Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Pop poppin some popcorn!

I feel like every few weeks I have to apologize for my lack of posting! It's hard to maintain a blog when I have tons of other stuff to do! Who doesn't? Well something I've wanted to do for a while is post a bunch of great popcorn recipes! Popcorn is something that's generally unappreciated. The humble, tiny kernel that literally explodes into airy goodness; what's not to love? It's extremely economical, thats for sure! If you pop it yourself, a bag of kernels can cost under 2 bucks, and it makes so many batches! Done right, it's perfect to bring to a party or if fancy enough, as a present or an addition to a dessert table! You can go sweet or savoury, simple or extravagant, healthy or... sinfully unhealthy. I bring you a mix of all these things! Many of these recipes are my go-to for Shabbat, as many of my friends know, and are insanely addictive!!! Some are easier and less complicated than the others, and some more 'patchkedik' and laboursome. It all depends what youre looking for and how much time you have!
Whenever I mention that I make the popcorn on my stovetop, people are in shock! They simply can't believe its possible and it must take me forever! I know, I live in the stone age. Have I mentioned that I don't own a microwave?
Anyways, it's really not as hard as people think, you just need patience, and once you get poppin, it doesnt take much time at all!
I'll start off with a basic recipe for plain popcorn, as most of the recipes call for this.

Plain popcorn:

1/2 cup popcorn kernels (or enough to cover the bottom of the pot)
Salt, to taste

Heat a large pot until bottom is hot. Haha, rhymes... Add kernels, and put the lid on. Every so often, carefully shake the pot so the kernels move and get toasted on each side. This may take a while (the first batch always does, but don't get disenheartened, it's a labour of love!). Once you hear the kernels start popping, shake the pot more often, so the kernels at the bottom don't get burnt. When you hear that the popping starts to slow down, leave it on for a few more seconds, continuing to shake the pot, even turning down the heat, and then, carefully pour into a bowl. You may notice that I didn't add oil in the beginning. You may choose to if your pot isnt very good, or if you're eating it plain, but a)it isn't necessary and b) most toppings include oil or margarine. While it's still hot, shake salt over the popcorn to your liking, making sure to mix it well! I do this with my hands, my favourite cooking tools! Depending on how much you need, you may need to make multiple batches of this. For big crowds, I've made 5 pots worth! It is really quick after the first batch, so it's not that bad! If you're eating it plain, pour a few tablespoons of canola oil or olive oil if you like the taste, and mix well!

Ok so once you've mastered the art of popping dat corn, it's time to take it to the next level!

Sexy popcorn:
Sorry for the language, it's the only word I can use to describe this!

recipe borrowed from my friend N.S! Sanks yous!!!

2 batches of salted popcorn (1 cup unpopped kernels)
6 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp honey
1 tsp chile powder

That's it, I know, it's absurdly simple, but it covers everything you need! Sweet, salty, spicy amazingness! Once you put the popcorn in a bowl and salt it, return the pot to the stove and add the remaining ingredients. Let them bubble and dissolve. Pour over popcorn and mix really well. It's a bit of a sticky mess, but that doesn't stop us from demolishing the bowl every time. You also have the option of omitting the chile powder, its still really good!

Sweet and spicy kettle corn:
Someone told me this was the best popcorn they've ever tasted! This is pretty similar to the previous recipe, except that it's made differently and also is not sticky, which makes it good for taking on trips. Also extremely addictive!

1/2 cup unpopped kernels
3 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp white sugar
Salt and chile powder, to sprinkle

Heat a large pot... until hot! Add kernels, oil and sugar, stir til theres no random sugar and kernels, lets say combined-ish?? Keep stirring til it starts to look really hot. Close the lid and shake very often once it starts popping. Pretty much follow the same directions as regular popcorn. Pour into a large bowl carefully (very hot!!) Sprinkle salt and chile powder over to taste, making sure to mix well! P.S. this only makes one batch!

Chocolate peanut butter drizzled popcorn:
This kinda tastes like nutella, looks pretty, and is quite amazing actually! This can be really dressed up for fancy events, is a little more work than the average batch, but is worth it!

2 batches lightly salted popped popcorn
2 tbsp margarine or butter, you could try coconut oil to make it healthier
5 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Pour your popcorn into a large deep pan. Try to spread it out as much as possible. In a double boiler (bowl on top of a pot of simmering water), place the rest of the ingredients, and let them melt, stirring every so often. As soon as it all melts, drizzle evenly over popcorn. Let it cool in the pan (if you can resist), and store in a bowl or Ziploc bag.

Other notable popcorn seasoning combos and possibilities:
-Cinnamon kettle corn (sprinkle cinnamon instead of chili powder for a sweet treat
-Drizzle with different melted chocolates (white and dark for pretty contrasts
-Parmesan olive oil (this is something cheesy and different! Use canola oil for a lighter taste, and feel free to sprinkle some chili flakes and/or garlic powder for more flavour!
-Za'atar and olive oil (not everyone is a great fan of this, I will admit, but if you like za'atar, you will like this!!
-Caramel corn! This is a little more complicated than the others because you need to make a caramel and then bake the popcorn with the caramel for like 1 1/2 hours! But it's worth the wait! Recipe to follow shortly...

The possibilities are endless as you can see! I haven't even touched a fraction of what's out there, but hopefully this will give you some ideas to start poppin! (Corny, I know ;)) Ta-ta for now!

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