(Family Features) The winter months provide many occasions to celebrate, and no celebration is complete without tasty treats. A perfect partner for a broad variety of flavors, popcorn is a versatile pantry staple that can be served plain or as a better-for-you addition to seasonal snacks.
With no artificial additives or preservatives, light and airy popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO and gluten free, making it a sensible option to satisfy cravings for something savory, sweet and just about every flavor in-between. Plus, whole-grain popcorn has energy-producing carbohydrates and fiber, which can help keep you satisfied longer.
As a way to honor one of America’s oldest and most beloved snack foods, National Popcorn Day on Jan. 19 is a perfect opportunity to pop up a bowl to enjoy with loved ones or create whole-grain culinary masterpieces like fragrant and flavorful Jamaican Jerk Popcorn, which features hot pepper, spices and jerk butter to help you warm up from the inside out. Or consider another tasty snack option like Furikake Popcorn, a lighter recipe exploding with the flavors of sesame, nori and a Japanese spice blend.
You can combine favorite flavors for movie night with Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn, which is perfect for settling in on a snowy winter’s eve, and an option like Rocky Road Popcorn Clusters, featuring chocolate, marshmallows and nuts, are perfect for sharing with loved ones after an evening meal.
Find more fun, fluffy and flavorful recipes to celebrate everything winter has to offer at Popcorn.org.
Yield: 2-3 servings
- 1 nori sheet, broken into pieces
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 6 cups popped popcorn
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- To make furikake seasoning: In spice grinder or using mortar and pestle, grind nori with 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds until finely ground. Transfer to small bowl; stir in remaining sesame seeds, salt and sugar.
- In large bowl, toss popcorn with butter and furikake seasoning until evenly coated.
- Tips: Use store-bought furikake seasoning and season to taste.
- To toast sesame seeds: In small dry skillet over medium heat, cook sesame seeds 2-3 minutes, or until lightly golden and fragrant. Let cool completely before using.
Jamaican Jerk Popcorn
Yield: 4-6 servings
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon minced, seeded scotch bonnet chili pepper
- 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- In small saucepan, combine butter, chili pepper, lime zest, chili powder, thyme, allspice, pepper, ginger, garlic powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, onion powder and salt. Cook over low heat 3-5 minutes, or until butter melts and mixture is fragrant.
- In large bowl, toss popcorn with spice mixture until evenly coated.
Tip: Omit scotch bonnet pepper and substitute 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, if preferred.
Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn
Yield: 6-8 servings (1 cup each)
- 1/4 cup nonfat Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1/8 teaspoon dried sage
- black pepper, to taste
- 12 cups air-popped popcorn
- 3/4 cup turkey pepperoni, cut into bite-size bits
- olive oil cooking spray
- In small bowl, combine Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, oregano, marjoram, basil, sage and pepper; mix well.
- In large bowl, combine popcorn and turkey pepperoni; spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray.
- Sprinkle popcorn and pepperoni with cheese mixture; toss to coat evenly.
Rocky Road Popcorn Clusters
Yield: 3 dozen
- 1 bag (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 4 cups popped popcorn
- 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
- In small microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips in microwave on high 1 minute, until melted. Stir in vegetable oil.
- In large bowl, add popcorn, marshmallows and walnuts. Pour melted chocolate over mixture, tossing to coat.
- Drop mixture by tablespoonful onto wax paper-lined jellyroll pan.
- Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
Source: Popcorn Board
(Family Features) When tried-and-true family favorites turn stale and boring, digging through cookbooks and sorting through blogs for new recipes may seem far too time-consuming for your busy evenings. However, a simple ethnic twist in the kitchen can turn bland dinners into exciting meals.
You don’t need a plane ticket to explore international cuisines. Start with a versatile ingredient like rice, one of the most common kitchen staples around the world. It can transport you to another country in recipes like Korean-inspired Kimchi Fried Rice Bowl with Fried Egg, which provides a savory blend of veggies, basmati rice, soy sauce, sesame oil and more. A quick and easy recipe complete in less than 30 minutes, it’s a simple option for exploring new flavors and encouraging kiddos to expand their horizons.
For a spicy take on ethnic cuisine, you can push mealtime over the top with Thai Cashew Chicken Fried Rice, ready to eat in half an hour. Aromatic jasmine rice is cooked to fluffy perfection then cooled before being combined with sauteed chicken, sugar snap peas and garlic. The dish gets a kick from a Thai red chili pepper, which offers a moderate to hot level of spice; simply omit if spice isn’t nice for you or your loved ones. Mix in soy sauce and a sprinkle of cashews for a truly traditional Thai flavor.
Ready in just 10 minutes, Success Rice’s no measure, no mess, boil-in-bag options make these recipes and other delicious ethnic staples possible with perfectly fluffy rice and quinoa. As a foolproof solution for dishes worth savoring, it takes all the guesswork out of making rice and gives home cooks more time to focus on the rest of the recipe and dinner together as a family.
Find more family meal ideas with an ethnic twist at SuccessRice.com.
Kimchi Fried Rice Bowl with Fried Egg
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 2 bags Success Basmati Rice
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup kimchi, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons sesame oil
- 4 eggs, fried
- Prepare rice according to package directions.
- In large wok or skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Stir-fry mushrooms and onions 3-5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in kimchi, garlic and ginger; stir-fry 1-2 minutes, or until well coated.
- Stir in rice, spinach, soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir-fry 2-3 minutes, or until spinach starts to wilt and rice is heated through.
- Divide rice between four bowls and top each with one fried egg.
Thai Cashew Chicken Fried Rice
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 2 bags Success Jasmine Rice
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
- 1/2 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 Thai red chili pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/3 cup roasted cashews
- Prepare rice according to package directions. Let cool completely.
- In large wok or skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Season chicken with salt. Cook chicken, stirring, 3-5 minutes, or until starting to brown. Stir in sugar snap peas, garlic and chili pepper, if desired. Cook, stirring, 3-5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and snap peas are tender-crisp.
- Stir in rice. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring to combine. Stir in soy sauce. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until rice is heated through.
- Sprinkle with cashews before serving.
Source: Success Rice
Exciting Flavors for Every Day
(Family Features) In restaurant kitchens nationwide — and at home — Latin American flavors continue to be a hot trend — and it’s not because of spiciness. The unique culture and geography of countries such as Chile offer exciting possibilities for everyday cooking, adding flavor and excitement to American dishes and dinner tables.
Chilean cuisine is full of flavor and color and owes its delicious variety to a combination of cultural influences: native Indian, Spanish (including Arab and Jewish), French, German, English and Italian.
Chile is about twice the size of California and stretches along the Pacific coastline of South America. This narrow country — only 265 miles at its widest point — boasts a variety of climates, allowing for richly varied agriculture. Also, the seasons in the southern hemisphere are opposite those in the northern hemisphere, so fresh fruits and vegetables associated with summer in the U.S. are available from Chile during the winter.
Chilean products you may already have in your kitchen include:
- Olive oil
- Stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines and plums
Seafood. With nearly 3,000 miles of coastline, Chile offers an extraordinary bounty of seafood. The clean Pacific waters teem with oysters, prawns, salmon, abalone, sea bass and more.
Wine. Chile is the world’s fifth largest wine exporter, and culinary writers regularly sing praises for Chilean wines. Michael Green, the wine and spirits consultant for Gourmet Magazine, said, “Chile is a sleeping giant in terms of the quality, diversity and value of its wines. The region is home to some of the most thrilling and tasty wines in the world.”
Spices. One of the most unique flavors of Chilean cooking comes from a spice blend called merkén from the Mapuches, a native people of Chile. It’s an aromatic mixture of dried and smoked red chilis, toasted coriander seeds, cumin and salt. Merkén is an extremely versatile spice with an attractive copper color and smoky flavor. It can be sprinkled on fish, shrimp, poultry, beef and vegetables, or added to soups, sauces, cheese and pasta. Available in specialty grocery stores, it can also be ordered online.
Produce. Chilean chef Pilar Rodriguez has created recipes featuring unique Chilean flavors. One centers on the carica, also known as Chilean Golden Papaya, and ulmo honey. Carica is a unique fruit that has been described as a combination of a mango and a peach. It can be used as an appetizer or dessert, in salads and hot dishes. You’ll find it sold in jars in specialty stores and online. Ulmo honey comes from the ulmo tree, native to Chile. It has a creamy texture and a buttery sweetness that make an excellent accompaniment to mild cheeses. It is also available at specialty stores and online.
Chile offers a wide variety of fresh foods and rich flavors to discover.
Chile’s food growing regions
goats, llamas, subtropical fruits such as carica, scallops
avocados, olives, apples, grapes, wine
Central Valley South
dairy products, razor clams, kiwi, grains, cattle, wine
cattle, dairy, berries, salmon, Chilean abalones
Extreme South and Patagonia
beef and sheep, Chilean king crab
Seared Salmon & Avocado Tartar
By Chef Pilar Rodriguez
- 1/2 cup fleur de sel (coarse sea salt)
- 1/2 cup cilantro seeds
- 1 tablespoon merkén
- 1 tablespoon cochayuyo molido ahumado (smoked seaweed powder), optional
- 6 3.5- to 4-ounce boneless, skinless salmon fillets
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups avocado, cut in small cubes
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon finely diced yellow chili pepper
- Salt to taste
- Pinch sugar
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/2 parsley leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- Lemon zest
- Coarsely grind and mix salt and all the spices. Reserve in shallow bowl.
- In a non-stick pan, sear salmon filets with olive oil on both sides, just getting a nice golden color (about 90 seconds per side). Do not over cook. The center of the fillet has to be raw.
- Press one side of each fillet into salt-spice mixture and set aside.
- Mix all ingredients for Avocado Tartar in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the salmon fillets over the tartar. Serve immediately.
Ulmo Honey Panna Cotta, Grilled Citrus Carica Salad
By Chef Pilar Rodriguez
Makes 8 to 10 4-ounce portions
- 1 quart cream
- 1/4 cup ulmo honey OR honey of choice
- 4 gelatin sheets OR 1 package powdered gelatin
- 4 full caricas OR fresh papayas cut in half to grill
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Lemon zest
- Fresh mint leaves
- Heat cream in small sauce pan and turn off the heat right before boiling point. Add honey and, using a wooden spoon, mix well with the cream. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
- Put the gelatin in cold water until you see the gelatin is soft — about three minutes. Discard excess water (gelatin will be softened) and dissolve gelatin in the cream mixture.
- Fill panna cotta containers (or 4-ounce ramekins) 3/4 full and chill until set (about three hours in the refrigerator).
- Brush the caricas with olive oil and grill them over medium heat until color browns a bit (one minute per side). Right before serving, sprinkle lemon juice, sugar to taste and lemon zest on top. Serve on the side of the Panna Cottas (in containers) with mint to garnish.
Source: Trade Commission of Chile