Posts Tagged ‘popcorn’

Pressure popcorn

I haven’t made popcorn the old-fashioned way (on the stove) in a while. I had a yen for popcorn earlier, and decided to not make it in the microwave for a change. Looking at the stove, I saw my little tea kettle. Which I hardly ever use, since it was more Mom’s thing. Anyway, I wondered if I could balance it on top of the lid I made the popcorn in, turning it into an impromptu pressure cooker. Voila, it worked! The popcorn seemed to pop faster, and only a bit on the bottom got burnt. Yeah, I still have a problem with that. Anyway, I did my usual margarine and olive oil melted in the microwave, with seasonings. This time, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, parsley and paprika. In fifteen seconds, it was ready to pour over the popcorn, and then salt. Simple and yummy. 🙂

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There was a sale a few weeks back at Publix for Orville Redenbacher popcorn, buy-one-get-one-free. I availed myself of it since (a) I like popcorn and (b) it’s a cheap snack anyway, and at the price I couldn’t pass it up.

I normally make it on the stove top. Sometimes in a regular pot, but more often in my big non-stick pan, since it has a glass lid and I can watch the popping. But I’ve done microwave bags of popcorn and figured, “Why not this?” It’d be faster, and maybe use less energy than the stovetop.

So I looked around online and found this recipe. Great! But I didn’t want to buy paper bags, and the staples concerned me, even though they say it’s not a problem. So I hunted around more and discovered folks who used microwave-safe containers.

So I got out one of the decent sized (2 quarts?) Corningware containers (thanks Mom) and tried that. My first attempt met with mixed success. It worked, but getting most of the kernels popped made the already popped ones get burned. I’ve tried it a few times since, and got it to a point where it seems to work well.

Use a teaspoon or so of oil (I think non-olive oil works better) in a microwave safe container. You might want to spray cooking spray on the sides, to make later cleanup easier.

It says to add some salt and spices to the oil, but haven’t noticed a discernable difference in taste. I still add them, just in case. But I augment that, more on that later.

Add the popcorn, about a quarter cup. Doesn’t seem like much, but you’ll be surprised at the yield. And hey, you’re doing it in the microwave, so it’s a snap to make more.

After about two to three minutes (depending on your microwave), scoop out what’s popped into a big bowl. I use my hands, but then, I’m crazy. You probably want a slotted spoon or something similar.

Pop what’s left for another couple of minutes and scoop that out. You can continue doing this until all the kernels are popped, or stop whenever you’re happy with what you’ve got.

Back to the spices. Over the years, I’ve come up with an olive oil/margarine blend, with sometimes butter. First I add the oil. Then some garlic (fresh or powdered or from a jar) and other spices. Favorites for me are basil or an italian herb blend, and sometimes paprika.

Then add the margarine and/or butter. There should be about 3 tablespoon’s worth total. You should fiddle with it until you get the amount that you like. Cover and microwave until the solids melt and bubble a bit. With the amount I use, that’s less than 20 seconds. Maybe do it longer to get the flavors to come out more. If so, use a larger bowl, since doing it longer than 20 seconds causes the liquid to boil over the edges. You might want to nuke the herb oil mixture before doing the popcorn, to let the flavors infuse more into the oil.

Pour the seasoned stuff over the popcorn, sprinkle with as much salt as you want, and voila. If on hand, I’ll add parmesan cheese as well.

Experiment and find what’s best for you. That’s the great thing about popcorn. It’s so cheap, and the amount of oil/margarine/butter you need is so small, you can play to your heart’s content until you get it the way you prefer.

Cleanup isn’t too bad. Let the container soak in soapy hot water for a while, and you should be fine. Enjoy!

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