Sunday, February 06, 2011


I adore popcorn. Really. When asked what my all-time favorite food is, I'm going to say popcorn. It is one snack I never get tired of and sometimes I make it my whole meal. I've been popping the kernels the old fashioned, on-the-stove way since I was in elementary school. I'm always surprised when I meet people, especially teenagers and kids, who have no idea that it can be popped this way since they've grown up eating only the microwave version.

Well let me tell you in no humble terms, my popcorn is better. There! If the football players and coaches in the Super Bowl can brag on their strengths and talk about how good their game is, I can tell you how good my fluffy white stuff is.

So if you're still looking for a healthy snack to munch on during the Super Bowl, this fits the bill. Plus, it is CHEAP! So put the great flavor and low cost together and factor in the fact that it doesn't contain any bad-for-you junk and you've got a Super Bowl of PoPcOrN.

* Basic Recipe: Cover bottom of pan with oil. Then add enough popcorn to cover pan bottom. Cook over high heat til popping stops or there are a few seconds between each pop. Don't keep it in there too long and let it burn. If you're someone who needs specific amounts, you can start out with 2 tablespoons of oil and 1/3 cup of kernels.

My tips for creating a superb product:

* I keep my bag of unpopped popcorn in the freezer

* Use a pot with a good lid but preferably one with vents so the steam can escape---trapped steam can make your popcorn TOUGH. I am now using one of those kind with the crank handles. These are excellent!

* I have personally found that generic popcorn pops just as well as the fancy stuff

* Heat your oil FIRST---put it on high and after a minute or so, add your popcorn.

*Some bags say to add a few kernels and when those pop add the rest, I just "know" how long to wait cause I've done it for so long.

*If you aren't going completely all-natural and avoiding all food coloring, etc. this step can be included. After you put in your popcorn, sprinkle it with the orange buttery popcorn salt that is used in the popcorn machines at football games, etc. The only place I can find it is Sam's Club. One brand is SAVORAL (or something like that).

* Pop your corn on HIGH shaking it (side to side ON the burner, not up and down taking it OFF of the burner) or turning the crank on the stove-top poppers that come handles. Dump some of it in a bowl when it gets to the top but continue cooking it over heat til almost all of them are popped.

* Since I'm trying to be healthy and use "good fats", I use Expeller Pressed SAFFLOWER oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Grape Seed Oil, or Expeller Pressed Canola Oil to pop the corn. You can use a vegetable, peanut, or canola oil, just be aware that unless its an expeller pressed type of oil, its not as healthy for you. But if you don't eat it very often, then it might not be a big deal for you. I eat a LOT of popcorn so I really try to use the good stuff. I also usually use 2 or 3 different types of oil mixed together. I'm just weird that way. I figure I'm kind of getting the benefits from more than one kind that way.

* Use regular salt (well, I use sea salt) not the orange salt afterwards. I add a bit of salt after adding each layer of popcorn.

* Sometimes I melt some butter and pour over the popcorn after popping. Real BUTTER is a "good fat" where as the stuff in the spray cans is not. But even if its a "good fat", I don't need to be eating it by the tablespoonfuls! I actually save the butter just for the kids' bowl and keep mine to just the salt OR I sprinkle Tex-Mex seasonings (paprika, cumin, chili powder, and red pepper).

* When I lived in Africa, I couldn't get the special popcorn salt but it still tasted good and it was there that I figured out the secret of the pot with the vents. If you don't have a vented lid, just every now and again let some of the steam escape but without lifting the lid so much you shoot popcorn all over the place! The secret to really crisp popcorn is NO STEAM BUILD-UP!

Happy PoPpInG!

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