Triv­ial pur­suits

Next game night, be a win­ner with homemade snacks

Albuquerque Journal - - FOOD - BY DANIEL NE­MAN

You’re all ready for trivia night. You know who won the Bat­tle of Water­loo (the Duke of Welling­ton). You know the tallest build­ing in the United States (One World Trade Cen­ter). You know how many sen­tences there are in the Gettysburg Ad­dress (10).

But you don’t know what food to bring.

Trivia is only part of the fun of trivia night. The other part is eat­ing.

Any­one can stop at the gro­cery store and pick up a box of cook­ies to bring, and many peo­ple do. But that is merely per­func­tory, a no-thought so­lu­tion to an im­me­di­ate need. Surely, your trivia team­mates would be hap­pier if you brought in some nice, homemade snack, par­tic­u­larly if you don’t know how many tea­spoons there are in a gal­lon (768).

To be a win­ner in your trivia snack-mak­ing, you only have to re­mem­ber a few guide­lines: It should be some­thing you can eat with your fin­gers, it should be rel­a­tively quick to make and it should not be par­tic­u­larly good for you. Cru­dités can wait for an­other oc­ca­sion.

For my ex­trav­a­ganza, I made five snacks, five also be­ing the num­ber of U.S. states’ names that have a di­rec­tion in them (North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Vir­ginia).

CHIPO­TLE AND ROSE­MARY ROASTED NUTS

Yield: 8 servings

3 cups whole roasted un­salted cashews (14 ounces)

2 cups whole wal­nut halves (7 ounces)

2 cups whole pe­can halves (7 ounces)

½ cup whole al­monds (3 ounces)

2 ta­ble­spoons veg­etable oil

⅓ cup pure maple syrup

½ cup light brown su­gar, lightly packed

3 ta­ble­spoons orange juice

2 tea­spoons ground chipo­tle pow­der, or less, ac­cord­ing to taste

4 ta­ble­spoons minced fresh rose­mary leaves, di­vided Kosher salt Note: This recipe can eas­ily be halved. Pre­heat oven to 350 de­grees. Line a bak­ing sheet with parch­ment pa­per or coat gen­er­ously with non­stick spray.

In a large bowl, com­bine the cashews, wal­nuts, pecans, al­monds, veg­etable oil, maple syrup, brown su­gar, orange juice and chipo­tle pow­der. Toss to coat the nuts evenly. Add 2 ta­ble­spoons of the rose­mary and 2 tea­spoons of salt, and toss again.

Spread the nuts in a sin­gle layer on the pre­pared bak­ing sheet. Roast for 25 min­utes, stir­ring twice, un­til the nuts are glazed and golden brown. Re­move from the oven and sprin­kle with 2 more tea­spoons of salt (use 1 tea­spoon if the cashews were salted) and the re­main­ing 2 ta­ble­spoons of rose­mary. Toss well and set aside at room tem­per­a­ture, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally to pre­vent stick­ing as they cool. Taste for sea­son­ing. Serve warm or at room tem­per­a­ture. Store in air­tight con­tain­ers at room tem­per­a­ture.

PER SERV­ING: 672 calories; 60 g fat; 7 g sat­u­rated fat; no choles­terol; 14 g pro­tein; 30 g car­bo­hy­drate; 13 g su­gar; 7 g fiber; 967 mg sodium; 110 mg calcium — Recipe by Ina Garten

CHEESE CRISPS

Yield: 16 servings

1 cup shred­ded parme­san, ched­dar or

Mon­terey Jack cheese Black pep­per

Pre­heat oven to 425 de­grees. Line 2 bak­ing sheets with parch­ment pa­per.

Place 1 ta­ble­spoon of the shred­ded cheese in a cir­cle on the pre­pared bak­ing sheet (you will get more at­trac­tive re­sults if you use a 2 or 2½-inch bis­cuit cut­ter as a tem­plate). Re­peat, spac­ing the piles about 1½ inches apart.

Bake un­til the cheese is bub­bly and starts to be­come golden, about 8 to 10 min­utes for ched­dar or Mon­terey Jack cheeses and about 10 to 12 min­utes for parme­san. Re­move parch­ment pa­per to a counter or plat­ter and sprin­kle cheese with pep­per while it is still hot. When they are room tem­per­a­ture, re­move and store in air­tight con­tainer.

PER SERV­ING: 28 calories; 2.2 g fat; 1.3 g sat­u­rated fat; 6 mg choles­terol; 1.5 g pro­tein; no car­bo­hy­drate; no su­gar; no fiber; 42 mg sodium; 50 mg calcium

— Adapted from “My Bev­erly Hills Kitchen,” by Alex Hitz

NUTELLA POP­CORN

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

18 cups popped, un­fla­vored pop­corn (from two

3½-ounce mi­crowave bags or a heap­ing

½ cup un­popped ker­nels)

½ cup light brown su­gar

⅓ cup light corn syrup

½ tea­spoon salt

1 stick (8 ta­ble­spoons) un­salted but­ter

1 cup Nutella (one 13-ounce con­tainer)

1 tea­spoon vanilla ex­tract

½ tea­spoon bak­ing soda

Pre­heat oven to 250 de­grees and line 2 bak­ing sheets with foil. Place the popped corn in a very large bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan, com­bine the brown su­gar, corn syrup, salt and but­ter over medium heat. Cook un­til the but­ter is melted and the su­gar dis­solved, about 2 min­utes. Stir in the Nutella un­til in­cor­po­rated, then quickly stir in the vanilla and bak­ing soda. Re­move from the heat and pour over the pop­corn, toss­ing to evenly coat the ker­nels.

Di­vide the coated pop­corn be­tween the 2 bak­ing sheets, spread­ing evenly. Place in the oven and cook, stir­ring ev­ery 10 min­utes, un­til the coat­ing dries onto the pop­corn, 30 min­utes. Let cool com­pletely be­fore serv­ing.

PER SERV­ING (based on 6): 435 calories; 13 g fat; 12 g sat­u­rated fat; no choles­terol; 5 g pro­tein; 75 g car­bo­hy­drate; 53 g su­gar; 6 g fiber; 139 mg sodium; 64 mg calcium — Recipe from tast­ingtable.com

CHRIS LEE/TNS

CHRIS LEE/TNS

Chipo­tle and Rose­mary Roasted Nuts (what was Rose­mary Clooney’s first mil­lion-sell­ing No. 1 hit? “Come On-a My House”).

\CHRIS LEE/TNS

Cheese Crisps (what is the most com­mon cat­e­gory in Fi­nal Jeop­ardy? U.S. Pres­i­dents).

CHRIS LEE/TNS

Nutella Pop­corn (what state pro­duces the most pop­corn? Ne­braska, 250 mil­lion pounds per year).

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