Homemade Popcorn

I love sitting down to watch a good movie with a bowl of hot popcorn.

Microwave popcorn is okay, but I normally make my own on the stove.  It’s healthier plus I am able to control how much butter and salt goes on it.   Here’s how I make it (yummy popcorn recipes to follow!):

Step 1: Pour popcorn kernels into a large saucepan.  I pour enough in to cover 50-75% of the bottom of the pan.

Step 2. Pour oil over popcorn kernels.  I use Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn Oil, but any oil (vegetable, canola) will work.  Make sure each kernel is covered in oil (you may need to pick up the saucepan and shake it).

Step 3. Turn burner on medium-high.  It takes about 5 minutes for the kernels to get hot enough to start popping.

Step 4. Listen to the popping.  When the popping slows, lift the saucepan 2-3 inches away from the burner and shake to prevent burning.  Once there are 2 seconds between pops, remove the saucepan from the heat.

Step 5.  Melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter.  I recommend using salted butter, but you can use whatever you’d like (including margarine).  Put the butter in the microwave for 20 seconds to melt it.

Step 6. Pour half of the popcorn in to a large bowl. Drizzle half the butter on the popcorn and top with the desired amount of salt.  Use your hands to mix.

Step 7. Pour in the remaining popcorn, butter, and salt. Mix again with hands.  I do this in two steps so that the butter and salt are evenly distributed in the popcorn.

This is enough for two people or one hungry person. You can spice up your popcorn by following these other recipes:

Spicy Popcorn
1 tablespoon water
4 teaspoons margarine or butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
10 cups popped popcorn

Heat water and margarine in a 6-inch nonstick skillet over low heat about 3 minutes or until margarine is melted.  Stir in remaining ingredients except popcorn.  Drizzle over popcorn; toss.  Serve immediately.

Southwest Popcorn
2 cups Cheerios cereal
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
6 cups popped popcorn

Mix popcorn and cereal.  Heat margarine, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder in 6-inch nonstick skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, until margarine is melted.  Drizzle over popcorn mixture; toss.  Immediately sprinkle with cheese; toss.

Caramelized-Sugar Popcorn
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons margarine or butter
10 cups popped popcorn

Sprinkle salt over popcorn in large bowl; set aside. Place sugar in Dutch oven.  Heat over medium heat, shaking Dutch oven occasionally (do not stir), until sugar starts to melt. Reduce heat to low.  Add margarine, stirring constantly, until sugar is completely melted and golden.

Remove from heat.  Immediately add popcorn, stirring to coat.  Quickly transfer to large bowl; cool.

Happy popping!

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