Restock Your Pantry with Homemade Chips and Snack Mix
Food Network Kitchen has great classes for DIY snack ideas.
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For many of us, good snack food is as essential as eggs and milk — there's something about good salty snacking that makes the day more pleasant.
The graph of my typical consumption of a bag of chips over time would be exponential at the beginning when the bag was full, then level off to near nothing as I attempt to prolong the enjoyment, taking just a chip or two at a time. But eventually all chip bags reach their bottom, which is where Food Network Kitchen comes in.
Instead of feeling sad to reach the end of a bag, try one of these great classes for making your own favorite snacks.
James Briscione makes chips and dip from scratch in his Homemade Rosemary Potato Chips with Charred Onion Dip live class. James uses a mandoline to get thin slices like you’d find in a bag of chips — safety tips included. The chips are quick to fry and ideal for dunking into James’ charred onion dip. That dip is revelatory. Leave red onions on a grill pan until they blacken and develop smoky flavor. If you don’t have red onions, don’t fret — he says any onion works, and you can even use charred scallions or leeks. Once they’re cool enough to handle, toss them into a food processor with a mix of sour cream, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce (or soy, for umami), whole-grain mustard, fresh lemon juice and chives. No bag of onion-flavored chips could compare.
In a live class taped at the holidays, Valerie Bertinelli made her Mom’s Amped-Up Snack Mix in just 9 minutes. The perfect blend of sweet and salty, the mix combines honey-sweetened corn cereal with Cheddar crackers, pretzel twists, nuts and spice-walloping wasabi peas. But the brilliance of the flavoring comes from a packet of soy sauce-flavored instant ramen, adding the flavor packet to melted butter and breaking the noodles into bite-sized pieces to add to the snacks. "Sometimes I want a little sweet bite, so I’m going to take a little sweetened cereal; sometimes I want a cheesy bite, so I take the cheesy bits." But she says the soy sauce flavoring makes it extra delicious. Quick and easy, it’ll stay for 5 days in an airtight container.
And if you’d like to let your slow cooker do some of the work, check out Samantha Seneviratne’s class on a Trio of Spiced Nuts. Using ingredients you might already have on hand — maple syrup, butter, spices and the zest of an orange — she creates a sweet and spicy glaze for cashews and pecans — your whatever nuts you love most — that makes aromatic magic once you tag in the trusty slow cooker. To minimize cleanup, line it in foil spritzed with cooking spray. Cook the mix on high for an hour, then on low for another hour, then let it sit and harden for a couple more hours. Best of all, it’s ok to snack along the way.