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Author Notes: When I was diagnosed with a corn allergy some time back, I knew that I would miss-- more than corn on the cob, more than creamy polenta, more than handmade corn tortillas, and even more than Doritos-- popcorn. There is practically no point of watching a movie either in a theater or on the comfort of your couch if you cannot have a bowl of buttery, salty, cheesy popcorn on your lap.
Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but still.
I tried all kinds of other substitutions to fill the crunchy-savory void-- crackers of all types, Chex-type mixes, pretzels, potato chips, pita chips, nori, nuts, seeds, papdums, roasted garbanzo beans. But nothing came close to satisfying my popcorn fixation until I came upon the idea to toast rice cakes and season them the way I would popcorn.
Sometimes I'll use freshly grated parmesan, a sprinkle of pimentón, or a little garlic powder on my Not-corn. You can try this recipe with whatever seasonings and toppings you like best (Old Bay! Lawry's Seasoned Salt! fake cheese powder!), or try using a flavored rice cake like sesame or tamari. Whatever you choose, just be sure you have a great movie to go with it. —vvvanessa
Makes a big bowl of snackage, or about 8 cups
- 1 package plain rice cakes, or 12 rice cakes
- unsalted butter
- olive oil
- nutritional yeast
- Heat oven to 400ºF.
- On a large, rimmed sheet pan, break up the rice cakes into bite-sized pieces and spread them out evenly in a single layer. A lot of it will fall apart into tiny bits, but it'll still be delicious.
- Toast the rice cakes for 5-8 minutes, just until they are heated through and crisp up a little.
- While the rice cakes are in the oven, melt a few tablespoons or more of butter and/or olive oil. (I usually use about 4 tablespoons total.) Remove the rice cakes from the oven, and while they're still on the sheet, drizzle the butter/olive oil over them.
- Season generously with salt and nutritional yeast, and stir well to combine and coat the Not-corn. I find that a flat-sided spatula works well to help scrape up the good parts from the bottom of the tray.
- Pour into a big bowl and eat immediately, just like you would the real stuff, licking your fingers every so often and taking big, satisfying swigs of an ice cold soda.
More Great Recipes: Snacks