Doritos-style popovers. TNS
Saleha Irfan, Senior Sub-Editor/Reporter
Is it just me or do these chilly days make you want to keep munching on snacks as well? December to February is when I am most likely to have a snaccident (eating a junk food item in its entirety, by mistake).
For me, cravings vary on a day-to-day basis. Some days all I crave are sweet foods like chocolates, Oreos, brownies, etc. but then there are days when I only need savoury snacks. Whether it’s crisps, fries, nuggets or nachos; I don’t discriminate.
Oh and let’s not forget about the sweet/salty combo days when I have to make extra effort to keep my hands off a mix of cheese, pizza and caramel popcorn, or even roasted barbequed almonds, paired with either raisins, or caramel-coated peanuts and cashews.
This case of munchies, as it’s called, is usually promoted in movies and television with images of teenagers' faces planted in bags of chips, or friends hanging out stuffing whole tacos in their mouths in between fits of laughter, which is why everyone associates such snacks with good and enjoyable times (subliminal advertising, anyone?).
And let's face it: No one has ever seen friends bond over organic veggie salads or acai smoothie bowls.
While there may be a whiff of truth to this, and I can be a bigger person and admit that many an Oreo and Dorito have disappeared from my house in some hour of a late night (or early morning), the bigger reason these foods are considered as “munchies” is because they are so readily available.
They also offer new and exciting flavours almost every other month (have you tried the new Doritos Flaming Hot Nacho flavour yet?). Who has walked down the chips aisle in a supermarket, on an empty stomach, and not picked up a packet or two? Even if it is just to try out the newly-launched flavour?
Since carbs go well with munchies food, you can experiment by pairing them up to make something new, which is what these Doritos-style popovers do.
So, the next time a craving hits, at midnight or any other time of day, think a little outside the bag or bucket, and give this a try.
You can make the popovers a day or two ahead. To reheat, place them on a wire rack over a baking sheet and bake in a 400-degree oven for 6-8 minutes until hot and crisp. The recipe also doubles fine if you are feeding a crowd.
3 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cheddar cheese powder
1 tablespoon tomato powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
1. Whisk eggs until light and foamy in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in milk and butter until incorporated.
2. Combine flour, cheese powder and seasonings in a large bowl. Whisk the milk mixture into the flour mixture until no lumps remain. Transfer batter to a large measuring cup, cover with plastic and let rest at room temperature, 1 hour. (Alternatively, batter can be refrigerated for 1 day. Bring fully to room temperature before proceeding with baking, at least 4 hours.)
3. Heat oven to 450 with the rack in the lower-middle. Generously smear shortening on the inside of a 6-cups large or 12-cups small popover pan; lightly dust the cups with flour, shaking and tapping to remove any excess. If you don’t have a popover pan, you can use a muffin tin; they just won’t “pop” quite as tall, but they will still be delicious.
4. Whisk the batter vigorously to make sure it is fully combined; pour into popover pan, filling each cup to about 1/2 inch from the top. (Don’t overfill; you might have a small amount of batter left over.) Bake without opening the oven door until fairly well popped and just beginning to brown, 20-25 minutes, but start checking at 15 minutes. Decrease the oven temperature to 300 degrees without opening the oven door; bake until popovers are golden brown all over, 35 to 40 minutes more.5. Open the oven door; using a small skewer or the tip of a paring knife, poke a small hole in the top of each popover. Turn the pan if they are not colouring evenly. Close the door; bake until deep golden brown, 5-10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven; rest the popover pan on a wire rack. Poke each popover again with a skewer or knife; let cool, 2-3 minutes. Turn out popovers. Serve hot with the spread or filling of your choice.
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