It was Kate, our constant blood hound, on the scent yet again. What she was smelling was popcorn and her inability to place the scent made me feel a little guilty for not having made such a simple favorite in such a very long time. Inspired by a unique recipe in a new cookbook, I'd just finished a batch and told her that is was off limits but that more was forthcoming. I promised.
I like popping corn on the stove top for a few reasons, the first being that we don't own a popcorn popper, the second reason is that buying popcorn kernels instead of microwave popcorn is much less expensive than microwave popcorn and much healthier. The final reason for my stovetop prep is that microwave popcorn is not a favorite of mine -- too much salt or flavor or something. The kids, however, love the microwave stuff and enjoy it as a special treat on babysitter nights which works out perfectly for us all!
Have you ever made popcorn on the stove top? It's so easy.
You'll need a thick bottomed pot or pan with a lid (lid part is important!). I use my soup pot.
Pour canola oil (or other vegetable oil) into the pot just barely covering the bottom.
Turn on the heat to high-ish (I set my dial between 8 and 9).
Toss 2 or 3 kernels into the pot, and listen for them to pop. Now you know the oil is hot enough to pop your corn.
Place desired amount of popcorn
(enough to cover the bottom of the pan plus a little bit more or less as you need)
in the pot and cover with the lid.
Grasp pot handle(s) with your hands and shake constantly over the burner until popping stops. This could take up to 5 minutes, but keep a good ear as it really depends upon the amount of popcorn you used.
The cloudy lid pictured above is caused by the kernels popping up against the steamy lid.
When popping stops, remove pot from heat
and add salt
and melted butter if desired.
Stir your add ins into the popcorn to evenly distribute and then pour finished product into a serving bowl (s) leaving unpopped kernels in the pan to throw away.
There ya have it.
You control the salt, butter, and oil and you don't have to worry about all of the other pesky ingredients listed on the microwave variety either! Now all you need is a good movie and a few napkins! Have fun!
(Rumor has it that there is a recipe coming soon which involves making this popcorn as the first step...stay tuned!) UPDATE: click here for recipe!