December 18, 2005

Holiday Recipe Blogging - The World's Best Chex Mix

I've spent most of this weekend in the kitchen, making a couple dozen tamales from scratch and preparing two batches of Jackie's Chex Mix (named after my best childhood friend's mom, who invented this variation of the recipe).

I'll write about the (successful) tamales some other time. This post is devoted to the best Chex Mix you will ever taste:

Dry Ingredients

1 box Wheat Chex cereal
1 box Rice Chex
1 box Corn Chex
4 C. Cheerios
1 bag pretzels
1 - 2 lbs mixed nuts

Sauce Ingredients:

1 lb. butter
1 - 1.25 C. Oil
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. Tabasco sauce
0.5 tsp. celery salt
1.5 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. red (cayenne) pepper
1 tsp. allspice
Accent (MSG) to taste

Optional (my variations in addition to the above, never more than 2 at a time extra):

1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin

Preheat oven to 200 degrees (F).

Ready_to_Pour.jpgMake sure you have plenty of room to work. Set out four 9 x 13 (or larger, if your oven will accommodate them) deep lasagna pans on a counter. I like to use disposable ones - you can get a package of 2 at Target for less than $2. Distribute the dry ingredients among the pans evenly (see picture at left).

In a 2-quart batter bowl, melt the butter; 60-90 seconds in the microwave should do the trick. Combine the remaining sauce ingredients. Add enough vegetable oil to make the sauce an even quart, usually just a bit more than one cup. After you've made this a couple times, you may experiment with the spice mix. However, the essential ingredients are Worcestershire sauce, garlic, tabasco, and allspice.

ChexMix.jpgUsing a 1/4-cup scoop, spoon out 1/4 cup of the sauce into each of the four pans. Using two spoons, fold and stir the cereal mix until the sauce is evenly distributed. Repeat until all sauce has been evenly spread among the four pans and has coated the cereal mixture. When you're all done, each of the pieces should be glistening slightly. This is the most important step! You don't want some pieces unseasoned and others to be mushy and oily. See the picture at right for how the mix should look after stirring (click for larger).

Into_the_Oven.jpgPut the trays into the oven and roast for 4 hours. Stir every 20 minutes during the first hour, and every 30 minutes thereafter. Sprinkle Accent liberally before each stirring.

Let cool before serving. Enjoy!

Sentimental aside in the extended entry:

I have known Jackie since before I can remember. We moved across the street from her family when I was just a few months old. Her son and I are only 2 weeks apart in age, and except for eighth grade, two years of college, and grad school, we went to the same schools our entire lives.

Every Christmas, Jackie made batches of her party mix for family friends, but would only deliver a one-gallon ziploc to each family. Knowing how much I loved it, she started giving me my own bag in high school and college.

Shortly before my wife and I got married, we had a "recipe for a happy marriage" shower. Each of the invitees were to bring some words of advice for us to have a happy marriage. Jackie brought some great advice, along with the above recipe.

I hope it brings you much happiness in this joyous season.

Posted by JohnL at December 18, 2005 09:47 PM | TrackBack

What? No hands? It's more fun with hands!

Posted by: KurtP at December 20, 2005 09:41 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Save This Page