My friend was amused that I have no microwave oven. How can I deal with food all day long and not own one? And how were we going to pop the popcorn she’d brought over? The health risks associated with microwave ovens and foods packaged especially for them like microwave popcorn packages put me off. And frankly, those popcorn bags with the laminated interiors give me the creeps (read this story on the US man awarded $7 million plus in damages for popcorn lung). Handing the bag of tricks back to my friend, I went to my pantry and pulled out half a cup of dried corn kernels. Then I showed her how you make real, honest-to-goodness popcorn. It takes all of 10 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.
yield: 10 cups
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup of popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons butter
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat. Drop 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil. Cover the pan.
When the kernels pop, add the salt, then the rest of the popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat and wait 30 seconds. This method helps all the kernels pop at about the same time.
Return the pan to the heat. When the popping starts, move the pan back and forth over the burner. Once the popping slows down, remove the pan from the heat and pour the hot popcorn into a large bowl.
Melt the butter in the empty pot and pour over popcorn. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
Delicious flavorings for popcorn:
- Sprinkle brewer’s yeast and garlic powder over prepared popcorn; mix in gently.
- Go Middle-Eastern and sprinkle a teaspoon or two of Yemenite hawaij spice over the popcorn and stir in. Curry makes a good substitute for hawaij.
If you must use a microwave, it’s perfectly possible to pop corn in a plain paper bag with the top firmly closed.
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