Thursday, October 9, 2014

coconut popcorn with mustard seeds

it's fair to say that i alternate between wishing
that i could spend all of my free time - and
time that i don't have - cooking,
and asking larry to ring for the butler to make us 
dinner. as you can imagine, when the former
comes to fruition, it's better for everyone.

i am typically home, not working, only one
weekend day. that means that the other day is spent
running around cooking, doing laundry and getting ready
for the week.

lately, since easton's naps have become more regular,
we've tried to fit all of our cooking into that two hour period.
(we're usually not successful. two hours is tight.)

but, sometimes: we're just tired. 
sometimes, we really need to use easton's napping time to...
do nothing. and, sometimes, we let ourselves.

we spent last saturday's nap:
eating lunch,
watching top chef duels,
finding out that teen mom is still on tv,
all from the couch.
and, after all that, 
easton was still asleep.

i kicked myself for not throwing that giant
blue hubbard squash, that i bought too many
weeks ago, into the oven before laying down.
i realized i could have put together the dry
ingredients to prepare for tomorrow's
batch of weekly oatmeal. i could have pressed
the tofu for sunday night's dinner (spoiler: still
have not pressed that tofu or cooked the squash.)

because i was feeling guilty,
and because melissa clark's
coconut and mustard seed popcorn 
had been in my head for over 24 hours,
since i first spotted the recipe,
i decided that making a snack - 
no where to be found on the to do list -
needed to be completed immediately.
(by the way: totally love the new
cooking page over there.)

i stuck pretty true to the recipe.
unsweeted coconut, which is toasted
in a dry pot, mustard seeds (i used yellow
instead of black - preference) heated in
coconut oil, until they became a popping burn
hazard, popcorn kernels and salt. at the
end, i sprinkled in chili powder for a little
kick, which i was grateful for. (next time,
i have my eye on garam masala, instead.)

the results, i thought, were ok. 
a lot of the coconut fell to the bottom,
which is always the price i seem to pay
with popcorn toppings. i wanted lime juice,
or more salt, or more spice, or something.

with my project completed, and the baby
now awake, i was done, and over
the burning desire to make this popcorn.

and, then it was monday.
i had packed a couple handfuls to bring to work.
when i took a bite it was completely different.
with time to sit, the coconut oil had permeated
the popcorn in a completely desirable way. 
everything tasted more coconuty;
the chili powder and the salt were finally
doing their thing.
yes, there was still a pile of 
mustard seed-speckled coconut 
on the bottom of the container, but 
even those messy finger-fulls were more 

clearly, the last thing i need is to pack 
one more must make recipe to our hectic day.
but, this batch's supply is starting to meet its
end, and i'm strongly considering the addition.

coconut popcorn with mustard seeds
adapted from the new york times, cooking

i did not measure the salt and i'm pretty sure that i used more than the recipe called for. i did cut down slightly on the coconut oil used to cook the kernels, and i would not advise it: i think they needed the full amount to cook properly, without getting too dark. 

1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
4 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
3-4 shakes chili powder

in large pot over medium heat, toast coconut flakes and 1/4 teaspoon salt 3-5 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly golden brown, stirring occasionally. transfer to bowl.

wipe pot of any remaining coconut. over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons coconut oil and popcorn kernels. shake pot to coat; cover pot and let sit. once the popcorn starts to pop, don't go too far away. wait until the popping slows to every 1-2 seconds, between pop. remove from heat and immediately transfer to bowl with coconut. 

meanwhile, place remaining coconut oil in small saucepot or small skillet, over medium-low heat. once warm, add mustard seeds and cooking 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they start to pop.

pour mustard seed oil over popcorn. add remaining salt and chili powder; toss immediately to coat all the popped corn and to incorporate the coconut. if you can hold out until the next day, wait to eat then.

No comments: