3 bags of polenta @ £1.98 = £5.94
1 bottle Worcestershire Sauce = £1.65
Paprika = £1.25
Vegetable Oil = 57p
TOTAL £9.41 MINUS 2 bags of unnecessary polenta = £5.45
It was a cold winter’s day in November, the nights were drawing in, the daylight fading fast and food supplies were low. We were in need of something big, something mighty, something PIMPED!
So disappointed were my sister and I at the lack of savoury pimps on www.pimpthatsnack.com that we decided to show the rest of the world how it’s done. The Hula Hoop efforts were impressive, but everyone knows there is only one quality, crunchy satisfying snack – and that’s Niks Naks.
And not just any Niks Naks, keep your Rib’N’Saucy and Cream’N’Cheesy – we pimped the best – Nice’N’Spicy Nik Naks! (Although Scampi’N’Lemon are pretty nice too – but we couldn’t find any of those)
Our initial enthusiasm was a little dampened when we were struck with the question – ‘What the hell goes into these little critters?’
A quick trip to the supermarket answered a few questions: Maize, Vegetable Oil, Lactose, Sodium Diacetate, Glucose Syrup, Flavour Enhancers (Monosodium Glutamate, Onion Powder, Tomato Powder, Colour (Paprika Extract), Spice, Sweetener.
As we were running low on ribonucleotides and diacetates, we decided to improvise. Thinking that Polenta could fulfil the maize function we stocked up on the following:
1. 3 bags of polenta (totally unnecessary – we only used one)
2. Paprika (for colouring)
3. Worcestershire sauce (for the Nice’N’Spicy flavour)
4. Vegetable Oil
The raw ingredients
We started off by adding the polenta to some boiling water while stirring gently. (4 parts water to 1 part polenta)
The packet had helpfully told us to take care as ‘polenta tends to bubble volcanically’ – they were correct. A small explosion ensued but was rectified by the Pimping Team with no casualties and only a few burned fingers. Next we added the paprika to provide an attractive (or lurid – depending on how you look at it) shade of colour. This was followed by the Worcestershire sauce to add the flavour.
After cooking for 5 minutes, we were ready for the next stage – shaping the glutinous mess into a giant Nik Nik type shape.
To do this, we coated some foil with oil
Spooned the polenta gloop onto it
and rolled it into a squashed sausage shape.
Then the mighty Nik Nak was ready for the oven
It was at the cooking stage that we hit our second technical hitch (the memories of the Vesuvian polenta explosion of earlier fading into the distance). Leaving the polenta in the foil meant that the mixture was too wet to form a solid shape, but unwrapping it led to the mixture dripping out of the foil and into the tray. We proceeded on a sort of half and half basis – with the foil partially left open to vent the steam while still retaining some of the shape in the mixture.
After cooking for about an hour we took the behemouth Nik Nak out of the oven and added some extra colour
and left it to stand.
After leaving the monster to cool, we removed it from the foil to reveal the finished product.
Nik Naks. Pimped. Sorted.
(And if anyone is wondering… no, it didn’t taste anything like a Nik Nak and yes, it was revolting)