Getting ready for another Oscar Weekend brought to mind that popcorn and movies are a perfect paring.Even though I never buy popcorn at the movies, I do enjoy making it at home. I've played with microwave popcorn and stove top popcorn.
Air Popped Popcorn
Rather than purchasing microwave packets, I've learned that you can take traditional popcorn kernels (I use ½ Cup), place them into a brown bag ,fold the top twice and microwave( 2-2 ½ minutes) it just like the commercial packages.It's the healthiest snack around and the easiest. You may need to adjust your timing based on the power of your microwave.
For a dressed up version may I suggest one of the following:
Best Ever Caramel Corn*
8 quarts ( 32 cups) popped popcorn (2 Cups of unpopped)
2 Cups Brown Sugar
½ Cup light Corn Syrup
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Cup Butter
½ Tsp.Baking Soda
2 Cups Dry Roasted Peanuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 200°F.
In a medium saucepan combine brown sugar, corn syrup,salt and butter. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add baking soda. Toss popped popcorn in a bowl and coat with caramel. Place in a large baking roasting pan. Bake for 1 hours, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and dump on wax paper or parchment separating into pieces as it cools. Store cooled popcorn in an airtight container.
*I am not a big peanut fan,but if you are feel free to add 2 cups of dry roasted peanuts to the caramel mixture before baking. I think the recipe stands on its own without the nuts.
Super Simple Kettle Corn
(a recipe from Chow.com)
⅓ Cup Vegetable Oil
¾ Cup popcorn kernels
¼ Cup granulated sugar
1 Tsp. coarse salt (kosher works fine)
Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot with a tight fitting lid. When the oil starts to shimmer add the kernels, cover and shake the pot to evenly distribute the corn. Once the kernels start popping, gently shake the pot until the popping stop 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat and immediately add sugar and salt. Toss to combine and serve.