Thursday, January 30, 2014

Moroccan Popcorn

We are doing a happy snow dance here! While we’ve had cold temperatures, the snow has not been falling, making for a very unusual winter. Happily, though, today it’s snowing steadily and I’m feeling quite cozy watching the pretty flakes float down. We can ski and sled! 

It’s been awhile since I shared what’s cooking in my kitchen. I have a new project in the works and can’t wait to share it with you (soon!). In the meantime, here’s what we’re cooking with for Tasting Jerusalem this month – ras el hanout. 

My love of homemade spice blends is well known and I am quite pleased with this month’s ingredient. I’ve written about ras el hanout before and, since discovering how versatile this Moroccan blend is, I have sprinkled it liberally. Ras el hanout literally means “head of the shop” in Arabic, and you can personalize your own mix easily. The blend I make includes cumin, paprika, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger and black pepper. A little sweet, a little spicy, a pinch instantly jazzes up a dish.

Or a snack. We pop a lot of corn on the stove top and like to try different toppings (nutritional yeast is a favorite one, although we think it could do with a better name - we’ve been calling it “Sunshine”). Why not sprinkle some ras el hanout on popcorn? With flaky sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil? Well, I gave it a whirl and Moroccan popcorn was born.

Warm, crunchy, smoky and salty, this is some good snacking, especially while watching football. We’re getting our blue and green on around here and will be wildly cheering for the Seahawks on Sunday during the Super Bowl. I love all the Seahawks spirit and energy I’ve seen both in the valley and in Seattle! Happy munching and go Hawks!

Moroccan Popcorn
Makes a large bowl

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
Olive oil for drizzling
Ras el hanout (homemade recipe here)
Flaky sea salt

Have a large bowl ready. Warm the coconut oil in popcorn maker over medium high heat. Add the popcorn and start turning the handle. When corn stops popping, immediately pour the popcorn into the serving bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with ras el hanout and flaky sea salt to taste. Start munching!