Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Perfect Popcorn

When the weather is all chilly and grey the way it has been here so much lately, I dream of curling up in front of the fireplace with a steaming mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn. The fly in the ointment as far as making this happen is that I don't have a fireplace...although while searching for a nice fireplace image to drop in here, I discovered the world of ventless fireplaces. Maybe I will have one at some point soon.

I don't have any good photos of hot chocolate, either, but I fancy a beautiful cup with homemade marshmallows in it. This one looks just about perfect.

So how about the popcorn? I personally favor the air-popped variety - pan popped popcorn is admittedly delicious, but has a stronger flavor, so doesn't lend itself quite as well to interesting toppings, in my opinion. Plus? I'm lazy, and air-popped is so ridiculously easy.

Popcorn kind of fascinates me. I find it ever so interesting that the starchy molecules nestled inside the boring-looking exterior explode into these tasty, crunchy little clouds. Here's a slow motion video of popcorn transforming from seed to snack. Pretty neat.

Individual popcorn kernels are interesting looking, too:


The piece sticking up on the top of this kernel reminds me of Beaker.
No, I am not smoking anything.

Most importantly, though, popcorn tastes good. I love mine with lots of butter, parmesan cheese, and a healthy sprinkling of cayenne.


How do you like your popcorn?


  1. Ohhh I usually do black pepper/grated parmesan. Adding cayenne is a fantastic idea! I will have to try that. Mmm.. this makes me want to curl up and watch a movie. Maybe Vertigo.

  2. Salty and fresh. Butter, but only if it's real. Nothing sweet.

  3. "...starchy molecules nestled inside the boring-looking exterior..."

    And you call *me* a geek?

    You're amazing. You're the only one I know that can make popcorn sexy.

  4. Did you know you can make popcorn in the microwave with kernals and a paper bag (like a lunch bag)? I just discovered that. It takes 2 minutes and it's not all laden with gross stuff like store-bought microwave popcorn. Yummy.

    And someday I'm going to try these: http://www.prudentbaby.com/2010/02/homemade-coffee-marshmallows.html

    Homemade. Coffee. Marshmallows.

    Seriously! I'm drooling just thinking about them.

  5. Aww, MNAngler, thank you so much! You are too kind.

    And Tegan, WHOAAAAAAA. I have now bookmarked that recipe...SO making those. Woo hoo! Did not know about the bag thing, either...although a lunch bag of popcorn would probably not be enough for me. I'd need a big grocery sack of it! ;)

  6. I favor Old School when it comes to popcorn. Picture if you will: Stainless steel bowl, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 1/2 cup popcorn, pinch of kosher salt. Melt the coconut oil in the bowl on top of the stove. Add popcorn. Add salt. Cover bowl with aluminum foil. Cut ten 1" slits in foil. Use tongs to shake bowl like Jiffy Pop. In about 5 min, popping will stop. Remove bowl from heat. Carefully remove foil. Add butter or other seasonings. You will want to transfer to another container for consumption. (Metal bowl tends to conduct heat!) - Stoph

  7. Dang, 'stoph! That sounds amazing! I'll have to try that sometime. Thanks for reading!

  8. Popcorn and I are very close. Have been for years. I'm committed to my whirley pop, stove-top contraption. I usually go simple with just salt, but sometimes I have to have truffle salt. For special popcorn occasions, I mix in the parm and some pepper. Love it!

  9. I've been converted to your recipe for popcorn, so I won't be much help for new and original ideas. :-)

  10. Your popcorn sounds wonderful!! I'm a simple gal; I like salt and real butter. If I'm feeling frisky I'll add a little Parmesan cheese. The husband likes to add Tabasco to the melted butter to give his popcorn a spicy kick

  11. everything tastes better with cayenne pepper!!

  12. Seriously, you just added to my stops on the way home to pickup some popcorn.

    My own variation to Lisa's Truffle salt is using a bit of white truffle infused oil I got for a present.

    But I'm gonna have to try some of the ideas I just read here in the comments.

  13. ironjack, I think I would eat truffle oil on a shoe. This is a phenomenal idea...I will definitely have to try that.

    I actually did not even know that truffle salt existed! Lisa, I am now on a mission.

    And Dana, it never thought to add Tabasco to the butter! Super cool idea!

  14. Oooohhh...truffle salt! I've been itching to get some after reading the discussion about truffle salt vs. truffle oil in this recent Smitten Kitchen post http://bit.ly/c6bQxs

    favorite popcorn topper = honey+chili+butter

  15. Whaaaaaa? Honey? Do you mix it in with your butter?

  16. Oh YES! Heat honey, cayenne, and butter together and pour over popcorn and toss.

    This is the keeper "recipe" from Padma Lakshmi's cookbook Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet, which I think is pretty funny...


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