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stagis

Popcorn at home

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I got it out of Reader's Digest years ago - therefore, it has to be good... (and is!)

A bunch of popcorn

In some sort of container, melt 1/2 stick of butter

Add 2 Tbsp parmesan (I'm not snooty...use the Kraft's)

Add 2 tsp of tabasco

Pour it over. It stinks to high heaven and will drive my wife out of the room.....is there something Freudian here?

Or:

Cajun blackening mix...you know - salt/pepper/red pepper/cumin, etc., etc...

Or:

Packaged sushi-rice seasoning (nori, salt, sugar and seeds of some sort)

What else?

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Last Christmas I bought my husband a popcorn maker (the gift that keeps on giving). You know, one of those 'old fashioned' ones with the handle that you turn. Anyone else have one and love it?

We've noticed that when we make two batches (actually, we ALWAYS make two!), the first one makes popcorn that is a little soft and kind of chewy- it almost seems stale. The second batch is always crispy and light, the way it should be. What's going on?

Does it have to do with heat- the pot might be hotter the second time? Moisture- there might be more or less moisture the second time? Sometimes we make the second batch right away, sometimes an hour or so later, but it's always better the second time.

After a bit of experimenting, we found that popping with a small amount of oil and butter (equal amounts) tastes good and doesn't require any butter to be drizzled on after.

Our favourite flavour is cheese curry- may sound weird but it's so good! We add a bit of salt about a quarter teaspoon of curry powder to the oil, then sprinkle parmesan cheese over the finished popcorn.

Anyone else have any flavouring ideas (we live in Japan so we can't buy those flavoured powders I've seen back home)?


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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I've never even seen an old-fashioned one with a handle you can turn. :blink:

Gotta picture?

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Miss J, it's the coolest thing! The handle is attached to this blad at the bottom of the pot; turning the handle causes the blade to turn, which ensures that the popcorn kernels are always on the move. It pops every single kernel, every time! (Wow, I sound like I'm trying to sell these things!)

Here's a pic:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...s#more-pictures


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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I'm not sure about your problem, but I wouldn't add butter to the pan. This page says your oil needs to be 450 degrees and butter will never get that hot

That pot you have is great. I would buy one but then I would eat way too much popcorn.

B000068FH4.01-A23NLORBGXOLEO.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

I season mine with fresh ground ancho chile.

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I bought one of those pans this past year from a junk store, and I love it. I put the oil in and 3 or 4 kernels of corn, let them pop, then add the rest of the corn. I never noticed any difference in the batches, but I usually pop the corn to make caramel corn, which I then bake. I can make a lot of popcorn fast with this pan, and it always turns out perfectly. I think it's only drawback is that cleaning it is sort of a nuisance. I think buttered popcorn is usually buttered after it's popped.

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When I pop corn on top of the stove, I get a horrible smell in my kitchen. Am I doing it at too high of a heat? I use canola oil - is this the wrong kind of oil. Am I burning the oil?

Anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions.

johnjohn

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For New Yorkers, I recommend High Hope Hog's organically-grown heirloom popcorn, available at their stand at the Union Square greenmarket. Tastes like it's already buttered.

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Johnjohn -- the only smell I get is that lingering aroma of . . . popcorn. And I also use canola. What's the smell like that you get? Do you sometimes burn the kernels? That can happen if you don't shake the pot enough to move them around.

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After a bit of experimenting, we found that popping with a small amount of oil and butter (equal amounts) tastes good and doesn't require any butter to be drizzled on after.

This is exactly how I pop corn (when I'm not feeling virtuous and therefore use the air popper), except I just use a 2 qt saucepan. A little oil, 3 kernals of corn. When the first one pops, add enough corn to make a single layer on the bottom of the pot. Add a little salt and a pat of butter. Cover, shake over high heat continuously, stopping every 15-30 seconds to listen. When the popping sounds are very fast, you can reduce the heat to medium. Whe the popping sounds have pretty much stopped, take it off the heat. Sure, there might be a few unpopped kernals at the bottom of the pot -- but so what? Yummy, yummy popcorn. No special equipment needed.

I've experimented with flavors in the past, but nothing beats plain, real butter flavored popcorn.

Edit: After reading this thread earlier, I just had to make popcorn. I've edited my procedure above after paying closer attention to what I'm actually doing.


Edited by Rachel Perlow (log)

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Judith is unquestioned Queen of Corn here, and we use the same popper (always bought at thrift stores or garage sales for a few dollars...we've gone through several).

But we, or I should say she, has found exactly the opposite. The first batch is better than the first unless she either allows the popper to cool completely or she cools it with cold water (on the outside...it's thin aluminum so it cools quickly this way).

Judith uses olive oil, pours the corn in all at once, at turns it on high. She always makes much better popcorn than I do.

We usually flavor it with coarse salt, fine nutritional yeast, and a sweetened soy I make by diluting regular soy in half with a simple syrup. I also like Crystal hot sauce on mine.

Jim


olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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Discovered at the cabin (no oil left; purchasing oil involved 1 hour drive): bacon grease works just fine, too. In fact, it made mighty tasty popcorn.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I edited my post above to be more specific about my actual procedure.

PS - I used the Chefmate Saucepan and it is excellent for popping corn. The lid fits nice and tight, yet allows the steam to escape. The bottom is heavy and flat, so it is easy to shake back & forth on the burner, and no corn burned, as occasionally happened with my copper clad Revereware.

I must try Snowangel's recommendation some time. Mmm bacon.

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This kind of pot makes great kettle corn. Put 3 tablespoons oil, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/3 cup popcorn in the pot, cook on medium heat while turning the crank nonstop. YUM, sweet and salty!!

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I have the same popcorn pot I got for xmas a couple years ago. It is quite thin aluminum --maybe a little too thin, yes, as one must be cautious as to overheating and scortching. Still beats microwave (gasp) tho. I like Old Bay on mine.

Mmmm... popcorn 'n beer. Time for a... :rolleyes:

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I make mine in a heavy bottomed pot, butter in a small pot. I've found that when I add the butter to the popping corn it comes out chewy. Maybe if you used clarified butter? I use canola and I hate it. It stinks up the house. Just trying to use it up, so I'm 1/2 & 1/2 with olive oil. I also do the three kernel heat test.

Personally, I like some a little burned. The good thing about Jiffy Pop.

I must remember the bacon grease. Duck fat anyone?

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The reason whole butter makes the popcorn chewy is that it introduces extra moisture. Clarified butter might work better, since the water has been boiled out. But then you'd lose the flavor of the cooked milk solids. Hmmm -- how about using ghee? No water, nutty flavor --- 'scuse me, gotta go experiment. :biggrin:

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Wow, great to see so many popcorn lovers!

Thanks for the info about butter. I actually knew that butter can't be heated enough to make popcorn, but mixing it with oil seemed to be working.

I guess not- now I know why the popcorn was so chewy! Last night we tried it the normal way with just salt and canola oil, using the 3 kernel test. After the corn was popped, we opened the top and poured a small amount of butter in, while still turning the handle, then a bit of parmesan.

Excellent! Adding the butter while the popcorn is being turned really ensures an even coating. (This is a bit tricky and requires two people, which shouldn't be a problem- as much as I love popcorn, I can't imagine eating it alone- it's a social food!)

Johnjohn, it does sound like you're burning your oil.

Don't heat the oil for too long before adding the kernels- try the three kernel test and add the rest as soon as the first three pop. And make sure your maker is clean- you don't have to wash it with soap and water after every use, but you should at least wipe it and remove any solid bits that will burn. I just bunch up a sheet of paper towel and hold with long cooking chopsticks (long tongs will do, as will your hand if you don't mind getting greasy!) and rub the inside of the pot, then turn it upside down and shake out any bits.

Also, if your oil burns on the second batch, try Jim Dixon's tip- cool the pot down by placing it in cold water before starting the second batch.

Some of the flavourings mentioned sound interesting, but don't the liquid ones (like hot sauce or soy sauce) make the popcorn soggy?

One neat thing I've seen in Japan is a popcorn dip- a little soysauce and shichimi (seven-spice mix) is mixed with mayonnaise and the popcorn is dipped before eating. I don't like mayonnaise so I've never tried it, but it sounds interesting.

Actually, even if I did like mayonnaise I wouldn't do this- I eat popcorn by the HANDFULL, and can't imagine having the patience to dip each piece of popcorn, one by one...


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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jeesh, i recently received one of these things as a gift. my initial thought was "gee, one more thing to store in the basement." i think i gotta give it a shot though. cool thread. :smile:

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ALL POPCORN IS GOOD.

I'm guessing that Suzanne has not been to the Loew's Astor Plaza Theatre in midtown Manhattan. The sign at concession stand proudly states "We serve the finest freshly popped popcorn!". Walking by the open door of the supply room on my way into the theatre I notice a few dozen giant bags of pre-popped corn. Yes... my serving tasted several weeks old and remarkably stale, even by bad movie theatre popcorn standards.

On a brighter note.... I see someone mentioned nutritional yeast as a topping. Not sure if this is the same as powdered brewer's yeast but I was amazed when I tried the brewer's yeast on pocorn - incredibly tasty.


Edited by phaelon56 (log)

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I'm not admitting to microwave popcorn. :wub: Years ago, there used to be a popcorn called TV Time. It came with a special oil/butter that you popped the corn in on the stove. I swear it was the best. Naturally, because I liked it, they eventually stopped making it. :hmmm:


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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