Sriracha Braised Brisket

Brisket1

 

I dedicate this post to my friend Robert, at work, also known as Number 2, whose love of Sriracha and meat knows no bounds.  Thanks for always fixing the things I break.

If you don’t get that reference, this is probably not the blog for you.  Because I primarily talk about 3 things, The Boy, food, and the nerdy things I’m into.

However, if you do get that reference, welcome, and prepare for the best brisket recipe you’ll ever try.

Side note: this recipe is not for the faint of heart.  Or mouth.  But, it is probably my favorite brisket recipe because SRIRACHA.

This recipe comes about from The Oatmeal’s post.  You know how sometimes you’re really into something, but you don’t act like you’re really into it, because, I mean, who loves hot sauce that much.  But, then you end up in one of those crazy hot sauce stores, or you see something online and realize there’s a cult of people just like you, who seemingly love hot sauce way too much and you feel like your life is finally coming the fuck together?  That’s basically the story of this recipe.

Cooking with Sriracha = best. food. ever.

Included in this recipe is a Sriracha BBQ sauce.  It’s made from the juices of the brisket and peppers and that makes it amazing.  However, if all you want is the BBQ sauce, I’ll explain how to make that so it tastes kinda as good, but not really because there’s no dead cow involved.

The key to making brisket, regardless of recipe, is to cook it nice and slow, simmering in some kind of liquid.  In this case, delicious sriracha.  I mean, there’s other stuff in there too, but let’s not get carried away about what’s important.  The easiest way to achieve this, is in a crock pot, as the recipe states.  However, if you don’t have one, you can cook it in a covered pan in the oven at 225 for 8 hours, or 275 for 6.

 

 

Brisket8

 

1. Pat the meat dry and let it come to room temperature.

This is a practice you should take with all your meats, prior to cooking them.  It will get the juices flowing before you add the heat and will give you a better tasting, and more tender meal.  Turn the meat on a platter so the fattier of the two sides is down.  You may want to trim some of that fatty layer off if the butcher didn’t do it for you.  Season the non, or rather less, fatty side generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Montreal Steak Spice (I live by McCormick’s).  The spices will settle into the meat as it comes to room temperature.

 

 

Seasoned and waiting for glory.

Seasoned and waiting for glory.

 

 

2. Garlicify that mother.

This is a garlic lover’s trade secret.  You’re going to put the garlic IN the meat.  First, flip it over, so the spices are down and the fat is up.  Then take a sharp and pointy knife and cut some slashes perpendicular to the grain of the meat.  (Don’t make them too big, you’re just putting some sliced garlic in there.  Then, hold the slits open and jam that garlic in the meat.

3. Time for the crock pot.

Put the brisket fatty garlic side up, then combine the broth ingredients (beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, sliced shallot, and soy sauce).   Pour that mixture over the beef, but don’t let it submerge it.  You want it about 2/3rds of the way up the meat.  This is the braising liquid.  Discard the leftovers, or heat it up for an au jus for people afraid of the glory of sriracha.

 

 

Crock Potted!

Crock Potted!

 

 

4. Make the paste of dreams.

Combine the sriracha, Thai garlic chili paste, minced garlic, diced shallot, soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, sugar and teriyaki sauce in a bowl and mix until it becomes a firey wonder.

 

 

Mmmm, my mouth is full of regrets and joy already.

Mmmm, my mouth is full of regrets and joy already.

 

 

5. Glaze the meat!

Pour the paste over the meat (some will slide into the broth, and that’s ok).  You just want to make sure the entire brisket is covered.  I was going to put a picture in of that stage, but it looks almost identical to the above picture.  Reserve any leftovers to add to the BBQ sauce.  Though, I rarely allow leftovers of this.

6.  Cook it!

You’ll cook it on high for 4-6 hours, or on low for 8-10.  Depends on your cooker.   It will be done when you can pull it apart with your fork.  Scrape the remaining paste from the meat into the broth and stir it, this can be served as is for au jus, or used to make a BBQ sauce.  Once the meat has cooled for 10-20 minutes, take a knife and cut off the top layer of fat.  Shred it with a fork.

 

 

Tender spicy awesomeness

Tender spicy awesomeness

 

 

6. While the meat is resting, make the sauce.

The BBQ sauce is going to be made in a separate pan on medium low.  Combine a small can of tomato paste (2-3 tablespoons ish), 2 cups of the drippings (the stuff you mixed – paste and broth), 3 tbs. white vinegar, 2 cloves minced garlic, 3 tbs. Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup sugar, 3 tbsp teriyaki sauce, and 3 more tablespoons of sriracha.  Let that heat until bubbly, then add to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  You can serve this warm, or keep it in a container in the fridge.  I’ve no idea how long this officially lasts, but we found it good a few months later.

7. Revel in the glory of meat!

This is by far my favorite part.

 

 

Majestic.

Majestic.

 

Recipe and PDF follow:

Sriracha Braised Brisket

Ingredients

Brisket @least 2lbs, but it can go up to 8lbs without adjusting the recipe

1 tbsp. salt

3 tsp. granulated garlic

1 tbsp. Monterey Steak Spice (I use McCormik’s)

2 cloves garlic, sliced

For the Broth:

½ cup low sodium beef stock

3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

3 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped

½ shallot, thinly sliced

3 tbsp. soy sauce

For the Paste:

½ cup sriracha

2 tbsp. garlic chili paste

2 cloves minced garlic

½ shallot, diced

2 tbsp. soy sauce

1 ½ tsp. sesame oil

1 tsp. oyster sauce

2 tbsp. sugar

3 tbsp. teriyaki sauce

For the BBQ Sauce:

1 small can tomato paste

2 cups drippings from cooked brisket

3 tbs. white vinegar

2 cloves minced garlic

3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup sugar

3 tbsp. teriyaki sauce (Kinkoman’s)

3 tbsp. sriracha

 

 

Directions:         

  1. Pat the brisket dry and coat the non—fatty (or less fatty) side with salt, granulated garlic, and Monterey Steak Spice and let the meat rest to room temperature.
  2. Once the brisket has warmed, flip it over, and using a knife, cut 5-6 slits perpendicular to the grain of the meat. Insert the slices of garlic.
  3. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the broth, and stir to combine.
  4. Place the brisket, fatty side up, in the crock pot and pour the broth over it. *It should NOT cover the brisket over the top. It should fill ½ – ¾ of the way to the top of the brisket.   Discard any remaining broth.
  5. Combine all ingredients for the paste in a separate bowl. Cover the brisket in the paste and reserve the remaining for the BBQ sauce.
  6. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8-12.
  7. Once cooked (you can tell because it will fall apart with a fork), use a spatula to remove the paste from the beef and add to a pot.
  8. On medium high heat, combine all ingredients for the BBQ sauce and cook for 10-15 minutes or until thick.
  9. Server over the brisket and try not to faint with joy.

Fictional Men Are So Irritating

I think I’ve said this a couple hundred times, but I am a fan of the written word.  I grew up around it, as both of my parents were avid readers.  My office is just a desk and some curtains and walls of books because I like to feel surrounded by them.  (Ok, admittedly, there is a gun display case in my office full of guns and geeky figurines from my Loot Crate subscription, which I highly recommend, but that’s only until I can move it out of here for the Boy.)

 

Anyhow, back to my point.  I like to read.  I’m a nerd, and that’s fine by me, because I can survive anything as long as I have a few good books.

 

My current read is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, which I am quite enjoying.  My mother listened to it on cd when I was younger, and there are some parts I recall from riding in the car with her.  You can actually buy it on Amazon on paperback or for your Kindle.  I guess you’d describe the book as a romance, because it’s centers around the relationship of the main characters, Claire an English nurse from the late 1940s (which should be enough to tell you she was involved in the war) and her husband Jaime, a Scottish lord from the 18th century (I know, right?)  There’s time travel, and violence, and love, and LOTS of boom boom.

 

But, fear not, it’s not your standard smutty harlequin sex scenes, don’t think I’m not in favor of those, but it’s presented in a more subtle way.  No throbbing members get inserted into trembling orifices.  But, it’s still quite a lusty read.  Not my usual stuff, but I dig it.  I was drawn in by the time travel.  Fantasy and history smashed together? Yes, please!

 

I swear I have a point, that leads to the title.  I’m just setting the scene.

 

Gabaldon creates a wonderful relationship between Claire and Jaime and that, I think, is why I enjoy it so much.  Most romance (the kind that is really more erotica than anything) misses that point.  The relationship doesn’t ring true.  It’s too fast or all lust.  But, Claire and Jaime feel real, they laugh when they’re trying to make love, they tease each other, they worry for one another, and they fight like there’s no tomorrow.  While Jaime often says things no man would say, but every woman longs to hear, the overall feel of their relationship is quite real.

 

So real, in fact, that Jaime often reminds me of The Boy.  Except, of course, when he eloquently expresses his feelings.  That is so not The Boy.  But, he is brave, caring, stubborn, protective, strong, witty, and clueless to the ways of women, much like The Boy.

 

As a matter of fact, Jaime reminds me so much of The Boy, that sometimes when Jaime does something stupid or annoying, or refuses to listen, I get mad at The Boy.  I wish I could say that this irrational behavior is new and not something that happens to me with every story I read or movie I see, or television show I watch, but it’s not.  It’s pretty frequent.  The Boy is just used to getting smacked if he sits too near me at any time.

 

In my defense, the smacks aren’t always because someone’s done something dumb, but I also smack him when I’m happy.  It’s enthusiasm.  I’m not crazy, and I know I can’t be the only person who does that.

 

Long story short, fictional characters are ruining my marriage.  Or, I need therapy.  One or the other.

A Whole New Blog!

If you didn’t sing “A Whole New World” from Aladdin just now when you saw that title, I’m afraid we can’t be friends anymore.
If you did, welcome back, we’re besties.  I’m sorry for you, but you’ll get used to it.  Or become driven insane.  Something like that.

 

I had to redo the blog because it wasn’t responsive, so when you’d check it on a mobile device (phone or tablet) it looked different and was very difficult to navigate, and Christi, the designer who’s always helped me with the blog when I break something, was nagging me about that.

 

I very easily could have kept the layout of the blog as it was and just gone in and recoded everything.  As a matter of fact, I had been doing a lot of testing on that on a separate page.  It. Took. Forever.  So, I evaluated what I loved and wanted to change about the blog and realized the easiest way to do this would be to update to a different theme and just replace some of the simple CSS changes.  (My old theme had A LOT of added CSSl.)

 

So, I went from seriously months of work that still wasn’t completed, to 90 minutes of work and a new look.  Which I love.  Do you love it?  I don’t care, you have to tell me you love it.  I’m a princess, and that is how this blog works.

 

I really hope you love it.

 

I swear to you, I’ll find something more interesting to talk about on my next post.  Probably.  But, don’t hold your breath, I’m not really all that interesting.

This entry was posted in Musings.

I like big words

I’d follow that up with “and I cannot lie,” but, I feel like that’s been played out.  But, just so you know, the song is now stuck in my head:

God. Damnit.

 

At least there’s an orchestra.  That makes it classy, right?

 

So, I’ve been studying vocabulary.  Because I want to take the GREs, not because I’m just super nerdy.  Even though I am totally super nerdy. (According to The Boy.  Thanks, honey.) ::cough:: jackass.

 

I just started, so I’m at the start of the A’s, and I’ve been learning quite a bit despite the fact that of the 10 words I’m starting with, only 1 was brand new to me.  “Abstemious”  (aab stee me uhs).  It’s also my favorite word.  It’s fun to say.  It means “moderate in appetite”.  Not just hunger, but appetite for anything.  I felt like I should clear that up because when I was talking to The Boy about it, I said, “Some people feel that after marriage a couple’s passion becomes abstemious,” and he thought abstemious just meant boom boom.  It could also be used as, “The Boy and I have little in common as his taste for reading and my taste for the great outdoors are both abstemious.”

 

It’s a good word.

 

I did learn that “abscond” does NOT mean to steal.  It means “to leave secretly”.  Which, totally makes more sense, because you abscond with something, you don’t abscond something.  I kinda felt dumb after that.  29 years and the lightbulb for that word just now goes off.

 

There was a definition I don’t agree with.  Their description of abyss is “an extremely deep hole”.  Am I the only one who thinks that description is a bit oversimplified and does not truly depict the meaning of the word abyss?  An abyss is nothingness.  It is devoid of life and light, and that’s what gives that particular word power.  Would you call the Grand Canyon (we won’t get into my opinions on the creativity of that word at this time.) an abyss?  According to that definition, you would.  I feel like “abyss” has a more solemn and lonely.  Maybe it’s just me.  It’s probably just  me.

 

So, there you have it, my most boring post ever because it’s essentially a vocabulary lesson.  But, hey, at least I’m back.  I’ve had a rough few months at work, and because it’s unprofessional to air things like that for the world to see, I won’t.  Instead of ranty words and frustrations, you get vocabulary.  Lucky you.

 

Also, apparently, some nudie pics of celebrities were leaked and people are mad at the celebrities?!?  Hello, 1954, good to see you again.  Seriously, can’t we all be pissed at the hacker and all the media outlets being disrespectful and sharing clearly private pictures.  Be honest with yourself, if you’ve never taken a nude pic, you’re either really boring, or lying, and quite frankly, I’m not interested in associating with you.   Let’s not blame these ladies for being human, or even say it’s their fault for having weak passwords.  Let’s blame the asshole who assumed those images had a right to be viewed by anyone without their owner’s permission.  The real indecencies here are the people demonizing, manipulating, and gaining profit and notoriety from these women’s bodies.

 

See?  You did get ranty words.  Bonus!

#yesallwomen

#yesallwomen

 

Who’s sick of hearing the “#yesallwomen” tweets and updates that have swept social media since the tragedy in Santa Barbara?

Newsflash, you’re part of the problem. A big part.

Sorry to hit you with some tough love there, but you may as well get used to it, because the love in this post isn’t going to get any easier. Just be grateful that the above didn’t say:

Newsflash, you’re part of the problem, asshat.

I typically avoid conversations on hot button topics on my blog. Truthfully, this is a release for me and it is supposed to be a place of entertainment, so I keep my personal opinions to myself generally. I don’t want this to become a soap box. Occasionally, something slips through, and I just can’t keep quiet anymore. This is one of those moments.

Socially, we tend to view women’s issues as a thing of the past. This occurs in the same misguided idea that racism and religious prejudice are things of the past. Things that went away once women got the right to vote and own land, or segregation, or the Spanish inquisition. But, let me explain to those of you fortunate enough to live your life without ever being maligned: just because it isn’t as bad as it was (or still is in some parts of the world) doesn’t mean it’s not still a major problem.

Just ask any victim of the any prejudice. I guarantee that it happens so much more frequently than you have the luxury of having to imagine.

The fact of the matter is, we have adapted to protect ourselves from it in so many ways. We just try to act a certain way in mixed company to avoid offending the offensive, just to prevent those hateful words, and threats of violence from those around us. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done or said anything in the past, the fact of the matter is that it has happened so frequently to us that we have no choice but to be on high alert with every new person we meet.

You think this is an exaggeration or excessive? I guarantee it’s not. Ask a young black man if he speaks differently to a white woman he randomly encounters in public, or a woman how differently she walks when alone versus with a group of people. I bet every single time he or she will tell you that there is a difference.

What’s excessive is that we have to do this.

Where does this come from? Easy, we allow it to happen. We allow these prejudices to happen. For example, “bitch” is a totally acceptable word in our society. I hate it. HATE IT. It implies two things, 1. The person (typically a woman) is at the level of a dog, and 2. The person is subservient to the speaker. Can’t stand that word. I don’t care who uses it, it promotes the degeneration of women and should not be considered acceptable.

Another example that seems so innocuous: the “nice guy syndrome”. We’ve all heard of this, probably even laughed about it. The idea that women only date assholes. And I’m not arguing that a lot of women date assholes, but the premise behind this “syndrome” is that it’s not fair that the nice guy doesn’t get the girl.

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

Why is it presumed that a woman is required to be interested in a guy who shows her interest? Nice or otherwise. The reason she doesn’t like you, homeskillet, isn’t because you’re nice. It’s likely something else. You may be ugly as sin. Sorry, suck it up, you don’t attract her, get over it. Maybe you smell. Maybe you’re so desperate you make her uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter the reason, she’s not into you. Move the fuck on.

Moreover, you’re so busy mooning over this girl who’s not interested in you, you’re probably missing the girl who is mooning over you. You, in essence, are treating that girl the same way your crush is treating you. (Feel free to insert, “asshat” anywhere in the above.)

I have read several things online that generally state the reasoning behind a lot of these differences. Why others don’t understand how major a problem all of this is. I found instances of conversations or interviews with both men and women. Men were asked why they were threatened of women – the answer? Typically something as innocuous as a woman’s opinion threatens a man’s ideal of masculinity. When the same question was asked to women about men, the answer was quite different. Death, violence, rape.

Why?

Why are these answers so different. A lot of people boil it down to the simple fact that by their nature, most men can overpower most women and the same is rarely true vice versa. That’s likely a factor, but it’s deeper than “boys are stronger than girls”.

As a woman, I am accustomed to having my ideals threatened. I have lived with the emotional abuse that comes from everyone around me for being a woman my whole life. “You can’t do that, you’re a girl,” “you’d be so much prettier if…” unwanted advance? “you shouldn’t have…”, “girls don’t do that,” “you’re being so emotional,” “man up,”.   All of this and more, catcalls, comments on my figure, my weight, my hair, my clothes. These are things I just am used to as a woman. What else can a man do to me emotionally that society hasn’t already?

I work in a male dominated field. I have to prove things that my male counterparts don’t. I have to do twice as much to prove the value of my skills. I’m used to this, truthfully, it’s part of life at this point. As a women, I walk into most meetings with my guard up, because it’s very likely that my male counterparts will do what so many males do when someone the deem as weaker disagrees – try to bully them into agreement. I just go in assuming this will happen so I’m ready if and when it does.

This is not gender related, but it is prejudice related. Before I continue, you need to understand how big a fucking deal it is that I am saying this. It’s not something I necessarily hide, but it’s also not something that I advertise. Not even my in-laws really know this about me, so to post this on the internet means a lot to me.

I’m not a Christian.

Seems so small and so easy, right? Well, I have a lot of devout friends and family who will not find the above statement acceptable. I used to think I kept it to myself out of respect for the beliefs of others, but honestly, it was self-preservation. Remember, I was born and raised in the Bible belt, and I have learned to defend myself from those who think they can convert me or those that tell me I’m going to go to hell. Or worse, those that just drop me from their lives entirely.

I don’t need to be saved. As a matter of fact, I tend to believe that those trying to save me are the ones who need to be saved from wickedness. Not all, but a lot.

I have amazing friends who know this about me and don’t care. For example, my best friend, Grit McGrit, is a very religious woman. She knows that I do not hold to the same beliefs, and still accepts me for who I am. We often have religious discussions and we learn from and challenge each other. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m fairly certain she prays for my soul because she’s convinced I’m gonna end up in hell based on her beliefs, and quite frankly, I’m grateful for that. She doesn’t think that maliciously, and her prayers for my soul are genuine. While prayer isn’t important to me, it is to her. For her, a prayer in my honor is a gift of love, and I couldn’t ask for anything more. (For the record, I keep her in my thoughts and wish her nothing but the happiness and the best of everything too.)

What all this boils down to is I have been raised to protect myself. To keep my keys ready, to know how to use pepper spray, to dress a certain way, to know how to handle my drink at a party or bar, to say the phrases that will keep me off the radar of those who think they can change my head and heart in a single conversation. I was raised constantly on the defensive from men, other women, and nasty zealots.

Just because these threats aren’t present from every member of the above groups, doesn’t mean that this isn’t an issue. It won’t be an issue, when it stops. When it’s no longer “cute” to make disparaging comments at women. When a woman can walk into a room without feeling threatened by judgmental women and predatory men. When “boys will be boys” is not an excuse for males to treat others poorly or demean women. When young boys are raised to understand that girls are just as important and worthy of respect as their fellow males.

Note:

I am perfectly aware that this is not an issue every man causes, so the bullshit response of #notallmen pisses me off even more.  I married a great man, he’s wonderful, but even him I have had to give some perspective to.  You, as a man, may not have tormented a woman to her face, but how many times have you joked with your friends in private?  How many times have you witnessed other men be misogynistic and done nothing?  You may not have done anything, but by not standing up to stop it (then and now) you may as well have.

Everyone, even me, is guilty of doing something like I mentioned in this post. No one is perfect, and that’s not what is expected. I know that there are times when insensitive things are done or said because the person doesn’t realize they’re insensitive (I’ve totally done this – sometimes my curiosity gets the best of me and others are inadvertently offended). However, until we stop putting the blame on the victims of these prejudices, this will remain an issue.

#yesallwomen

It’s not just about women, it’s about the underbelly of our society that finds prejudice and mistreatment of others as acceptable.

So, keep hashtagging the hell out of that. Hashtag your own stories, show empathy and solidarity for women and understand that we are maligned as frequently as others. Don’t let, “because she’s a woman,” be an excuse for mistreatment of another human being.

Here are some of mine, feel free to add to them and keep the tag going.

 

Because my gender is not a factor in my intelligence. #yesallwomen

Until men have to walk at night on the phone with someone to prevent an attack. #yesallwomen

Because I am judged on my looks as much if not more than my skills, experience, and work. #yesallwomen

Until I don’t have to worry about what may have happened when I set my drink down at a bar. #yesallwomen

 

 

Southern Pimento Cheese Spread

Pimento Cheese 1

Happy Memorial Day, y’all!  The Boy and I love to celebrate holidays, and by “The Boy and I” I really mean I love to celebrate holidays, and The Boy just typically goes with it.

To celebrate Memorial Day, The Boy and I will be taking a picnic to go fishing, and it’s a fantastically southern meal.  Naturally, when I use the description, “fantastically southern,” Pimento Cheese Spread is included.  It’s so delightfully wonderful and not at all good for you.

I have this theory, crackers were developed solely for pimento cheese spread, and my Southern Pimento Cheese Spread tops them perfectly.

Pimento Cheese 2

I love this stuff so much.  I may or may not have used it to top my hot dog at lunch time.

 

Pimento Cheese Title

Ingredients

3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used finely grated, but any grate will work)

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 cup mayonaise

4 oz jar of pimentos (and juice)

pinch of cayenne pepper

3 shakes of hot sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Process

1. If needed, shred the cheese and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine mayo, pimentos (juice and all), cayenne pepper, hot sauce, salt and pepper

3. Toss in the cheese and stir until everything is combined.

4. Serve it over crackers, or on toast, or grill it like grilled cheese and fall in love with Pimento Cheese Spread.

You can download a printable here: Southern Pimento Cheese Spread.  I’m trying something new with these things.

Cinnamon Vanilla Caramel Pop Corn

Cinnamon Vanilla Caramel Pop Corn

Cinnamon Vanilla Caramel Pop Corn

 

So, one of my first friends out here in Colorado had a personal emergency and is going to be driving back to her hometown this week.  For her, that’s a 21 hour drive, and having just recently made that drive moving out here from Virginia, I figured I’d do anything I can to make the trip a little easier.

Naturally, I figured I’d make a snack, something to give a burst of energy on those long roads (especially the ones in Kansas).  My criteria?  It needed to be sweet, easy to munch on, and I needed to have the ingredients on hand.

I figured caramel pop corn would be the perfect snack, but I wanted it to be a little more robust than traditional caramel corn.  To be fair and honest, this recipe was the inspiration for my version.

I made a lot of pop corn, some for my friend’s trip, some for my store, and some for The Boy and I (which, subsequently didn’t last the night).

Snack time!

Snack time!

This is a very simple recipe, and it’s packed with flavor, but the cinnamon and vanilla can both be, “to taste”, so feel free to ignore the amount I added if you’d like to make it your own.

Enough stalling, here’s the recipe!

Cinnamon Vanilla Caramel Pop Corn

Cinnamon Vanilla Caramel Pop Corn

Cinnamon Vanilla Caramel Pop Corn

Ingredients

2 sticks of butter (yep, TWO)

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup honey

3 tsp. vanilla extract*

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

6-8 oz air popped pop corn (approximately 1 cup uncooked kernels)**

 

Process

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

1. Pop your corn, remove any unpopped kernels, and set it aside in a large bowl.  I suggest greasing the bowl with cooking spray or shortening as this will prevent the caramel from sticking.  Grease or spray every item that will touch the caramel.  That’s a pro-tip for you.

2. In a large non-stick skillet or sauce pan, melt the butter on medium low.  Add the sugars, cinnamon, and honey to the pot, and stir to combine.  Turn the mixture up to medium – it will start to boil.  Once this happens, you need to be stirring constantly to ensure the sugars don’t burn.  Let the mixture simmer for 4-6 minutes until it is thick and smooth.

3. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the vanilla and baking powder.  This will create an awesomely violent reaction, but just keep stirring through it until it calms down.

4. Pour the caramel over the corn and stir to combine.  This step is easiest to do if you do it in batches – I did 3.  Don’t feel that you need to use all of the caramel, put a light coating over the pop corn, too much and it won’t get crunchy.  If you want to make something chewy, like caramel popcorn balls, stop here, use all the caramel, and shape the popcorn.

5.  Split the pop corn onto two baking trays.  Another pro-tip: cover those bad boys in tin foil so they are easier to clean.

6. Bake the tray in 10 minute intervals, stirring in between.  I did 4 rounds per batch, but you may need more or less.  Let the pop corn cool for at least 5 minutes, if it turns nice an crunchy, it’s done, if it stays kinda chewy, put it back in for another round.

7. Once the popcorn has cooled, you’ll likely need to break it up again because it will stick together.  You can serve it now, or keep it for 1-2 weeks in an air tight container or zip lock.

 

*I recommend using pure vanilla extract, it will give you a hint of depth from the alcohol in it.

** If you want to use microwave popcorn, I suggest Orville Redenbacher’s Organic Simply Salted because it will compliment the caramel the best.  Also, it is by far the most superior pop corn.

 

This stuff is seriously amazing.  The Boy and I already ate our batch.

 

The Boy and I consider this, "not eating the whole bowl".

The Boy and I consider this, “not eating the whole bowl”.

This entry was posted in Musings.