The following “Chew This!” column originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.
Perfect Stovetop Popcorn
Growing up, my Grandma Barbra and I would always make popcorn on the stovetop. I have had popcorn in many different ways, including microwave, “Jiffy Pop” and even placing the kernels in a brown paper bag and microwaving that, yes it works, but I believe my favorite way is this recipe for stovetop popcorn. My favorite is the “Amish” style “purple” popcorn. I find it pops more evenly, has a better flavor and contains more antioxidants than a normal popcorn kernel. Anyways, I got to researching the perfect stovetop popcorn popping methods and discovered one of my own that I could not wait to tell you all about! There are a couple of secrets that you must do – and I will explain them – and the “why” behind them as I go about the recipe.
It is important to get the “perfect” stovetop popcorn, that you follow my directions exactly. This recipe for popcorn is also good to use when making popcorn balls. I have always wanted to make popcorn balls but have only attempted it once and it was a complete disaster and did not turn out to say the least. I am not sure what happened, but the result was more sticky and less compactable. Any tips or tricks for popcorn balls? If you know of any or have a recipe that you would like to share, please feel free to contact me via my website. I have always wanted to create popcorn balls that also had candy mixed inside or perhaps rolled on them outside. Sort of like these gourmet caramel apples that you see but only in the form of popcorn balls.
Perfect Stovetop Popcorn
This is best eaten once popped. Leftover popcorn goes stale pretty quickly.
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/3 cup “purple” style popcorn
4 tablespoons salted butter
Place a large pot over medium high heat and add the canola oil. Place 4 kernels of corn into the oil. Once the kernels start to pop – you will know the oil is ready!
Salt the oil with the Kosher salt. This will ensure that once the popcorn pops, it will be salted evenly.
Once a kernel or two has popped, add in the remaining 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels evenly over the heated oil. Remove from heat and count out loud to 40 seconds. This ensures that all the kernels are at the same temperature and thus when placed back on the heat, the popcorn kernels will all pop at the same time – leaving none unpopped.
Once 40 seconds are up, place back on the medium high heat and wait until you get some kernel popping action. Once the kernels start popping, place a lid slightly ajar on top and start shaking and moving around the pot gently. Placing a lid slightly ajar will ensure some of the steam to escape therefore making the popcorn dry which is what is desired.
Once the popcorn kernels stop popping and slow down quite a bit remove from the heat and shake a few more minutes until you do not hear popping. Remove from heat and pour into large bowl.
Place butter in the already hot pot and allow to melt. Once melted pour over the popcorn and eat while still warm / hot.
Ask and Answer: Have a family recipe you would like to share and have featured right here in this column and on my website? Contact me via the contact page found on my website.