There’s a big junk-food holiday coming up, and I am here to help. I suppose the Super Bowl is scheduled for early February because most of us New Year’s dieters are looking for the nearest exit off of the skinny jeans highway. After January’s deprivation induced introspection, we’ve reached an understanding that happiness is where it’s really at, so how about some hot wings, pronto! The help I can offer is a delish snack that will deliver both happiness and junkiness. Oh, and virtue too. Amen.
Sooni, a sweet Parsi woman from Mumbai, was the mom of an old, long-lost college friend. She used to make up big Tupperware tubs of “Indian Rice Chex” for us useless college kids hanging around the apartment. Sweet and savory and spicy, it was the perfect can’t-stop snack.
It’s actually not so sinfully junky. In fact, with coconut oil, garlic, turmeric and fresh roasted, heart-healthy nuts, it’s a rationalization for lightweights. Sooni used Rice Krispies, but I like a combination of shapes and sizes, like Rice Chex and Perky’s Crunchy Rice Cereal (both are gluten-free). I keep the nuts big; cashews and almonds are halved. I use sweetened, shredded coconut because I think the little bit of sugar adds to the wonderful contrasts of flavors.
I don’t like football, but I have a feeling I’ll enjoy eating waaay too much of this during Downton Abbey. What would Lady Mary say?
Sooni’s Crispy Rice Snack
- 1/2 c whole almonds, very coarsely chopped
- 1/2 c cashews, halved
- 1/2 c pepitas / pumpkin seeds
- 4 c Rice Chex
- 2.5 c Perky’s Crunchy Rice or Rice Krispies
- 1/4 c coconut oil
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 t turmeric
- 1.5 t cumin, toasted in a dry pan and ground
- 1/2 t good chile powder (I used chimayo)
- 1/4 t cayenne (more or less to taste)
- Salt, to taste (1/2 to 1 t)
- 2 T fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 c sweetened, shredded coconut
- 1/2 c raisins
Combine nuts and cereals in a large bowl. Set aside
Combine the turmeric, cumin, chile, cayenne, and salt. set aside
Melt coconut oil over med heat. Add minced garlic and cook slowly to infuse the oil. When oil is nicely flavored with the garlic, raise the heat a little to brown the garlic slightly.
Remove heat and add spice mix, combine. Add the spiced oil to the cereal/nut mixture and combine well. Spread out in a half-sheet pan and bake at 250 for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from oven, and turn on broiler. Sprinkle coconut on top of the mixture in the pan, a without mixing it in, place under the broiler for toasting. Be attentive! This will happen quickly.
Remove from oven, add raisins and parsley and combine all. Allow to cool. Adjust salt/cayenne before serving. Enjoy!
Makes about 10 cups