FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Wanda A. Adams
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Every once in a while, a recipe comes along that causes a small but widespread disturbance in the kitchen force. I think we hit on one when Margaret Kawamura asked for a recipe for a pretzel snack she'd been given at Christmas and couldn't get out of her mind.
This thing is guaranteed to rock your Super Bowl party this Sunday.
No less than a half-dozen readers, including Jennifer Waihe'e, Kim Springer and Lindy Hashimoto responded with recipes for this snack, which makes use of several brand-name products. A search online showed that this recipe belongs to a very large extended family of recipes that makes use of butter popcorn oil, dry salad dressing mix and various crackers or other crunchy bites — heirs to the old "Nuts and Bolts" and Chex cereal mix school of munchies.
Waihe'e offered two versions: the original, made with a type of pretzel you can only get at Sam's Club, and one that makes use of more widely available pretzels and more spices. (I feel compelled to tell you that the popcorn oil has 140 calories per tablespoons and 14 grams of fat.) Hashimoto had still another variation to suggest.
'ONO SNACK MIX
Mix together dry ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl, combine pretzels and oil. Add dry ingredients and toss. Set aside for 15 minutes and toss again. Store in airtight container.
Makes about 25 to 30 pupu-size servings.
Variation: Use 4 (11-ounce) bags Rold Gold Honey Wheat Pretzels, 1 bottle popcorn oil, 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch "Dips" and 2 tablespoons each of dill weed and garlic powder.
Yet another variation from Lindy Hashimoto (www.lindysonorecipes.com); She likes this better because she finds the taste of the popcorn oil overpowering in the previous version: "I love to scoop a little of the Laughing Cow cheese with the pretzels too ... makes a great combination!," she writes. Mix in large zippered plastic bag: 3 to 4 (11-ounce) packages Rold Gold Honey Wheat Pretzels, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup popcorn oil, 2 tablespoons each dill weed and garlic powder and 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix (NOT "Dips"). Shake or toss until coated.
Shopping note: The butter popcorn oil is available at most larger supermarkets; I found it at Safeway. In a pinch (though I haven't tried this), you could probably use a very light olive oil and several drops of butter-flavor extract.
Send recipes and queries to Wanda A. Adams, Food Editor, Honolulu Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802. Fax: 525-8055. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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