giant Costco size bag of organic corn. Oh yes…corn chowder.  If it was still summer I would have used fresh corn, but frozen works just as well.  But in the interest of doing something different I decided to try using sweet potatoes instead of the usual white potatoes for my chowder.  Salty bacon, sweet potatoes and corn…yeah that would work.  At least I hoped it would, since I was developing this recipe for the first time.

Lucky for me and you too, it turned out to be rich and scrumptious.

 

Chowder Ingredient Still Life
Chowder Ingredient Still Life

Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder

5 slices bacon, thinly sliced

4 TB butter

1 medium onion, small dice

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 medium sweet potatoes (yams), small dice

2 quarts chicken stock

1 large sprig fresh thyme

6 cups corn kernels, thawed if frozen

1 cup milk, half and half or cream

In a large stock pot over medium high heat, saute the bacon until crispy.  Remove and reserve the bacon.  Melt the butter in the rendered bacon fat, then add the onions. Cook about 5 minutes, until the onions have softened.  Stirring constantly, add the flour, salt and pepper.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, until lightly golden.  This is a basic roux, which will help thicken your soup.

Browning Roux
Browning Roux

Add the sweet potatoes, and stir about 1 minute, until they are covered in the roux.  The mixture should be fairly dry at this point, as the flour will have absorbed the fat.

Sweet Potatoes and Onions in Roux
Sweet Potatoes and Onions in Roux

Add the stock and thyme sprig, stirring well to mix all the ingredients together.  Don’t worry about removing the leaves from the thyme sprig, as they will come off as the soup cooks. When the soup is done you can remove the bare twig, as that is NOT edible. Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Cook for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.

Thyme Sprig in Stock
Thyme Sprig in Stock

Add the corn kernels and cook about 10 minutes for the flavors to meld. Turn off the heat, then stir in the milk, half and half or cream. If you want the soup to be very rich use cream.  I used milk and it was still delicious.

Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder
Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder

Serve your soup with crusty bread and a nice glass of wine.  OK, you don’t have to have the wine, but I sure enjoyed mine!

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista