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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Simple pleasures: Popcorn

Popcorn has always amazed me. It starts as a little seed, but then add heat and pop! Yummy, fluffy popcorn.
Remember in the 80s when TV commercials convinced you that you needed a special popper to make popcorn? Then the invention of microwave popcorn made the process even easier, as all the yummy butter and salt (and a handful of unpronounceable chemicals) were infused right into the kernels.

Seeds and oil go in at the same time -- don't pre-heat the oil!
In modern times, we are drifting away from the microwave bags (so expensive!), but there are any number of tips and techniques for making the perfect popcorn -- including cooking it in a paper bag. You can even buy a vintage looking contraption if you are so inclined which requires turning throughout heating, or a machine that looks like one you would find at a carnival. Hats off to you if you have a place to store this!

Just a tiny crack to allow hot air to escape
Making popcorn is much more simple than all that. Using a regular saucepan with lid, you can make popcorn in just a few minutes using this handy guide:

2.4 Quart pan -- 1/4 cup seeds -- 1 1/2 tbls. light oil (I use safflower for high heat)

4 Quart pan -- 1/2 cup seeds -- 3 tbls. oil

You can pick up a giant bag full of seeds at a bulk foods store for a song. Put the seeds and the oil in the pot in at the same time, and put the lid on leaving the smallest crack for ventilation (not large enough for a seed to pop out!) Heat on medium (not medium high, or medium low -- just medium) until the popping slows to 2-3 seconds between pops -- similar to a microwave bag.

MEDIUM means medium. Like middle of the dial. Or Medium, if your stove is labelled as such.
I promise your pot will not overfill like in the old commercials, and, provided you catch it in time, will not burn.

Use the right size pot and measurements and your popcorn will not overflow. Hey hey ho ho.
I pour a few tablespoons of melted butter over the popcorn and sprinkle a little salt. Heaven! As a variation, you can use olive oil for popping and then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Yum!

One less contraption to store, and makes for a simple, uncomplicated snack.

Happy popping!

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Favorite of the day: {yawn}

Working on: Cleaning -- on a weekday. Ugh!

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

his is the best way to make popcorn! I like making it with olive oil and sea salt. Delish!