Tag Archives: Sitting Around Snacks

Beyond Mixed Nuts: Ethnic Snack Mixes & Pan-fried Jerk Peanuts

Monday morning I am on the 10! show on NBC Channel 10 demonstrating how to make Pan-fried Jerk Peanuts — one of thirty plus recipes from At Home’s Chapter 2: Sitting Around: Dips, Chips and Other Pick-up Snacks. In addition, I am showing a variety of ethnic snack mixes to liven up your holiday entertaining. Here’s a 10! show recap and the recipe for Pan-Fried Jerk Peanuts.


Illustration by my friend and At Home illustrator Pascal Lemaitre

At Home is not just a book of recipes, but a Guide to Home Entertaining. It is filled with side notes to inform you and help make you a better home entertainer. Here’s one about Ethnic Snack Mixes.

Ethnic Snack Mixes
A cornerstone of entertaining is intentionality. Anyone can serve pretzels or chips, but it takes the enterprising and organized entertainer to serve one of the multitude of snack mixes available in Indian groceries. These often spicy and colorful blends of seeds, fried noodles and crunchy beans are much more fun than potato chips. Or try setting out a bowl of Japanese wasabi-coated peas, found in the aisles of an Asian market. The Japanese also produce an array of sesame seed and seaweed wrapped rice crackers that are excellent with cocktails.
Assorted Snack Mixes at ready on my kitchen counter.
Clockwise from top center: Multi-colored corn chips, Japanese snack mix, wasabi peas, pan-fried jerk peanuts, Indian snack mix.


Wasabi Peas
Wasabi is the hot Japanese horseradish served as a sushi condiment. These addictive peas are crowd pleasers.


Japanese Rice Cracker Mix
In addition to the mix of rice crackers with some wasbi peas, try the seaweed wrapped rice crackers.


Indian Snack Mix
There is a wide assortment of Indian snack mixes – crunchy and multi-hued and in a variety of spiciness from mild to incendiary.


Multi-colored Corn Chips
Liven up your tortilla chips by mixing assorted colors. Here I have white, red and blue corn chips. These are available in better supermarkets including Whole Foods. Add salsas and you have a holiday salsa bar.

Pan-Fried Jerk Peanuts
Jerk is a fiery-sweet Jamaican spice blend and it marries well with peanuts. You can use equal amounts of pre-ground spices if you don’t have a spice grinder.

Do ahead Peanuts can be made up to five days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries, or ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, or fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 cups raw peanuts
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Yield 2 cups

1 In a dry, medium sauté pan over moderate heat, toast allspice, peppercorns, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne and thyme until the spices release their fragrance, about 1 minute. Allow to cool. Transfer to spice grinder and grind until fine. Add sugar and set aside.
2 In a medium sauté pan over moderately high heat, heat oil until almost smoking. Add peanuts and toss continually until they begin to lightly brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add spice-sugar mixture and continue tossing for another 2 minutes to allow the sugar to caramelize and coat the nuts. Immediately transfer nuts to a plate or cookie sheet and allow nuts to cool.
3 Transfer nuts to a bowl and toss with salt.


Pan-fried Jerk Peanuts

At Home – The Perfect Gift for Hanukkah or Christmas
At Home is not available in bookstores but only at our on line store or at book-signings around Philadelphia. Here’s the current line-up.

The Reading Terminal Market on Weekends
I will be at Reading Terminal Market weekends between now and the end of the year. Look for At Home’s table in Center Court across from Meze on Saturday’s and near Spataro’s Cheesesteaks — across from the pig — on Sundays.

Beth Cooper’s Coopermarket on Monday, December 14th
Beth opened Coopermarket in 1995 and since that time Coopermarket has been an everyday and special event Main Line source for wonderful prepared foods and catering. Beth’s first restaurant job was at The Commissary and she also cooked for me at the 16th Street Bar & Grill. Sara, Beth’s key assistant, worked for me at The Market of The Commissary where she single-handedly introduced Philadelphians to fine cheeses long before fine cheese became a food store staple. I will be visiting with Beth and Sara and signing At Home on Monday, December 14th from 3 to 6 PM.
Coopermarket is at 302 Levering Mill Road in Bala Cynwyd.

Weaver’s Way on Saturday, December 19th
I will be at Weaver’s Way in Mt. Airy on Saturday, December 19th from 11 AM to 2 PM. Weaver’s Way General Manager Glen Bergman is an old friend and former General Manager of The Commissary. Weaver’s Way’s Mt. Airy is located on 559 Carpenter Lane.

Thanks for visiting.

Steve

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Plan to Entertain: Halloween

Planning ahead is the cardinal principle of home entertaining. In case I was not clear: Planning ahead is the cardinal principle of home entertaining. This year Halloween falls on a Saturday. The key to my goal for you — one relaxed hour before guests arrive — is to begin your planning at least one weekend before your party. If you are planning a Halloween Party, your planning should be complete by Friday, the 23rd so that you can have the entire weekend of the 24th and 25th plus the week leading up to the 31st to complete your tasks.

Screen shot 2009-10-11 at 10.15.54 PM

Planning starts with thinking. In the coming week I will help you start thinking about your halloween party. But as this is the time folks begin carving their halloween pumpkins, I wanted to get this recipe to you.

Noah’s Spicy Roasted Whole Pumpkin Seeds
Oh the shame of the discarded pumpkin seed from jack-o-lanterns from around the world. Thursday evening as I was getting ready to Cook with Rick Nichols, Noah assisted in hallowing out a pumpkin to serve as a seasonally appropriate container for a big mum plant – a quick and easy centerpiece. Noah, my 22-year-old son — who is currently living on our couch while he helps us manage our new operation at the Franklin Institute — and a budding cook, roasted the seeds. I share Noah’s recipe here.

1 cup rinsed and towel dried pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Old Bay
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Note: To prepare pumpkin seeds for roasting, scrape pumpkin seeds and pulp from pumpkin. Separate seeds from large clumps of pulp.  Place seeds and remaining pulp in a large bowl of water and with your fingers work to pull away pulp from seeds. The seeds will float to the top. With a slotted spoon, skim off pumpkin seeds. Discard water with bits of pulp. Repeat until nearly all of the stringy pulp is gone.  Drain seeds through colander. Dry seeds well between layers of towel. Seeds will stick to towel. It helps to scrape them away with a blunt knife. A 10 pound pumpkin yielded about 1 cup of seeds.  Measure seeds in measuring cup.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix rinsed and dried pumpkin seeds with oil. Add cumin, Old Bay, sweet paprika and salt. Place on rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and roast for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool.

Yield About 1 1/2 cups because the seeds swell in roasting.

Postscript: Cooking with Rick Nichols
You have to love a guest who brings their own green tomatoes from their garden. You have to love Rick. Rick and I cooked. Well, mostly I cooked while Rick asked questions and took notes. I will leave the final telling of Cooking with Rick Nichols to Rick in whose column I will appear this Thursday.

Athomebysteveposes.com
As I write this on Sunday, people in New York and New Jersey and Houston and Colombia are all working frantically to “open” and link At Home Online — the digital compliment to At Home — and a new shop that will make book buying and gift giving easier. At Home Online is available only to book owners. Books come with a bookmark and on that bookmark is a digital “key.” that provides login access to At Home Online. This evening is the digital equivalent of a restaurant opening with the paint not quite dry, the banquettes not fully installed, the carpet not quite laid and some minor refrigeration problems. But since we have only invited friends and family — and early book buyers — to our digital opening, we expect they will be forgiving and patient as we work through our opening kinks.

Screen shot 2009-10-11 at 10.40.18 PM

The Free Library Thursday Night
This Thursday I will be speaking at the Central Branch of The Free Library at 19th & Vine beginning at 7:30 PM. At Home will not be available in bookstores…ever. Books will be available for sale at the library before and after the program and I will be happy to sign books after. Buying the book at the library will save you the cost of shipping.

During the program I will talk about the background of developing At Home — the book and website, take you through a quick tour of both — and then select someone from the audience with a party to be planned and help them plan utilizing the principles and tools of At Home’s Part 1: Planning to Entertain.

I Need Your Help
At Home is an unusual project in many respects. The combination book/website is unusual. And only distributing At Home on our website is unusual. At Home’s success depends, in no small measure, on you. I need you to spread the word about At Home. If you know someone who would enjoy these occasional posts, please let them know about them. Posts can be accessed through athomebysteveposes.wordpress.com. If you sign-up, the posts come to you via email automatically.

Steve

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Noah’s Spicy Roasted Whole Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

Noah, my 22-year-old son —helps us manage our  operation at the Franklin Institute — he’s a budding cook and roasted the seeds. I share Noah’s recipe here.

1 cup rinsed and towel dried pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Old Bay
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Note: To prepare pumpkin seeds for roasting, scrape pumpkin seeds and pulp from pumpkin. Separate seeds from large clumps of pulp.  Place seeds and remaining pulp in a large bowl of water and with your fingers work to pull away pulp from seeds. The seeds will float to the top. With a slotted spoon, skim off pumpkin seeds. Discard water with bits of pulp. Repeat until nearly all of the stringy pulp is gone.  Drain seeds through colander. Dry seeds well between layers of towel. Seeds will stick to towel. It helps to scrape them away with a blunt knife. A 10 pound pumpkin yielded about 1 cup of seeds.  Measure seeds in measuring cup.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix rinsed and dried pumpkin seeds with oil. Add cumin, Old Bay, sweet paprika and salt. Place on rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and roast for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool.

Yield About 1 1/2 cups because the seeds swell in roasting.

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Chapter 2

As I write this, the book is “on press.” That means that the work of the past six years is being born right now. My understanding is that the actual printing takes the better part of a day — though there is lots to do after the physical printing and before shipping. It is hard to describe the sense of anticipation that I feel right now.

Each day between now and the ship date my post will feature  from each chapter a recipe, a Pascal Lemaitre illustration and either a side note — a tip — or a “bottom note” — a little bit of autobiography.

As we count eighteen days to the book’s ship date, I have eighteen chapters still to provide a taste. Chapter 2 continues Section 1 about Welcoming Guests.

Chapter 2 Chips, Dips & Other Pickup Snacks

Here is a recipe and illustration from Chapter 2:

Za’atar Toasted Pita
It’s extremely easy to make your own pita chips and well worth the effort. The homemade variety have a tempting crispy-soft texture that you just can’t get from a bag. Za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend of sumac, thyme and sesame seeds, can be found in specialty food stores and spice shops. These chips are excellent on their own; they can also be paired with charred eggplant dip (see page 79).

do ahead Pita crisps can be made up to one day ahead and stored in a plastic freezer bag.

4 rounds 7-inch pita
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon za’atar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 Preheat oven to 350°.
2 With a knife or your finger, poke a hole along the edge of pita rounds and peel apart, yielding 2 thin pita circles for each round.
3 Pour olive oil in a small bowl; using a brush, generously coat smooth side of pita. Generously sprinkle oiled side with za’atar and salt and transfer to cookie sheet.
4 Bake until lightly browned and crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. For extra flavor, toast pita on grill pan or outdoor grill. Break pita into large, irregular pieces.

Picture 4

And a side note:

Ingredients
Ethnic Snack Mixes
A cornerstone of entertaining is intentionality. Anyone can serve pretzels or chips, but it takes the enterprising and organized entertainer to serve one of the multitude of snack mixes available in Indian groceries. These often spicy and colorful blends of seeds, fried noodles and crunchy beans are much more fun than potato chips. Or try setting out a bowl of Japanese wasabi-coated peas, found in the aisles of an Asian market. The Japanese also produce an array of sesame seed and seaweed wrapped rice crackers that are excellent with cocktails.

If you purchase a book between now and the end of the month you will receive a signed, numbered first edition. Books will never be available in bookstores. You can buy it now in our online shop. Who knows, one day that may be a collector’s item and you’ll be able to sell it on eBay for big bucks! When you buy the book, you will receive access to our At Home Online. And just wait until you see that!

Also, if you want to share the excitement of our daily countdown along with a daily recipe, illustration and note, pass this along to friends and family.

P.S. Wednesday morning we begin operating the daytime food services at The Franklin Institute. We have long been the evening caterer there, but Wednesday marks a new daytime beginning for us and The Franklin Institute.

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Za’atar Toasted Pita Recipe

Za’atar Toasted Pita
It’s extremely easy to make your own pita chips and well worth the effort. The homemade variety have a tempting crispy-soft texture that you just can’t get from a bag. Za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend of sumac, thyme and sesame seeds, can be found in specialty food stores and spice shops. These chips are excellent on their own; they can also be paired with charred eggplant dip (see page 79 of At Home).

do ahead Pita crisps can be made up to one day ahead and stored in a plastic freezer bag.

4 rounds 7-inch pita
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon za’atar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 Preheat oven to 350°.
2 With a knife or your finger, poke a hole along the edge of pita rounds and peel apart, yielding 2 thin pita circles for each round.
3 Pour olive oil in a small bowl; using a brush, generously coat smooth side of pita. Generously sprinkle oiled side with za’atar and salt and transfer to cookie sheet.
4 Bake until lightly browned and crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. For extra flavor, toast pita on grill pan or outdoor grill. Break pita into large, irregular pieces.

Picture 4

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Pepper Roulette — Pimientos de Padron

This “bottom note” about discovering Pimientos de Padron is from At Home by Steve Poses: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining. There are more than 100 “bottom notes” that, added together, tell a story about me starting in “My Mother’s Kitchen” and running through this year. The book and its companion website will be available at the end of September. You can buy the book and access to At Home Online right now and receive a signed first edition.

Pimientos de Padron in Madrid

Just when you think you’ve tasted it all, there always seems to be something new to discover in the wide world of food. Christina was winding down her 20-year rein managing the artistic and business affairs of Mikhail Baryshnikov. We joined Misha’s summer tour in Madrid where Misha was initiating a new duet with Ana Laguna — choreographed by Luguna’s husband, Swedish choreographer Mats Ek. We dined well over several Madrid days, but it was at Casa Alberto on calle Huertes, near Plaza de Santa Ana that we discovered pimientos de padron. Sitting on Casa Alberto’s zinc-lined bar was a platter of thumb-sized green peppers, shriveled and glistening from their recent bath in hot olive oil. Eating them — you just hold the stem and bite the flesh — is culinary roulette because most have an intensely green flavor but every now and again you get a fiery burst of capsicum heat. We washed them down with a chilled glass of modestly sweet local vermouth served on tap. When we returned from Madrid I tracked down a US source and ordered several pounds as a free treat for our Frog at The Yard patrons.

Casa Alberto, Huertas 18, near Plaza de las Cortes & Huertas, Madrid

Picture 1

Illustration by Pascal Lemaitre.

Pimientos de Padron

Pimientos de Padron are currently available online from La Tienda and Happy Quail Farms. Order now for Labor Day and they will be the hit out your backyard outing. To eat, just hold a pepper by the stem and bite off the pepper. Most are quite mild with a little bite. Occasionally you get a hot pepper — but not at all unpleasantly hot.

Do ahead Garlic may be chopped ahead, but saute peppers just before ready to serve.

2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

1 pound pimientoes de padron

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons salt, sea salt preferred but otherwise kosher salt

1. In a large saute pan heat oil until hot, but not smoking. Add peppers and garlic, tossing frequently until peppers are wilted and slightly wrinkled. Off heat and add salt. Serve immediately.

Picture 2

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Thank you.

Steve

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Sauteed Pimientos de Padron Recipe

Pimientos de Padron Sauteed with Olive Oil, Garlic & Sea Salt

Pimientos de Padron are currently available online from La Tienda and Happy Quail Farms.  To eat, just hold a pepper by the stem and bite off the pepper. Most are quite mild with a little bite. Occasionally you get a hot pepper — but not at all unpleasantly hot.

Do ahead Garlic may be chopped ahead, but saute peppers just before ready to serve.

2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

1 pound pimientoes de padron

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons salt, sea salt preferred but otherwise kosher salt

1. In a large saute pan heat oil until hot, but not smoking. Add peppers and garlic, tossing frequently until peppers are wilted and slightly wrinkled. Off heat and add salt. Serve immediately.

Picture 2

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