My new favorite snack is home-popped popcorn. When I first mentioned this to my mother, I said something along the lines of, “I’ve been making my own popcorn.” By this, she thought I meant growing my own corn, drying it, and then popping it. Really, mom?
She should know me well enough to know that I think THAT sounds like way too much work 🙂
I have been doing the “making my own popcorn” version that you all hopefully thought of, which is that I’m buying the kernels and popping them in a pot on the stove. It is so, so deliciously good and easy. I wouldn’t say “easy” unless it actually was. This is coming from the woman who will have a snack craving so strong and urgent that I’ve eaten almost entire bags of shredded cheese intended for tomorrow’s dinner, eaten sandwich bread slices without anything on them, etc. If it’s not going to be in my stomach in 3 minutes or less, it’s not the snack for me.
Home-popped popcorn is most definitely the snack for me. I can really taste the freshness and it makes the biggest difference.
3 tbsp of popping corn (you can use any brand, I like Trader Joe’s version)
1 tbsp (plus another drop or two) of oil (I’ve been using olive oil and I love the flavor, but any oil would work)
Salt to taste
1. Add the oil to a medium-sized pot with a well-fitting lid.
2. Add 2-3 kernels to the oil, heat over medium heat on the stove, and cover the pot.
3. Wait until you can hear at least one of the kernels pop, then add the rest of the kernels and cover.
4. Holding the pot handle securely in one hand, hold the lid tightly onto the pot with your other hand and begin to shake the pot over the burner. The kernels should begin to pop after about 15 seconds or so.
5. Continue shaking the pot until the popping slows. (By shaking the pot and listening you should also be able to hear if there are multiple unpopped kernels in the bottom – if there are, keep shaking). This should take anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes depending on your stove and pot.
6. Uncover, add salt to taste, and serve immediately!
Makes 1 serving.
A few notes:
- I have a gas stove. I’m not sure how the results are with an electric burner – I’d recommend leaving the pot on the burner and sliding it back and forth. Over my gas burner, I hold the pot approximately 1-3 inches off of the burner so the heat is still direct.
- The shaking IS necessary – otherwise they’ll stick to the bottom of the pot and burn. I like to do a gentle rocking-side-to-side motion with the pot combined with some vigorous shaking.
- After popping, you can add any traditional (or nontraditional) popcorn condiments you desire – grated parmesan cheese would be delicious, as would some freshly grated black pepper. Or experiment with sweet popcorn and add sugar and cinnamon! Oh, and I almost forgot – although it has a great delicate buttery taste on its own, you could melt some butter and pour it right on top. Yum.
- One 3 tbsp (unpopped) serving makes about 6 cups of popped popcorn. The popped serving has 120 calories, making it one of the lowest-calorie snacks in my arsenal.
- By making the popcorn yourself, you’re avoiding the gibberish ingredients and chemicals in the microwaveable popcorn bags, and you get to control how much salt and/or butter you put on it.
- It’s cheap! The bag I bought was between $2 and $3 and has 22 servings.
I’m never, ever, ever going back to microwave popcorn.