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stagis

Popcorn at home

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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.

. . .

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.

Quite correct. I should have said ALL FRESH POPCORN IS GOOD.

And yes, a friend swears by brewer's yeast on her popcorn. I have yet to try it, though. I like Goya Adobo seasoning, myself.

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One of my earliest and fondest memories is my dad making popcorn. We kept it in a glass jar on the counter. It wasn't anything special - back then, the thought of 'gourmet' popcorn would've sent us running for the hills. It was the big 3-lb. bag. Never refrigerated, never nuthin'. Anyway:

The 3-quart pan :)

Cover the bottom with oil - nothing gormay here. Corn oil is what my mother cooked with - therefore we made popcorn with it. Pan on high high, then after a minute or two, drop in a couple kernels. When they pop (and after you say,"OWWOOO!!! Hot oil!" cover the bottom with popcorn and put the lid on. Swirl a little to spread the kernels. As soon as the first one pops, shake continuously until it slows noticeably and remove from the heat. Get the lid off as soon as you can without spreading still-popping corn all over the kitchen. The escaping steam will keep the popcorn from mushing up. Use LOTS of salt - no butter. Butter's for wussies.

With that said:

The heavier the pan, the better, as long as it's not cast iron.

A warped lit (or pan) will keep the lid from sitting tightly and will allow the steam to escape, yielding crisper popcorn.

The 'high art' is getting the pan off the heat without burning the corn - and without leaving 1/4 of the kernels unpopped.

Additives:

Salt

Salt/Pepper

Salt/red pepper (for when you don't wanna share with the kids)

That 'sushi seasoning for rice' sold in Asian markets - totally awesome!

And, right out of Reader's Digest and guaranteed to send your wife screaming at the smell:

Melt 1/2 stick of butter

Add 2 tsp of tabasco (the normal, old-fashioned, tabasco unless you're adventurous - this is quite a bit)

2 Tbsp of Parmesan (the normal, old ground-in-a-jar shaker-cheese...)

Stir, then pour over the popcorn :)

And, FWIW, and since I'm a Scoutleader: We sell fund-raiser popcorn every fall. The bagged stuff is just plain popcorn - not as good as 'good' popcorn. However - the Light Butter Microwave is excellent. Just as light and fluffy as pan-popped without being overwhelmingly butter-chemical-flavored :)d The brand is Trail's End.

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Corn oil is what my mother cooked with - therefore we made popcorn with it.

I make my popcorn with corn oil too, seems kinda obvious.

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This is something neat that I discovered.

You can pop corn in an all clad pot without any oil. Put in the corn, fire up to medium-high heat, shake a bit. You don't really need to shake it that much. Make sure the lid is almost but not fully closed so the steam escapes). In a couple of minutes, the corn pops. I get almost 100% popped kernels, no burning. I then put some melted butter in and salt.

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Sure; and you can pop regular kernels in the microwave: I've got a two-part "corn popper" contraption with a high domed cover with vents on the top. Pour in the kernels, turn it on High for about 4 minutes, and voilà, popcorn to flavor any way I want. Could probably do it in a nuke-able plastic bag with a few holes poked in it.

Popcorn pops when the moisture trapped inside the kernel turns to steam. So as long as it's not too dried out (I just recently finished up some kernels I bought in 1994 :shock: ), it will pop if it gets hot enough.

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I have a Presto Microwave popper--with Orville Redenbacher's picture on it. I pop the corn without oil, then use my Misto to spray olive oil on it. Finish with nutritional yeast and salt. Eat large quantities.


sparrowgrass

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Suzanne, do you think you could skip the container in the microwave? Where's Dave the Cook?

Also, you can rehydrate kernels by putting them in a large glass bottle with a couple of tablespoons of water (1per cup?) and roll or shake the bottle twice a day or so. It should be fine in a few days.

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Suzanne, do you think you could skip the container in the microwave?  Where's Dave the Cook? 

Awww. Thanks, elyse.

I don't know why a container would be absolutely necessary, except from a hygiene standpoint. And you'd probably get a lower yield, because you'd be bouncing kernels in and out of high-energy zones.

The whole idea reminds me of the end of Real Genius, where student Val Kilmer and his buddies pack a professor's living room with golden kernels and pop it from space using a laser designed for individual assassination.


Edited by Dave the Cook (log)

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Suzanne, do you think you could skip the container in the microwave?  Where's Dave the Cook? 

Awww. Thanks, elyse.

I don't know why a container would be absolutely necessary, except from a hygiene standpoint. And you'd probably get a lower yield, because you'd be bouncing kernels in and out of high-energy zones.

Dave is, of course THE AUTHORITY on that sort of thing. (See what you got yourself into? :raz: )

If I were to consider that . . . naw, I wouldn't even consider not confining those little buggers. Because 1) I hate cleaning the inside of my nuker, so lord knows how they'd end up flavored; 2) I'd worry that some kernels would get caught under the carousel and mess it up; and 3) I'd worry that some kernels would get caught in the grate on the side (is that where the evil beams come out?). Although it sure would be fun to watch them bounce all over the inside. :wacko:

But I would definitely NOT use a good old brown paper bag. I believe the stories about the kind of materials that might be in it, and suddenly burst into flame (whether they're true of not).

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Okay, that's it, I have been looking at those nifty popcorn popping pots and have actually hesitated. One will be mine by tomorrow night and I cannot wait to try some of the great ideas on this wonderful thread. :biggrin:

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Good points, DtC ans SF. I just thought it would be cool to watch them ping-pzinging all over the oven. Plus watching them tumble out when the door's opened would seem luxurious. Erm... nevermind. :huh:

The whole idea reminds me of the end of Real Genius, where student Val Kilmer and his buddies pack a professor's living room with golden kernels and pop it from space using a laser designed for individual assassination.

I know! I love playing Real Genius!

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But I would definitely NOT use a good old brown paper bag. I believe the stories about the kind of materials that might be in it, and suddenly burst into flame (whether they're true of not).

I used to pop my corn in a paper bag in the microwave, never had it burst into flames on me. But occasionally the bag would open and the popcorn would escape and pop all over the microwave. That isn't as cool as it sounds, Elyse!

The thing I don't like about microwave popcorn is that it's so easy to burn and there are always so many unpopped kernels leftover. Seems like such a waste.

Tommy and Ripley, may your popcorn makers serve you well.


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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I started popping popcorn in a large pot the old fashioned way recently. I cant get my Thai yellow curry(homemade dry powder) to stick really good. Any suggestions?


Gorganzola, Provolone, Don't even get me started on this microphone.---MCA Beastie Boys

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Not enough butter?


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Dave, your Thai yellow curry popcorn sounds delicious!

To make the powder stick, be sure the butter is applied evenly. If you're coordinated enough, or have a helper, you should stir the popcorn while still in the pot while pouring just a thin trickle melted butter. After stirring well, add the seasoning in the same way- just a little at a time, while stirring.

Because the popcorn is still in the pot, there is lots of steam. That, long with the butter, will help the seasoning to stick.

I've read that dieters can skip the butter and spray a bit of water or cooking spray over air-popped popcorn before shaking on seasoning. The water/cooking spray helps the seasoning stick. I can only imagine that this would produce awful-tasting, soggy popcorn.

Or you could just mix your yellow curry powder into the butter. That's what we do with regular curry powder, then we top the popcorn with grated parmesan. That's for special occasions only though.


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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Who says he's using butter? I think if you add the seasoning to the oil and kernels like 20 seconds after adding them, they'll stick with the oil, and toast the seasoning at the same time. Try it once. If it burns, don't do it again and add lots of butter. :smile:

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I started popping popcorn in a large pot the old fashioned way recently.  I cant get my Thai yellow curry(homemade dry powder) to stick really good.  Any suggestions?

We often do that here in Bombay with turmeric and red chilli powder. If it is finely ground just sprinkle enough in a bag with the popped corn and give the whole thing a good shake. Excess powder will collect at the bottom and can be reused.


I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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popcorn, I love popcorn! When I was little, my dad taught me how to make it (of course so I would make it for him). He still uses the same pot (revereware) 30 years later!

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This idea of flavored popcorn is palate-exciting.

Jean George[ NYC] offers a rosemary flavored

popcorn at its bar. This popcorn seems to have

some fat [butter or oil on it] altho certainly not

the amount previously seen in movie theaters.

I could not see the herb itself. Has anyone else

had this or know how to get the rosemary in?

I tried infusing fresh herb into oil and using that

oil to pop the corn, but the flavor didn't carry.

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I imagine you put the oil and rosemary in a pan, cold, and let it warm slowly. It should draw out the flavor of the rosemary. Let it steep for a while.

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I worked for a few months in my teens at Kernels, a chain of flavored popcorn mall stores, mostly found in Canada. We did a lot of savory popcorns. The seasoning should be very fine. In order to stick, the popcorn must be oil popped, not air popped, but it sounds like you're doing that - maybe not quite enough oil? As soon as the popcorn was done, we'd put it in a big plastic bag, add the seasoning, and shake it vigorously. If you forgot it and let the popcorn cool down even a little bit, the seasoning would not stick. So the tricks as I know them are - oil, heat, and shaken, not stirred.


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Cool, I'll definitly try more oil, the plastic bag, and maybe drying out the coconut before grinding to get a finer powder. I did try to imediately add the seasoning after the popcorn was done and I covered the pot with foil, shaking vigoursly. But most of the seasoning wound up stuck onto the side of the pot. Hopefully the bag will fix that.


Gorganzola, Provolone, Don't even get me started on this microphone.---MCA Beastie Boys

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So I'm making a stew tonight, and the recipe starts by blanching some salted fatback (to remove the salt I assume) and then rendering it to brown the beef in. So I did, and the weirdest thing happened: the little bits and pieces started "popping," like popcorn! It would splash little bits of hot fat around, and a few of them flew out of the pot.

So why would that happen? I've rendered fatback before and that didn't happen. Hell, I have a container of lard in the fridge; I don't know why I didn't just use that. See what happens when I use recipes? I stop thinking.

Anyway, my theory is this: the recipe called for cooking the fat over medium heat, which I did--my theory is that the heat was too high, causing the outside to sear a little, and when the fat melted inside, it would expand and pop like that.

Anyway, I turned the heat down but it kept happening.

Weird. Any thoughts?

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