You know what’s gross? Microwave popcorn. I don’t know what’s in fat-free butter flavor, but if you open one of those bags prior to popping, you’ll see that it’s something that you probably don’t want to put in your body.
EDIT: One of my faithful readers suggested making this popcorn with coconut oil instead of olive oil. So good! And no need for butter or any other flavorings beyond salt at the end.
I have eaten an awful lot of microwave popcorn over the years – it was a lunchtime staple during my first year of teaching (a bag of microwave popcorn and a can of Coca-cola. Every weekday. It will *astonish* you to learn that I gained a bit of weight that year. I’m sure it was stress, not my diet).
Ever since the Hippie Husband gave stovetop popcorn a try, I have been ruined for most commercially-available forms of popcorn. The real thing is just too good. You also get a lot more quality control – we can choose the grower of the kernels, the quality of the butter, the amount of salt, and the other flavorings. We purchase a ton of popcorn at the Farmer’s Market each fall so that we have plenty to get us through the winter. Even if your farmer’s market is closed for the season, you can still find quality popcorn if you look around a little. You won’t be disappointed.
This is our most requested dish for family parties. It is awesome. It’s also very rich – you can eliminate the cheese if you want it to be a little less decadent. We discovered this combination by accident – we were comparing popcorn topped with butter against popcorn tossed with olive oil and parmesan. In an unfortunate mix-up, we ended up dropping the cheese onto the buttery popcorn. It was a lot like the commercials for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in the 80’s, but with fewer sweatbands and jelly bracelets. This method also works with neither butter nor cheese if you want to retain some of popcorn’s healthy reputation. But why?
- 1/4 cup popcorn
- 1.5 Tablespoons oil
- 1/4 tsp. popcorn salt
- Melted organic butter and grated parmigiano reggiano, to taste
- Put oil and popcorn in a saucepan pan over medium-high heat, then add salt.
- Cook until first kernel pops, then put the lid on.
- Continue cooking, shaking the pan about every 20 seconds until all kernels are popped. This usually takes about a minute from the time the pan is covered.
- In a large bowl, toss popped corn and toppings to evenly distribute.