Kickoff is looming and you’re in charge of the snacks. Raid the pantry and toss together a tasty cereal mix with a twist. Take the traditional back-of-the-box idea to the Southwest and pour on some spice.
Start with crisp cereal squares (or hexagons if you’re going with Crispix) and toss in a cup or two of this and that--pumpkin seeds (out of the shell pepitas), nuts, sunflower seeds, small pretzels, corn chips, cheese crackers (fish or bunny shapes are a fun bonus).
Drizzle on the spice, I like to go bold with Chipotle Tabasco, and bake until crisp. You can check on it and stir from time to time as the scent drifts from the kitchen into the living room.
This concoction has become a party staple and one that never turns out the same way twice. All credit to my spice-stained copy of The El Paso Chile Company’s Texas Border Cookbook by W.Park Kerr and Norma Kerr. They call it Texas Trash, and since we don’t want to mess with Texas, we’ll leave the name alone. Feel free to tweak the formula and give it your own personal brand. Either way, it’s a winner.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 to 4 tablespoons hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons Ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 cups mixed cereal squares ( I use Crispix and multigrain)
- 2 cups mini cheese crackers
- 2 cups small corn chips
- 2 cups small pretzels
- 1 cup pepitas
- 1 cup roasted peanuts
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
HEAT the oven to 250.
COMBINE the butter, olive oil, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Ancho chile powder, oregano, and cumin in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish and bake for 5 minutes to melt the butter.
TOSS the cereal squares, cheese crackers, corn chips, pretzels, pepitas, peanuts, and sunflower seeds in a large bowl to combine.
POUR the cereal mixture into the baking dish with the spiced butter and stir to coat evenly.
RETURN the dish to the oven and bake, stirring every 10 minutes, for 1 hour.
LET COOL and serve in a large bowl or pack in an airtight tin for 2 or 3 days.
SHARE the bounty, scooping servings into festive gift containers.
Makes 12+ cups