Another month, another International Incident Party hosted by Penny. No matter how busy I am, I always look forward to this time of month when I challenge myself with whatever theme has come our way. This month's theme is Nostalgia.
Food always conjures memories of people and places. I grew up in a typical Filipino family home in Melbourne so every meal almost involved rice. Occasionally, we would have a roast on a Sunday and we would call it "Australian" food. Back then, as a child, I didn't appreciate how my parents tried to keep us in touch with our heritage through food. As an adult, I crave these dishes and snacks and every bite brings back memories.
Growing up, even though my mum and dad would cook up delicious Filipino dishes for our daily meals, it was hard to get our hands on snacks and Filipino delicacies. There were no Filipino grocery stores like there is today. (even though only a handful). We would wait for one for our friends to holiday back to the Philippines and bring back lots of goodies. Nowadays, Australian customs are strict and bringing delicious goodies back in is very hard.
One snack that I would love to receive was cornick. Cornick (also known as corn nut) is a popular corn snack and can be made with adobo, chilli or garlic flavour. You can get commercial ones but the best ones are home made and sold in local stores or on the side of the street.
I wanted to make this but this was definitely a challenge as I had no idea on how to do so. And to be honest, it wasn't a complete success but it wasn't a complete failure also. The process seemed easy but I wasn't sure if it will work. Some of the corn kernels popped but the texture was still fine. The successful kernels that didn't pop tasted and felt like the real deal. I made garlic salt to serve with it.
As this involves hot oil and deep frying, please be careful. If you have an outside kitchen, it's probably best to make this outside. The kernels can also be roasted. Maybe I'll try that next time.
Take corn kernels, (I used popping corn) and soak in water for 3 days. Change water and rinse out the kernels every day. On the third day, dry the kernels. Make sure you dry them well because everyone knows, water and hot oil do not mix.
In a large pot with a lid, add vegetable oil, about 2-3cm deep. On a low medium heat, oil temperature about 120-130degC, throw in a handful of the kernels and let it fry. Place the lid on top just in case the kernels pop. The aim is to try to fy the kernels without popping. If the oil is too hot, they will pop, so please keep an eye on the temperature.
Only do a handful at a time with the lid on. If they do pop, which mine did, wait till the popping stops before removing the lid. If you find that they are popping straight away when you put them in the oil, turn the heat down or turn off straight away. Fry the kernels for about 3-5 minutes and drain on paper towels. Serve with garlic salt.
For the garlic salt, I simply gently fried whole cloves in the oil until golden. I added it to the salt and smashed it with a fork and mixed to combine.
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Check out what other party goers made for the party.