Popcorn, Plain and Fancy


Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn

A few months ago, I bought some organic bulk popcorn and popped a batch the way it was done in ancient times; in a saucepan on the stove top. I shared the bowl with the kids while we watched a movie, and A noticed right away that there was something different – like – hey, crunch – this is really good!

It was good, a revelation, even. I think I’d become so used to mediocre, oversalted popcorn that I forgot how good it can be. I started making popcorn to serve with cocktails, with some chopped fresh rosemary, sea salt and Parmesan cheese grated over the top. It’s even better with some cold champagne. Yum.

Now I can’t go back to the packaged microwave popcorn habit – it just doesn’t compare in flavor, plus I can skip the extra fat, sodium and artificial ingredients.

The only hard thing is that when the kids have been trained to get their popcorn exactly three and a half minutes after they ask for it, waiting for the stovetop stuff can be excruciating.

I was happy to find a brown bag microwave method in Whole Grains by Lorna Sass. Now the kids and the grown-ups share the popcorn love.

Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn
makes 12 cups

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add popcorn kernels and cover pan. Cook, shaking pan back and forth occasionally, until popping stops; about 5 minutes. Transfer popcorn to a large serving bowl.

Add the butter, rosemary, pepper and salt to the popcorn and toss gently. Top with cheese and toss once more to blend.

Perfect wine pairing with a crisp, herbal Pinot Gris from Oregon or Argentina; or a chilled sparkling wine like Prosecco.

Microwave Brown Bag Popcorn
thanks to Janelle at Brown Bag Blues for the inspiration

1/4 cup popcorn kernels, organic if possible
2 teaspoons canola or peanut oil
Kosher salt, to taste

Toss the kernels with the oil in a small bowl. Pour into a plain brown paper bag and place on a paper towel on the microwave turntable. Cook on high for exactly 1 1/2 minutes. Or, depending on your microwave, listen carefully and stop the microwave as soon as the popping slows; not more than 2 minutes total.

Carefully open the bag and sprinkle with salt.

Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food