Chex Snack Mix Revisited
"Besides Whitney Houston’s rendition of the national anthem, there are few things that stand out from the Super Bowl parties I attended growing up beyond the Chex party mix. It’s a classic for a reason, and for me the best part is the Chex cereal, all crispy, buttery, and savory—the bagel and rye chips and other little crackers always felt a little superfluous. Here in my revisit of the recipe, I’ve created an assortment tailor-made to what I think is all the best stuff: nuts, seeds, Chex cereal—and the addition of crispy ramen noodles! For the spicing I’ve found a savory-sweet combination that’s as addictive as the original, but know that the recipe is inherently flexible. You could swap butter or ghee for the coconut oil, and experiment with any spice blends you might have on hand—curry and masala blends would be excellent; just taste as you go to get the heat level right.
One note about the ramen: It’s essential to get the instant noodles here, as they’ve been precooked and then fried (this is why they cook so quickly). Regular (uncooked, dried) wheat noodles that resemble the instant ramen ones (sometimes labeled “Chinese wheat noodles”) won’t get the same crisp, but more importantly, they’ll soak up all the seasoning and create a bland, dry party mix that’ll have you pleading for a glass of water."
3 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp mildly smoky dried chili, Aleppo or Marash (Silk Chili Flakes)
3 oz (1 pouch) instant ramen noodles, seasoning packet discarded
3 cups Chex cereal, any variety
2 cups unsalted, whole, raw, or roasted mixed nuts (cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts)
1/4 cup hulled sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp Salina Crystal Salt
Preheat oven to 275°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small saucepan, combine the coconut oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, brown sugar, and chili, and place over medium heat until the coconut oil is melted. (If your coconut is already in a liquid state, simply whisk these ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and proceed with the next step.)
In a large mixing bowl, break up the ramen noodles into bite-sized pieces; try to keep them in little clusters rather than shattering them into shards. Add the cereal, nuts, and seeds and stir to combine, then pour the coconut oil mixture over and stir well to coat everything evenly.
Scrape the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer and sprinkle with the salt. Transfer to the oven and bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until the nuts are lightly browned and the mixture feels dry. It will crisp up further as it cools. Once cool, store in an airtight container.
*makes about 7 cups