One of my favorite things ever growing up was when my dad would make kettle popcorn for my brother and me. Such a treat! I love popcorn because it’s a great snack to pig out on without feeling too fat afterwards–plus the possibilities for toppings are endless.
I enjoy both salty and sweet toppings but the real winner is a topping that incorporates the two.
I don’t own a microwave so recently I’ve got into the joy of popping my own popcorn in a kettle on the stove.
Here’s how you can do it in YOUR kitchen!
1. First, pour enough popcorn kernels into the bottom of a wok, or sturdy saucepan (make sure you have an appropriate sized lid to cover it).
2. Shake out the kernels so they’re settled at the bottom. About a quarter cup should be a good amount for your first time trying this out.
3. Pour some frying oil (the best is vegetable oil) into the bottom of the pan, just enough so the kernels are sitting in a little bath of oil, just as deep as they are tall. Shake the pan again to coat.
4. Cover the pot with a lid. Preferably you’ll have a clear lid, but if this isn’t possible, you’ll just have to rely on your ears and nose.
5. Turn the heat up to medium-high but NOT TOO HIGH!
6. After about a minute you’ll start to hear the oil sizzling and your first kernel will pop. Rapidly, this sound will increase until you have a popping popcorn extravaganza. Make sure to put your hand (with an oven mitt) over the cover a couple times to shake up the pot.
Look at those little guys go![vimeo https://vimeo.com/47294957]
7. This entire process won’t take much more than 4 minutes. When the sound of the popping slows down significantly, it’s time to turn the heat off. If you start to smell burning, remove the pot from the element (hob) and shake up again.
Lift the lid and it should look like this:
Now you can top your popcorn with just about anything. Online recipe blogs have taught me that. Butter, salt, caramel, parmesan cheese, bacon–you know, the usual. I’ve done homemade caramel with toasted coconut before and it was epic.
I recently went camping equipped with my bag of popcorn kernels and a special spice mixture I whipped up just before leaving.
It consisted of:
- One part salt
- One part sugar
- A bit of paprika
- A bit of chili powder
- ONION GRANULES (look for it in the grocery store with all the other spices, it’s also great for seasoning homefries!)
I used an empty spice jar (once used for thyme I think)
Shake it all up!
Sprinkle over your popcorn and go nuts!