Homemade Popcorn!

When we were growing up, we had this air-popper for making popcorn. I only ever remember using it when we had a babysitter. There was this little tiny dish for melting butter that fit in the top. I have absolutely no idea how we never lost that dish. I feel like there were some hiccups with the air-popper, but I remember it being a fun project and I remember always wanting to put more butter in the dish. 

I've always heard how easy homemade popcorn is but never really attempted it myself. Since I'm moving (beating a dead horse by continually repeating that), I've been through my cabinets several times recently trying to determine what gets tossed, eaten, or moved. I ambitiously bought the popcorn kernels like last Winter and never got around to it. Before deciding to toss them, I figured I should at least give this a shot. Last weekend, the weather really lined up nicely for this. It was perfectly drizzly, cold, and ready to binge on some Netflix. 

After about 3 seconds of googling, I found some instructions and had a bowl of perfect popcorn less than 5 minutes later. I am never making microwave popcorn again. This was beyond easy - plus fun. I went super simple with my seasoning (butter, salt, parmesan) but there are about a million options. I think I'll try cinnamon sugar in the near future.
 Here's how it goes:

(Step 1) Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan on medium high heat. Allow any solid portions of the coconut oil to melt.
(Step 2) Put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil and cover the pan.
(Step 3) After the test kernels have popped, add the rest of the kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat and count 30 seconds. This method first heats the oil to the right temperature, then waiting 30 seconds brings all of the other kernels to a near-popping temperature so that when they are put back on the heat, they all pop at about the same time.
(Step 4) Return the pan to the stove. The popcorn will begin popping almost all at once. Once the popping starts in earnest, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner.
Try to keep the lid slightly ajar to let the steam from the popcorn release (the popcorn will be drier and crisper). I found this pretty hard to do, so don't stress about it.
(Step 5) Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and dump the popcorn immediately into a wide bowl.
(Step 6) Time to season. If you are adding butter, you can easily melt it by placing the butter in the now empty, but hot pan. Drizzle butter over the popcorn and season with salt.

Shopping List
3 tbsp coconut oil
1/3 cup of kernels
some butter (2-3 tbsp?)
some salt
some grated parmesan cheese

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