Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Oscar Night Food Ideas: Maple Walnut Popcorn (Recipe)

maple walnut popcorn DSC_0021

This Sunday night is the Oscars, the night when millions of Americans will tune in to see which actress is wearing the ugliest gown. Since this event will drag on for hours, you'll need lots of snack foods, like my Maple Walnut Popcorn.

This New England inspired popcorn is everything a snack food should be: sweet, salty, sticky, and crunchy. Since the Oscars are at least three hours long, you might want to make a double batch. You might also want to make a Blood Orange Vodkatini.

Maple Walnut Popcorn
Yields 10-12 cups
Print recipe only here.

3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Coat two large rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray.

2. Pour oil in a large saucepan over high heat and cover. After 1-2 minutes, toss a couple of kernels inside. Listen for the shimmering oil as it heats up, then drop a couple of kernels in the pan. When they start sizzling and spinning, the oil is ready. Add remaining kernels. Cover the pan, and give it a couple of shakes so the kernels get coated with oil. Now listen for the popping. Once it really starts popping quickly, listen carefully. Remove the pan from the heat once the popping slows down to every few seconds, or it could burn quickly. Pour popcorn into a big bowl coated with cooking spray, and add nuts.

3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring maple syrup, butter, and salt to a boil. Cook 1 minute. Lower to a simmer for 2 minutes. Pour syrup over popcorn and nuts, stirring to coat. Transfer popcorn mixture to prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Break into small clusters.

You might also enjoy these snack foods from Food Blogga:
Spicy Black Bean Dip
Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing
Goat Cheese and Poblano Quesadillas with Pinapple-Mango-Habanero Salsa

You might also enjoy these popcorn recipes:
Peanut Butter Popcorn recipe at The Kitchn
Truffled Popcorn recipe at Alice Q. Foodie
Caramel Popcorn with Almonds and Pecans recipe at Lisa is Cooking
Popcorn with Brown Butter, Rosemary, and Lemon recipe at Andrea's Recipes