The time is 10 PM and I am on an emergency run at HEB for more sugar. The plan is to bake some vegan banana bread whilst watching Ocean’s Eleven. But what good is a movie without any popcorn? I stop in the appropriate aisle, but instead of going for my favorite Central Market Organics Lightly Salted Popcorn, I pause.
Why? No, I’m not eying the insanely large amount of cute college boys roaming the premises, I’m eying the bags of corn kernels that line the bottom shelf of the snacks aisle. I’ve never made popcorn on the stove before and I felt like that was the night to do it.
Turn’s out it’s surprisingly easy. I heartily encourage anyone who has never done so before to try it out. Yes, it does take a little (and I mean little) more hands on effort than just standing and listening to your baggie in the microwave, but it’s worth it.
These are some PROS to popping your own corn:
- You can control the ingredients to make it as healthy as you want
- The popcorn is lighter and fluffier
- Decrease dependence on the microwave (Am I crossing the paranoia border here?)
- Feel like you accomplished something
- Last but not least, it’s way cheaper
Now I am going to scare you with some CONS for microwave popcorn:
- The ingredient diacetyl has been linked to lung problems (although most manufacturers have taken it out)
- There is more product waste
- There are preservatives, artificial flavors, dyes, and other unknown things in the ingredients
Here’s how you do it.
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup corn kernels
- ~3 tbs oil (preferably one with a high smoke point like canola, but I like the flavor olive oil gives)
- 3 qt saucepan
- toppings (try savory or sweet, check out Cornucopia‘s site if you want some inspiration)
- Heat the oil in the saucepan on medium-high.
- Once the oil is hot, pour the kernels in. There should be a single layer of kernels. Cover with a lid.
- Once kernel’s start popping, hold the lid slightly ajar to let out steam. If the pot is not covered enough kernels and oil will fly out, so only a crack. At the same time, carefully slide the pan back and forth on the burner to prevent the popcorn from burning.
- It is done when there are a couple seconds between pops.
- Season and enjoy!
Given that this weekend I watched the Ocean’s trilogy and both Wayne’s Worlds, I’ve made a lot of popcorn. So far my favorite flavor combos are popped in olive oil with sea salt, lemon pepper, and drizzled with real, freshly melted butter and coated in cinnamon and sugar.
Do you make popcorn on the stove? What are your favorite toppings?