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25 October 2011

Perfectly Popped Popcorn

Why would you want to pop your own popcorn?  Well, it's cheaper, and you can control the flavor...those seem like two perfectly good reasons to me!  So next time you make popcorn, try this method.  You'll have very, very few un-popped kernels, nothing burns, and either a healthy snack or the perfect ingredient for that caramel corn recipe you've been hanging on to!

You'll need:
  • 3 Tbsp canola or peanut oil (really any type of oil, as long as it has a high smoke point, but do not use vegetable oil!)
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3 to 4 quart covered saucepan
  • Melted butter (if desired)
  • Salt or other seasonings (if desired)
How to do it:
  • Heat the oil in the saucepan on medium high heat.
  • Put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil and cover.  Have the rest of your popcorn kernels ready!
  • When the kernels in the pan pop, add the rest of 1/3 cup of kernels in an even layer.  Cover the pan, remove from the heat and count to 30.
  • Return the pan to the heat.  The popcorn should begin popping all at once.  Once it really starts popping, shake the pan back and forth, gently, over the burner.  For drier, crisper popcorn, try to keep the lid slightly ajar to allow the steam to escape, just be mindful of the steam and possible hot oil drops!
  • Once the pops are several seconds apart, remove from heat and pour immediately into a large bowl.  Add melted butter, salt, or other seasonings to taste, then toss to coat.
This recipe yields about 2 quarts of popcorn (approximately 8 cups) or 2 servings.

A few additional tips/suggestions:
  • If you know you want salted popcorn, you can add the salt to the hot oil.  Then as the popcorn pops, the salt will distribute among the kernels.
  • Some toppings to try:  Garlic salt, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, grated Parmesan cheese, etc.
Find the printable of this recipe here.


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