Friday, November 8, 2013

Butter Popcorn

Popcorn is one of my families' favorite snacks. We love this simple treat. I think we started with popcorn like most people -- microwave popcorn. The final product was good, but you don't realize how good it can be until you've made popcorn at home on your stove.With a little care and the right equipment, we have moved popcorn to a top-notch favorite.

We prefer white popcorn, but it is not easy to find. Albertsons and Wal-Mart are the main stores selling it, so we will usually pick up several bags and pour them into a zip-top freezer bag to keep frozen away in the freezer. It stays there until time to cook. A fun mistake was mixing the white & yellow kernels together. The final popcorn was mix of yellow & white where the yellow popcorn was in a bed of white making it look like it was dripping with butter.

Clarified butter is probably the key to really good popcorn. Butter would normally smoke and burn at the high temperature needed to pop the kernels. To get around this, I clarify the butter, but that is for another posting. The final product is a frozen puck of clarified butter ready for you use in my next batch of popcorn. By following portion control techniques, I create (and freeze) the right amount of clarified butter.

This is our third popper. The first two were Whirly Pops. They were not as well built as this Back to Basics model. A feature I really like is the dense bottom to conduct the heat and hold it for the corn to pop.

Once you feel comfortable making popcorn at home, you can use this ability to create a huge variety of popcorn snacks. I'll write up posts about this individually later like the very popular kettle corn. I really like (and Leslie really does not like) chile popcorn made with chile powder & garlic.

A stove top popper
  • 42 g clarified butter
  • 90 g popcorn
  • salt, to taste

  1. Before you start popping, get a big bowl where you will put your popped popcorn. 
  2. Now that you have a bowl ready, put your amazing popcorn popper over high heat and drop in the clarified butter puck. Once it is melted, pour in the popcorn. 
  3. Sprinkle in a little salt and mix together. I like to make sure the corn is laying in an even layer to it heats up evenly. Simply mix occasionally until you get a few kernels to explode.
  4. When the pop corn begins to pop, mix the pop consonantly until the popping nearly stops. This takes some practice, so make popcorn every night or weekend to refine your skills. Once the popping nearly stops, just pour it into your waiting big bowl. Shake on a little more salt and toss the popped corn. We shake on more salt at this point, but we like it salty. You can do what you and your doctor think is right.