Ok – so we’ve got our salty snacks covered for both vegetarians and carnivores. We’ve even got a beer cocktail prepared. The final step of our Super Bowl prep is caramel corn; and to make it even more addictive we’re adding Garam Masala and chopped toasted pistachios to the brown-sugar laden kernels. This is the last of three game-day worthy recipes shared by Cynthia Nims, author of Salty Snacks: Make Your Own Chips, Crisps, Crackers, Pretzels, Dips, and Other Savory Bites published by Ten-Speed Press.
In her interview with Evan Kleiman last weekend, Nims talked about the various toppings you can add to a batch of popcorn. Her suggestion to add Chile-Lime Butter and Cotija Cheese sounds pretty good to us too.
Keep reading for her recipe for Caramel-Masala Popcorn and Pistachios…
Caramel-Masala Popcorn and Pistachios
Makes 6 to 8 servings
8 cups popped popcorn (about 1/4 cup kernels)
1 cup chopped toasted pistachios
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons garam masala
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fleur de sel, coarse or flaky sea salt, or kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Put the popcorn in a large baking dish, roasting pan, or broiler pan and scatter the pistachios over; set aside.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garam masala and cook, stirring, until quite aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and corn syrup and cook, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture comes just to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Take the pan from the heat and stir in the baking soda, which will lighten and expand the mixture. Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn and pistachios and stir to combine. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the popcorn. (Don’t worry about the caramel not evenly coating the popcorn at this point.)
Bake the popcorn for 1 hour, taking the pan from the oven every 15 minutes to stir the popcorn well and help distribute the caramel evenly. Set the pan aside to cool, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. When cool, transfer the caramel corn to a serving bowl.
If you are not serving the popcorn within a few hours, store it in an airtight container for 1 to 2 days.
Reprinted with permission from Salty Snacks: Make Your Own Chips, Crisps, Crackers, Pretzels, Dips, and Other Savory Bites by Cynthia Nims, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group.