Sunday, June 24, 2012

Popcorn Love

Normally I'm pretty appalled by the egregious use of corn in the USA. Thanks to corn syrup and other bi-products, it's in everything. I mean, a nicely grilled ear of corn on the cob is one thing. Maybe I can get used to it in various starchy products like cereal and tortillas. But corn in my cookies? And ketchup? And even orange juice? Seriously people? There is really only one ingredient that should be involved in orange juice. I'll give you a hint: it starts with "O" and ends in "RANGE".

Nonetheless, when it comes to corn, popcorn is my Achilles heel (much to the chagrin of my dad who likens eating popcorn to stuffing your face with styrofoam). I love it served traditionally with just a little butter and salt. I adore freshly made kettle corn. There's just no going wrong with popcorn.

So I propose an exchange: here I will post our most reliable popcorn making technique and you all should leave a comment with your favorite variety of popcorn for us to try. I know there are a ton out there - I've seen them on pinterest! But, I want opinions from real people. What's the best? If you can't decide (I relate, I'm a libra), then just list all the ones you love! Feel free to leave the comments on facebook if that's easier for you. For now, I'll uphold my end of the bargain.

Perfect Traditional Popcorn

3 tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
2-3 tbsp butter, clarified*
sea salt to taste

In a large pot that has a lid (I use a non-stick light weight dutch oven) heat the oil. Put about 3 kernels of popcorn in while it heats. Make sure the lid is on. (I like my dutch oven because it has a clear lid and I don't have to guess based on sounds).

Once the three kernels have popped, move the pot off the  heat (though not too far away) and add the rest of the kernels. Let them sit in the hot oil for about 30 seconds.

Move the pot back over the heat. Try to situate the lid so that there is room for air to escape, but not popcorn kernels.

Once the popcorn starts popping again, gently shake the pot back and forth over the heat to avoid any kernels getting burnt. I prefer to wear oven mitts while doing this because the steam gets really hot!

The popping will start to slow down. When you can just about count to 3 between pops take the pot off the heat and immediately transfer the popcorn to a bowl.  (Beware, a few kernels may try to keep popping on you!)

Top the popcorn with your clarified butter and sea salt. Serve immediately! (Tastes best while watching a movie with loved ones and/or friends)

*If you don't know how to clarify butter, that's okay. Just melt the same amount and it'll be fine. Clarifying it just takes it to the next level.

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