I’m all about homemade goodies. Be it homemade granola, sweets or sauces. They just taste so much better than anything store-bought. Don’t you agree? Same goes for nibbles to start a great dinner party. Lately, I whipped up truffle butter-parmesan-thyme popcorn and garlic-olive oil-mozzarelline. Both only take a few minutes to throw together and are a creative departure from the typical peanuts and olives to serve with your cocktails.
TRUFFLE BUTTER-PARMESAN-THYME POPCORN
About 100g popcorn kernels
3 tablespoons truffle butter (I got the Burro al tartufo d’Alba at Globus – quite a splurge, but the taste of it…)
About 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
A small bag of finely grated parmesan cheese (120g)
2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
Remove leaves from the thyme stems. Then melt the truffle butter in a small sauce pan with the fresh thyme leaves and set aside.
Take a large and deep enough pot with lid. Heat the oil over medium heat with 2 or 3 popcorn kernels. When the kernels start to pop, remove the pan from heat and add the remaining popcorn kernels. Immediately cover the pan with the lid. Place the pot back over the heat and cook, leaving the lid slightly ajar (so water vapor can escape). Occasionally shake the pot, until popping slows. Continue until most kernels have popped, i.e. you can’t hear them moving around anymore (it takes about 3 to 5 minutes).
Now remove the pan from the heat and drizzle the popcorn with the thyme truffle butter, the parmesan cheese and sea salt. Then shake it, baby, and get those popcorn thoroughly coated.
That’s it. Easy, isn’t it? Serve immediately – although: I think they only get better the next day when the flavors infused together more.
By the way: The popcorn also make a fantastic hostess gift!
GARLIC-OLIVE OIL MOZZARELLINE
A bag of mozzarelline
2 garlic cloves, pressed
Olive oil (it’s all about quality – take the best!)
Black pepper, seasalt
Now, that one is even simpler than the popcorns. Pour the mozzarelline in a bowl. Cover with olive oil and the pressed garlic. Add pepper and seasalt at your liking. Mix everything and leave for an hour, so the mozzarelline can really soak up all that tastiness.
And now for the Swiss under my readers: instead of seasalt, take Aromat. Just trust me on that. It makes the difference.
What I like to serve with all this goodness is a simple cocktail made of champagne and mandarincello. So refreshing! My bestie once brought me a bottle of this amazing liqueur from Sicily – it’s basically a limoncello made from mandarins. The homemade mandarincello from Sicily is certainly not to beat, but when you look around, you may find a pretty decent replacement. We found ours on a market in Ascona.