I know, not very complex, but tasty nonetheless. If you make popcorn from scratch, you will never go back to that microwave stuff in a bag again. A bag of corn kernels is a lot cheaper too. You can typically pay under $3 for a bag of kernels that will pop a good 20 full pots worth. To do this, “the old-fashioned” way as my husband calls it, we use our largest pot, the same one I typically use for soup – make sure it’s a cheap one you don’t really care about though, because that pot now has a couple of dents in it from the popcorn popping!
Use at least 2 tbs of oil/fat. This can be in the form of EVOO, butter, or canola oil, etc. This is not the low fat version of popcorn. If you want low fat, go buy an air popper. To cook popcorn this way, a healthy amount of oil is needed in order to keep the kernels hot and from burning. Heat just enough to heat up the oil, so that it is thing and can coat the surface of your pan. Then pour in the kernels. I think we typically use about 1/4 cup, or just enough to cover the surface of the pan. Then add salt, pepper, spices, etc. and the lid goes on – shake so that everything gets evenly coated and turn the heat up (med-high to high).
Once you hear the oil start to sizzle, use potholders to hold the pan and shake it – the key here is you don’t want the kernels sitting in any one spot for too long, or they will burn. Sometimes I hold the pot just over the burner rather than setting it directly on the heat. Shake the pot and wait for the popcorn to start popping. Once you don’t hear as much popping (say popping is now every 1 second or so), then that’s your time to quit. It’s better to leave a few kernels unpopped than to burn the entire pot, as my husband well knows. You should have now an entire pot of popcorn!
For spices – we are a big fan of experimenting with spices. Some things we have tried and love –
1. Italian herbs – oregano, basil, rosemary, etc. This is probably what we do most often, cooked in EVOO.
2. Plan old S&P. Yep, this is a classic.
3. Paprika – I know it doesn’t sound normal, but it’s good.
4. Mesquite seasoning – I have some of this that I bought on our honeymoon on Cape Cod, and while also unconventional, is SUPER tasty!