Popcorn is due for a comeback. An aluminum tub of slightly stale popcorn — plain, cheddar and caramel — was an ‘80s Christmas staple. Now, it just seems like a cheap office gift ordered from some terrible catalog. Long before kettle corn took over the popcorn scene, there were “gourmet” popcorn shops at the mall. After picking up some jeans at Miller’s Outpost, you could pick up popcorn dusted in flavors like Barbecue, Sour Cream and Onion, and Ranch. Ah, the good ol’ days.
With kettle corn overshadowing everything else in the popcorn universe, it’s been easy to forget about good ol’ caramel corn. The thing is you don’t have to go to the mall or wait for Christmas. Making caramel corn at home isn’t that hard and it’s just not that expensive. Let’s make some caramel corn with salty peanuts. It’s time.
Something about a bellini feels infinitely more luxurious than your usual mimosa. You can get pretty decent freshly squeezed orange juice almost year round, which makes a mimosa standard. But the bellini is something special, something summer, something more than, especially with your own peach syrup.
After this, you’ll never want a can of peach nectar again.
The door’s open and I’m staring into the fridge. What’ve I got that might make a good, simple flatbread? No time for sauce, what can I throw on there for a quick snack? What did I get at the farmers market? Zucchini. Corn. Chiles. A basket of grape tomatoes. The dough was already stretched out on the board, so I needed to be fast. I took out the zucchini and remembered that julienne peeler I bought a couple of years ago. It seemed like a good idea at the time, the whole zucchini noodle thing. The truth is, I made “zoodles” about three times before that peeler went in to the drawer, got shoved to the back, and didn’t come out again.
Turns out, it’s the perfect tool for shaving down a medium zucchini so it’ll cook up quickly without making a watery mess of your pizza. In celebration of actually using that damn peeler again, this week’s Friday Night Slice is the Zucchini Cherry Bomb. It’s vegetarian, it’s sauceless and it’s delicious.
The gas burners are just flaming on under tumbling piles of green chiles and already I’m in overdrive. Every year as chile season rolls around, it’s a new challenge. What can I put green chile in this year? My first answer this year: Zucchini Green Chile Fritters.
Dust off your Pinterest boards from last summer, it’s Hatch Chile time again.
This year’s green chile season feels like it’s coming on early, but maybe it’s just my imagination. I picked up my first batch of Anaheims at our farmers market last weekend — in July! If you’re jonesing for a green chile fix, Hatch roasting events are starting this weekend in Southern California, with events across the country rolling out over the next four to six weeks. We’ll keep a running tally of events below.
HATCH CHILE ROASTING EVENTS & PRE-ORDERS:
Melissa’s Produce Hatch Chile Roasting Events (Gelson’s, Bristol Farms, Sprouts in LA, OC & San Diego, starting August 16)
Frieda’s Produce Roasting Events (Ralphs, Kroger stores in So. Cal, IN, OH and PA)
In the Seattle area, Whole Foods Markets are now taking pre-orders and the Interbay store will host a Green Chile Chili challenge on August 7.