Dear readers, I was preparing in my head a long preamble about sports-watching (or in my case, usually not-sports-watching) and how snack culture is one of the few things I can get behind in terms of Game Day. But the thing is, we don’t really have time to chit chat, because I’ve stumbled across the greatest snack of all time, and you need to hear about this instant.
Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I present you: Sriracha caramel corn.
This is, without exaggeration, quite possibly the perfect finger-food. It’s sweet, salty, spicy, just the teensy-weensiest bit garlicky, and it has a terrific crunch. It’s the kind of snack that you make for a crowd, only to realize that you’ve somehow managed to eat half the bowl by yourself before your guests have arrived. Double batches are highly recommended.
Should you choose to consume this on Sunday while watching men in padding and tights throwing a ball back and forth between writhing pile-ups, I salute you. But to be honest, this popcorn should probably become a household staple.
King of all snacks. Makes enough to feed 2 famished snackers, or 6-8 reasonable people with other things to nosh on. Recipe adapted from Dinner with Julie and Smitten Kitchen.
2 generous Tablespoons coconut/sunflower oil
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
1 cup salted, toasted peanuts (optional)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup/golden syrup
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tablespoon Sriracha (or to taste)
flaked salt, for finishing
Heat oven to 250F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large saucepan or pot with a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn kernels, cover and keep the saucepan moving until all of the kernels have popped, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the prepared bowl, removing any un-popped kernels. Toss with salted peanuts, if using.
In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup and butter and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and boil without stirring, swirling the pan occasionally, for 4 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda and Sriracha – it will foam up at first. Immediately pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn. Working quickly and carefully with a spatula, toss the caramel and popcorn together until the popcorn is well coated.
Spread out onto a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle liberally with finishing salt. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. Cool and break apart.
-Cook the caramel sauce on the lowest possible temperature until it colours. It'll take longer, but the sauce will retain more moisture and be easier to spread over the popcorn once done.
-Best served right away, but will keep for up to 3 days sealed in an airtight container.