Fajita-Flavored Popcorn with Queso Fresco

It’s definitely no secret around here that popcorn is my favorite snack.  Also, probably not a surprise to you that my favorite flavors are those of the Mexican variety.  Annnnd, as you also most-likely know, Cinco de Mayo is Sunday – AKA a great excuse to eat your weight in Mexican food, drink a margarita (or two or three) and celebrate with your friends!

So why not celebrate with a new popcorn flavor?  My blog reader has been filled to the brim with some amazing celebratory echiladas, dips, etc. but for the life of me, I just couldn’t come up with any good ideas for this year’s celebration.  Until yesterday, that is.

Fajita-Flavored Popcorn with Queso Fresco

Wednesday night, after youth group, I was enjoying a big bowl of buttered, salted popcorn and started thinking about the cilantro-lime popcorn that I made a while back.  And from there, somehow, I started thinking about fajitas – our favorite fajitas from a favorite Mexican place in Kansas City.  Paul and I would go there regularly on Friday nights.  We would order the steak + chicken fajitas and split them…mostly because I would fill up on guacamole, anyway.

These fajitas – there was something just a little extra special about them and I think we finally figured out that it was so simple – Worcestershire sauce.  Yes.  A fridge staple around here.  But it gives fajitas the most amazingly deep flavor.  So I could only imagine it would be the perfect addition to some salty, spicy, buttery popcorn.  And it totally was.  I mixed up some basic fajita seasonings – cumin, onion, garlic, cayenne and paprika, added some lime and cilantro, Worcestershire sauce, tossed it all together and then topped it with some crumbled queso fresco.

I’ll definitely be celebrating Cinco de Mayo more often with this recipe!

Fajita-Flavored Popcorn with Queso Fresco

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Fajita-Flavored Popcorn with Queso Fresco

Yield: 2 servings

Total Time: 20 min

A fun, buttery, and spicy popcorn recipe with fajita seasonings, cilantro, lime and queso fresco.

Ingredients:

1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 cups popped popcorn (see note below)
1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled

Directions:

Mix the sea salt, garlic powder, ground cumin, onion powder, paprika and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the cilantro, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice and black pepper and remove from the heat. Stir until combined.

In a large bowl, toss the popcorn with half of the butter. Add the pre-mixed fajita seasonings and toss well. Add the remainder of the butter mixture and mix well. Add the queso freso and serve.

Cassie's Notes:
I pop my popcorn on the stove because because I prefer it that way. Pop your popcorn however you wish! Here are the instructions for stove-popping:
Heat one tablespoon of oil in a medium heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. (I use grapeseed, you can use canola, vegetable, etc. just not olive oil, it will be likely to burn)

Add a few popcorn kernels, cover the pan and let it heat up. When one kernel pops, add 1/3 cup of uncooked popcorn kernels and cover the pan. Shake the pan a little to spread the kernels in an even layer. Let the kernels pop for several minutes until the pan is full and the popping slows down, shake the pan often. Remove from heat and transfer popcorn to a large bowl.

Fajita-Flavored Popcorn with Queso Fresco