Archive for SNACKS

Air Fried Pickles

I’m a recent fan of fried pickles, and by recent, I mean I first tried this delicacy maybe two or three years ago.  Whaaaaaat????

It’s not that I disliked pickles that kept me away from them.  I mean, you can fry cheesecake, ice cream, Oreos, cookie dough.  Can you see the theme here?  Sweets are fried. I think pickles just never entered my mind as something TO fry.

But then there it was, the featured appetizer for happy hour.  I took the leap.  It WAS happy hour, after all. Everything during happy hour HAD to be good!  They were!

Fried pickles nowadays have been pretty skimpy, or at least they have been in my experience.  Lately, the fried pickles I’ve ordered have been paper thin, so thin that when fried they turn out chewy and just not good.  I don’t know if this is an easy way for establishments to cut costs, but with pickles?  C’mon.

I invested in an air fryer about a year ago, and I’ve made many things in it.  Fried pickles though are by far one of my favorites.  Now, whenever I have the craving for this treat, I can whip it up at home in no time.

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.

 

AIR FRIED PICKLES

Start by making a thin batter to coat the pickles.  You want to do this first, because as I’ll explain later, you don’t want to have your flour-coated pickles sit for a while as you prepare this batter.

Place your flour, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

Add water and whisk, making sure there are no lumps.  If you want to make your pickles a little spicy, add some hot sauce to the batter.

The batter should be the consistency of a thin pancake batter.  Set this aside for now.

At this point, you also want to place your breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl or small baking pan.  You want some room to work with, so just be sure your bowl or pan is wide enough that you have room to move the breadcrumbs around as you coat each pickle slice.

Now things will move pretty quickly.

Slice whole dill pickles into 1/4-inch “coins.”  You can also cut baby dill pickles in half lengthwise, but I prefer the smaller pieces.  Place the cut pieces on a paper towel-lined plate.

I even use additional paper towels to absorb excess pickle juice.  You want these to be as dry as you can make them.

Place a cup of flour in a resealable bag, then add the pickle slices.  This is why you want the pickles dry.  If you didn’t soak up the excess pickle juice from them, you’d have a goopy mess when you add the pickles to the flour.

Seal the bag then give the pickles a good shake to evenly coat each slice with flour.

Take the slices out of the bag and place them on a plate.  Don’t do what did here (don’t pile them on top of each other).  Place the coated slices in one layer, especially if you have a lot of them (slices).  Like with most moist things coated in flour, the flour will eventually soak up any remaining moisture.  If you have the coated pickle slices piled on top of each other, they will end up sticking together if you don’t work fast to coat them (shown in the following steps).

This is why I have you making the dipping batter first, so that you don’t let the coated pickles sit for too long.

Dip each coated pickle slice into the batter, coating all sides.

Place the batter-dipped pickle slice into the breadcrumbs. Place more crumbs over the top, gently pressing down to ensure the crumbs adhere to the batter.  Carefully flip the pickle slice over, cover with crumbs and press again.

Place the crumb-coated pickle slices in a single layer onto a plate or tray.  Continue until all of the pickle slices are dipped in batter then coated in breadcrumbs.

When all the pickle slices have been coated in breadcrumbs, you’re ready to air fry them.

Most air fryer recipes call for pre-heating before cooking.  If yours requires that, by all means, preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F.  I usually preheat mine for about 5 minutes.

Place the pickles in your air fryer basket in a single layer.  Lightly spray the tops with oil cooking spray.

Cook at 400 degrees F for ten minutes.

After ten minutes of cooking, flip each pickle slice over.

Lightly spray them once more with oil cooking spray.  Cook for an additional 7 minutes, or until the pickles are golden brown.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce (ranch dip is a favorite in my house) and enjoy!

 

Air Fried Pickles
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sliced dill pickles
  • 1 cup flour, for dusting pickles
  • 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Hot sauce, to taste, optional
  • Oil cooking spray
Batter
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1¾ cups water
Instructions
  1. Place all of the batter ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Place the breadcrumbs into a small, shallow pan.
  3. Dry the sliced pickles with paper towels.
  4. Place the one cup of flour in a resealable bag. Place the pickle slices into the bag of flour. Seal the bag and shake to coat each of the pickle slices. Place the flour-coated pickles in a single layer on a plate or tray.
  5. Dip each flour-coated pickle slice into the batter, coating all sides.
  6. Cover the batter-coated pickle slice with breadcrumbs. Continue until all pickle slices have been coated with breadcrumbs.
  7. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F.
  8. Place a single layer of pickles into the fryer. Light spray the pickles with oil cooking spray. Cook at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  9. After ten minutes, flip each pickle slice over, spray lightly with oil cooking spray, then cook for seven more minutes.
  10. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!

 

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Banana Lumpia

Banana lumpia is a super simple dessert to make.  It requires just a few ingredients — cooking bananas, sugar, cinnamon, and lumpia wrappers.

These are the kind of cooking bananas I like to use.  There are several varieties you can buy.  The one I see at most Asian stores (you can also find them in Hispanic markets as well) are a variety called Burro bananas.  Thai bananas also work well here.  The bananas pictured below are the Thai variety.

You want to make sure the bananas are fully ripe before making your banana lumpia.  They should be a deep yellow with a few black spots.  The bananas will still be slightly firm as well.

To prepare the bananas, peel and slice 6 bananas in half, lengthwise.  Cut each half in half again, lengthwise, giving you four long pieces.  Each piece should be about four inches long.

Set the bananas aside for now while you prepare your lumpia wrappers.  The brand I prefer is Wei-Chuan spring roll shells.  I find they stay crisp longer, and they are very easy to separate, even when partially frozen.

Separate the wrappers, then cover with a clean cloth to keep them from drying out.

To assemble the lumpia, place brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Use a fork to mix it all together.

Spread about a tablespoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture on one corner of the lumpia wrapper.

Lay one piece of sliced banana on top of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Another option is to roll each banana slice in the sugar mixture then place the coated banana on the lumpia wrapper.

To roll the lumpia, begin by folding the bottom corner up and over the banana.  Slowly roll upward, sort of like forming a cigar shape.

Fold each side inward, as if you were making an envelope.

Continue rolling the lumpia, as tight as you can, until there are about two inches left of the top corner.

Dip your fingertip in some water then wet the top corner along the edges.  Finish rolling the lumpia over the moistened edge, pressing slightly to seal.

Finish rolling the lumpia.  If you plan on frying them right away, leaving them out is fine.  Otherwise, place rolled lumpia in an airtight container (a resealable bag also works well) and place in the refrigerator or freezer.

To fry the lumpia, heat oil in a large skillet to 350 degrees F.

Carefully add the lumpia to the hot oil, making sure not to crowd the oil.

Fry the lumpia until golden brown. They are ready at this point—as shown in the photo below.  One popular cooking option is to create a caramelized coating by sprinkling sugar over the lumpia as it fries.  I don’t particularly care for this as it makes a huge mess in the oil.  If you’d like, you can serve up your lumpia with some caramel sauce on the side (caramel sauce used for ice cream sauce works well) for drizzling or dipping.

Enjoy!

Banana Lumpia
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A delicious, crispy dessert made with bananas and cinnamon-sugar, rolled in a lumpia wrapper and fried until golden brown and crispy.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Chamorro, Filipino
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 6 cooking bananas, such as Burro or Thai variety
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

    Other:
  • Water, for sealing
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
Instructions
  1. Slice each banana in half, lengthwise, then slice each half in half again, lengthwise, giving your four pieces per banana.
  2. Separate the lumpia wrappers.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon and sugar together.
  4. Place a tablespoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture close to the bottom of a lumpia wrapper. Place one slice of banana over the cinnamon-sugar. Roll upward, like a cigar. Fold in the two edges, then continue rolling upward. Rub some water along the top edge of the lumpia wrapper; press to seal.
  5. Fry the lumpia in oil heated to 350 degrees until golden brown. Serve while hot and crisp.
  6. Option: serve with a side of caramel sauce for drizzling or dipping.

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Robot Snack Packs

My niece, Chrystina, is always looking for creative ways to make snack time fun for her children.  This time, she and her son, Damian, made Robot Snack Packs for Damian to share with his kindergarten class.

You’ll  need:

  • Applesauce cups for the robot head
  • Juice boxes for the robot body
  • Snack-sized boxes of raisins for robot feet
  • Smarties or Sweet Tarts for robot arms
  • Googly eye stickers
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks (see note)

NOTE:  Parents or adults must supervise and help with this project so that little ones do not get burned with the hot glue gun or glue.  You can use heavy-duty double-sided tape for this project if you’d rather not use hot glue.

To to assemble the robots:

Make the robot head:

Flip up the two side flaps or “wings” of the juice box so that they are laying on top of the box.  Add a small line of glue to each flap.  Turn the applesauce upside down and stick the top to the juice box flaps.

Make the robot feet.

Glue the boxes of raisins to the bottom of the juice box “robot body” to make feet.

Make the robot arms.

Glue one end of the Smarties to the sides of the juice box to make robot arms.

Lastly, stick the eyes on the side of the applesauce “robot head.”

Damian had fun making these.  I’m sure you’ll have fun with your little ones too!  Enjoy!image

 

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Daigo’ Kimchi with Rokkyo & Pickled Garlic

This is a very simple salad or side dish made with pickled daikon radish, pearl onions, and garlic.  This is not a dish you want to eat before venturing out into public…your pores will exude an odor that is guaranteed to chase away even the scariest of vampires.

Daigo’ (pickled daikon radish), Rokkyo’ (pickled pearl onions) and pickled garlic are popular snacks on Guam.  Visit your local village store and you’re likely to see large jars filled with these pickled delights for sale.

imageTo make an easy kimchi, mix together Kimchee Base and white vinegar, adding it to the bowl of mixed vegetables.

image

Let the mixture marinate for about 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to develop.  Serve and ENJOY! 🙂

 

Daigo' Kimchi with Rokkyo & Pickled Garlic
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 package sliced pickled daikon radish
  • 1 small package (about 2 cups) pickled pearl onions
  • 1 small package (about 1 cup) pickled garlic
  • ¼ cup Kimchee Base
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • Hot pepper, optional
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Let the mixture marinate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Serve and ENJOY!

 

 

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Paranormal Pretzels

My niece, Chrystina and her son, Damian have so much fun making snacks together.

Damian shared these cute pretzel snacks with his friends at school, but they’d be perfect for a kid’s party or for Halloween (being that they look like aliens or bugs). 🙂

image

Chrystina adapted this recipe from one she found in Parent magazine.  Here’s how she and Damian made them.

You’ll need to buy pretzels already covered in yogurt, but you can buy plain pretzels and coat them with white candy melts.

Use candy melts and multi-colored sprinkles for the eyes. Melt the candy melts in the microwave in 30-second intervals then pour into a frosting bag fitted with a small tip to do the eyes.  If you don’t have a frosting bag, you can also use a resealable bag, cutting a tiny piece off one corner.

NOTE: You need a helper to be putting the sprinkles on because the candy melts settle real quick!

From Chrystina:  “A lot of our little paranormal friends ended up looking like their eyes were gorged out and left empty and bloody — which is ok too.  Damian went as fast as he could. ☺️”

Have fun making these cute snacks.  Chrystina and Damian sure did. 🙂

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