I love the movies. There’s something wonderful about settling into a comfortable chair, as the lights dim, and letting yourself escape; to another world, another time, or simply a return to the old and familiar. Whether it’s in the comfort of your own home, or in the neighborhood theater, movie-watching is so much better when you have really good snacks to sustain you. I like to make my own popcorn and then customize it with interesting and delicious add-ins. This is a combination of freshly popped, generously buttered and salted popcorn, and spicy roasted peanuts. It’s quick and easy to make with simple ingredients you may already have on hand. Mix up the peanuts and let them roast in the oven while you pop the corn. Then stir them together in whatever ratio you prefer and settle in to enjoy your favorite cinematic experience.
Popcorn and Spicy Peanuts
(makes 4 to 5 cups)
1 cup roasted, salted peanuts
2 teaspoons canola or grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
Large pinch of ground coriander
Salt and pepper, to taste
Finely grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
Freshly popped popcorn, 3 to 4 cups*
2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter
Additional salt, as necessary
Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium mixing bowl combine the peanuts, oil, sriracha, garlic powder, ginger, basil, and the coriander. Season with a little salt and pepper, if you like. Spread the peanut mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, separating any clumps. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes, until fragrant and golden. Remove to a rack to cool for a few minutes. Add the grated lemon zest and mix gently. When the popcorn is ready (warm and buttered), add the peanuts and toss together. You can mix 3 or 4 cups of popcorn with the peanuts, depending upon how much you like spicy peanuts.
*If you are making a larger quantity of popcorn, just double the peanut recipe and proceed.