TRUFFLED POPCORN

This weekend was the Texas/OU game — also known as the Red River Rivalry.  This is serious football.  When I was in law school at UT, I remember getting the schedule for on-campus interviews, and at the bottom it noted that there would be no interviews on “Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the Texas/OU game.”  Yep — the Texas/OU game is right up there with the Jewish high holy days.

OU beat Texas this year.  But even though I’m not celebrating a victory for my alma mater, I am celebrating this recipe for Truffled Popcorn, which is a great football party snack.  Truffles, however, are an acquired taste, and if you have not yet acquired that taste, then don’t bother with this recipe.  In fact, I first bought truffle oil a few years ago, and threw the bottle out because I thought it had gone bad!  But if you are a truffle lover, this popcorn is a special treat.  I used Roland White Truffle Oil, which is carried at my local grocery store.  Truffle oils tend to vary in intensity and flavor, so you might want to add the oil a bit at a time and taste as you go, to make sure the truffle flavor does not become overwhelming.

TRUFFLED POPCORN
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Recipe type: Snack
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon truffle oil
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon rotisserie chicken seasoning, herbes de provence, or other rosemary spice blend
Instructions
  1. Pour vegetable oil into a heavy large pot with a lid. Place 3 kernels in the oil, cover pot, and heat over medium high heat. When the first kernel pops, immediately add the popcorn kernels. Shake the pot gently to distribute kernels evenly, and leave lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. When the popping slows to 2-3 seconds apart, remove from heat and pour popcorn into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle truffle oil over popcorn, sprinkle pepper, salt, and seasoning blend over popcorn, and mix until combined.

 

 

 

 

 

BEER NUTS

I found this mustard-colored celluloid vase at a local charity thrift shop.  I initially passed it over, because after all, it is kind of ugly, but then I saw the two deer on the front:

As best I can tell, the buck is yelling at the doe, and the doe is saying, “I can’t hear you.”  Seeing these two deer reminded me of an old joke.

What’s the difference between beer nuts and deer nuts?

Beer nuts are about $1.39, and deer nuts are under a buck.

Looking at the doe’s expression here, I’m guessing that if this buck doesn’t get out of her face, he is going to wind up with no nuts.

I love deer.  The nursing school I attended was located near Steuben County in upstate New York.  Steuben County has more deer per square mile than any other county in New York, and is upstate New York’s premier deer hunting destination.  My friends and I loved to pull off the road suddenly at night and shine the headlights into a field to see the proverbial deer in the headlights.  I always dreaded the bus ride home for Thanksgiving, however, because looking out the windows on the cars below, I would see countless hunters driving home with their prize splayed out on top of their vehicle.  It’s not that I’m anti-hunting, it just wasn’t a very pleasant sight.

As a result of seeing one too many dead deer, I’m not a big fan of venison.  But this ugly vase with its two deer, which reminded me of one of my favorite old jokes, inspired me to try my hand at making beer nuts.  They were surprisingly easy and surprisingly good.  And they would go extremely well with beer.  (Incidentally, my husband recently bought some beer, and came home laughing because the cashier carded him.  I hated to tell him, but the cashier was probably just checking to see if he was eligible for the senior discount.) The next time I make them I might try adding a pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes at the end.

The key to this recipe is to use raw peanuts.  Rather than hunt all over town for raw peanuts, I ordered Super Jumbo Blanched Peanuts from Nuts.com, which I highly recommend.  They are big and fresh and reasonably priced.

Super Jumbo Blanched Peanuts 

BEER NUTS
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Recipe type: Snack
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 pound raw blanched peanuts (shelled and skinned)
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus extra for seasoning, to taste
  • 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cover a large baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil, and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and continue to boil for 15 to 20 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed. (There will still be some thick sugar solution.) Spread nuts onto prepared baking sheet, sprinkle with additional salt, to taste, and bake for 20 minutes. Stir peanuts, sprinkle with additional salt, if desired, and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Nuts should be lightly golden brown.
  3. Allow to cool on baking sheet, breaking up any nuts that have stuck together. Store nuts in an air-tight container until ready to serve.

 

Boiling in their sugar bath. 

I’m only here for the beer!