“Flamin’ hot” has become a trendy staple in the packaged food arena, with products from mac and cheese to Mountain Dew appealing to those who like a little heat.
The flavor mix is usually chili powder or cayenne, with onion and garlic powder, cheddar cheese powder, and MSG (a flavor enhancer), but what sets flamin’ hot apart is its brilliant red color — like red velvet cupcakes, it relies on a lot of red food coloring, in powder form.
We talked about it this week Calgary Eye Openerand yes, you can make it yourself – after consulting some YouTubers and the back of the Cheetos and Doritos packs, my teen and I made this blend in a spice/coffee grinder.
We found all these ingredients at Bulk Barn.
Flamin’ Hot Spice Mix
- 3 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cheddar cheese powder or nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoon MSG
- 1 tsp citric acid or lemon pepper
- 1 tsp buttermilk powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp white pepper (black pepper is fine too, just looks different)
- a container of red food coloring powder (about 2-3 tablespoons – some recipes call for 2-3 containers, but I found one red was enough!)
Pulse everything in a coffee or spice grinder – perhaps one that you use solely for spices, not your morning coffee beans! And store in a jar to use on popcorn, fries, mac and cheese or the cornmeal funnel cakes below!
Makes about 3/4 cup.
Cornmeal Funnel Cakes
I cooked about 1/3 cup dry red lentils until very tender and mixed them with the rest of the ingredients in a blender.
They aren’t necessary, but they boost fiber and protein and don’t change the taste or texture – the funnel cakes are still light, crispy and delicious!
If you do use them, add them along with the dry ingredients and blend your batter in a blender so they are pureed.
- ½ cup cornmeal
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- canola or other mild vegetable oil, for cooking
Place the cornmeal and milk in a blender (or mixing bowl) and let sit for about 20 minutes, then pulse to blend, if using a blender.
Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and egg (and drained cooked lentils, if using) and pulse or beat until smooth.
Heat an inch or so of oil in a shallow pan (a Dutch oven is perfect) or a deep skillet until hot but not smoking. (A loaf of bread should sizzle when you dip it in, and if you have a thermometer, aim for about 350-375 F.)
Take a funnel and put your finger on the end.
Pour in some batter and run your finger off over the hot oil, letting the batter run out while moving the funnel over the oil in a twisting circle. (You can also place the batter in a piping bag or ziplock bag and cut off a corner.)
Let the batter cook for a minute, or until golden brown, then flip with tongs to cook the other side.
Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain the excess oil.
Sprinkle with the piping hot mixture (or with powdered sugar) and serve warm.
Makes about a dozen, depending on their size.