Saturday, January 23, 2010

Popcorn Procurement

We like popcorn. Nay, we love popcorn. Trouble is, store bought micro-bag popcorn isn't anything to write home about. It isn't anything to write about anywhere, even here. Dispell the myth that you can't get inexpensive curl-you-toes scrumptious popped snacks in your own home without a lot of fuss. I guarentee with a little patience you can make the worlds best corn in your kitchen for under a buck a bucket and less than 10 minutes. You'll never buy it premade or ready to pop in a bag again.

First off you need something other than a microwave to pop your corn. We have both an air popper and a Whirly popper. You can also use a pot on the stove but I don't know how to do that...yet.

We stuck with the air popper for a long while as it was our first out of the bag experience popping corn. We didn't even mind dodging the nuclear hot kernel missles of the afterpops. The boxed bags of corn abruptly stopped finding their way in the house. I think I actually gave the last of it to our neighbor.

A few weeks ago I picked up the Whirly pop at Northern Tool for $8.50 on sale. Then a week later found one for $2 at the thrift store. They're out there. Cheap. Ask around someone probably got one for a holiday gift and hates it. They don't know what they're missing. I wanted this because it can be used without electricity. I'm looking at getting natural gas or propane in the farm house and want to use it during power outages. It can also be used in an RV or camping! I haven't used the air popper since.

For popping corn I prefer this brand off Amazon. The corn has a nutty flavor but it's light. It also has few old maid kernels left when it's all said and done. Experiment with brands and flavors and find what you like. There is so much more to popcorn than the plain flavorless white corn used in those silly little bags.
The top is a full batch, about 6 cups of popped corn, made in the Whirly Pop with 2tbs Olive Oil. I added 2Tbs salted butter, melted. Tossed it up to coat and then generously sprinkled with Nutritional Yeast. It gives it a nutty/cheesy taste which is uber-yummy.
The bottom photo is homemade kettle corn. The difference between Kettle and Caramel popcorn is basically the addition of salt. Kettle corn is sweet and salt. Caramel is just sweet (but by no means any less yummy!)

To make Kettle corn heat 1/3 cup brown sugar with 2tbs oil and 2tbs water to boiling. Stir and let it boil for 3 minutes. Make sure the corn is already popped because it hardens when it cools. Pour over the popcorn and stir with a wooden spoon to coat. Remember to sprinkle the salt on while you're stirring! I use coarse Sea Salt instead of regular table salt. To me it has a shaper salt flavor plus some added minerals.

I've tried out coconut oil, olive oil -both light and dark- and vegetable oil in the Whirly. I prefer the dark Olive Oil. Basically, any oil will work and will slightly lend it's flavor to the popped corn.

So, go forth ye corny fool and fire up the poppers!

1 comment:

sproutingflowers said...

Yum, popcorn! My grandpa grows popcorn, so we are always well-supplied with at least two varieties. My dad pops up three of those big commercial tins full at a time over at his house using a stir crazy-type popper. I use a hot air popper to make a double batch at a summer, we have poporn, apple slices and chunks of out favorite cheese for supper on the hottest days.