POPCORN THREE WAYS

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It wasn’t until I visited a dive bar in Berkeley called The Graduate with my friend Christie and her law school friends that I discovered freshly popped popcorn with Sriracha and table salt.  It was so simple, it led me to imagine some popcorn recipes of my own.  I don’t like going too crazy with my popcorn, so I made only minor tweaks to classic combinations (vanilla and sugar; cheddar and spice; parm and herbs) for a fresh twist.

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VANILLA BEAN KETTLE CORN

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup popcorn kernels

1/3 cup sugar

1 vanilla bean

1 teaspoon coarse salt

DIRECTIONS

In a large pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the popcorn, cover, and cook for 1 minute.  Meanwhile, split and scrape the vanilla bean with a knife, and combine the vanilla seeds with the sugar (it’s easiest to this in a food processor, so you don’t get any clumps).

Take the lid off and sprinkle the vanilla sugar and scraped bean over the kernels. Cover and shake the pan until the popping slows down, about 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat and toss with the salt.

 

SPICY CHEDDAR POPCORN

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 garlic clove, minced

1 pinch cayenne (or more if you like it spicier)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup popcorn kernels

1/3 cup cheddar, finely grated

DIRECTIONS

In a large pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the popcorn, cover, and cook until the popping slows down, about 3 minutes.

Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat, and add the garlic and cayenne pepper. Pour over the popcorn, add cheese, and thoroughly mix by shaking in the still warm pot.

Pour into a bowl and salt to taste.

 

HERBED PARM POPCORN

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup popcorn kernels

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped

1/3 cup parm, finely grated

DIRECTIONS

In a large pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the popcorn, cover, and cook until the popping slows down, about 3 minutes.

In a small pot over medium heat, melt the butter with the herbs, and pour over popcorn. Add parm to the popcorn, and thoroughly mix by shaking in the still warm pot.

Pour into a bowl and salt to taste.