Years ago, when my babies were little and one of the only things they would eat was popcorn, I bought an air popper. I felt I could keep it healthier by using organic popcorn kernels and butter, limiting the salt and fat, etc. We did that for maybe 10 years. Delicious and fast!
And then we went to Disneyland. And had their popcorn. And it was all over. I became obsessed with figuring out how to make popcorn as good as theirs. And lucky for you – I think I’ve nailed it. While I tell myself that this plant-based treat is better for me than the old cow-butter version I have always made, I’m sure that the sheer amount of oil I use, and the quantity of this popcorn we consume regularly tips it over the edge of what any reasonable person would consider healthy, but man is it delicious…
- 1/2 cup Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Oil*
- 2 teaspoons Flavorcol Popcorn Salt*
- 1 cup popcorn kernels**
In an extra large (12 quart-ish) pot, add enough popcorn oil to cover the bottom. Drop in 2-3 un-popped kernels and turn the burner on to medium high (#7 on my stove). It will take a few minutes, but listen for the first POP! That’s when your oil is hot enough.
Dump in the rest of the kernels and cover the pot with a lid or towel – or both in my case. The kernels will start popping away in there. Leave the lid on unless you want them all over your floor 🙂 The trick here is to SHAKE the pan every 15-20 seconds. If you don’t, the popped popcorn will burn and the un-popped kernels will not be able to reach the hot oil on the bottom. Give it a side-to-side shake or hearty up-and-down hoist. Mix it up, and keep it moving. Have fun with it. When the pot is about half way full, you can remove the lid, but keep shaking as well as you can. You’ll know you’re done when the POPS! are down to every 5 seconds and the popcorn is near the top of your pot.
Dump the popcorn into an extra-large bowl and squirt generously with the popcorn oil. I give it a 2 second squirt in a circle, then gently use my hand to stir the popcorn around a bit. Then I give it another 2 second squirt and stir again.
Now the salt. You could use any salt for this, I suppose. But the flavorcol is special in three ways. #1. It is a very fine grain of salt so it really sticks to the popcorn well. #2. It does have some magical popcorn flavor that blends with the flavored oil to make the sheer bliss that is this popcorn. #3. It is orange so it looks more professional – okay, that’s not a requirement, but it does show you where you have salted so you don’t over salt or eat a really salty piece without knowing. Pour 1-2 teaspoons in the palm of your hand, and use the other hand to lightly and uniformly sprinkle the salt over the “buttered” popcorn. Not too much! Getting an over-salted piece is really gross. Stir it in, and repeat until you like the flavor.
You’re done! Turn on the next season of Mandolorian and enjoy 🙂
* Don’t come for me!! I hate mass-produced food crap! But this is where it’s AT. Just reflect on all the other truly world and body friendly things you do for yourself and your family and lean into this one little, minor transgression…
** I don’t like Monsanto/ConAgra Foods and I try very hard not to support them because of all the horrible, unsustainable farming practices they have created and perpetuated in this country. #istandwithsmallfarms They sell most of the popcorn kernels in the world. You kind of have to go out of your way to NOT buy their popcorn. I find the Bob’s Red Mill organic kernels or Amish Country Extra Large to be great alternatives. If you can find some at your local farmer’s market, try those too! One caveat: sometimes the smaller blue or purple home-grown varieties don’t have a high enough water content and they don’t pop quite as vigorously, leaving some really hard bits. Aim for the plump yellow or white kernels…
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