Why? Well, because stovetop popcorn is infinitely better than the bagged microwave variety, ridiculously easy to make, and there are unlimited ways to fancy-pants it up with other flavors and additions.
Yes, it’s also healthier – and the best part? It’s actually fun to make.
There’s something about popping popcorn in a big pot over the stove and shaking it around that feels old-school and, well, right. I do realize we’ve talked about this before (oh, hello truffled popcorn) but just in case I didn’t convince you the first time around, now you have a whole crew of people waxing poetic on the subject.
People need to know this stuff. If this little old blog can convince just one more person to try something new within the world of popcorn-making, then I’ve done my job.
I did learn something new this time around, as Mark Bittman offered up a slightly different technique in that he adds three kernels to the oil in the beginning and once they start to pop, then he adds the rest. I’ve never had a problem just dumping ‘em all in at once, but when Mark says “jump”…
You get the idea.
So, how exactly did I go about my fancy-pants version? I melted a nice pat of butter with a bit of olive oil (about 2 tablespoons each, give or take) and then added about 1 tablespoon of minced garlic and let it cook until soft and golden. Mark says that you can strain the garlic out when pouring the butter/oil over the popcorn – but what would be the fun in that? I say, if you don’t want the little pieces of garlic in your popcorn but still want the flavor, then go this route instead: Infuse butter/oil mixture with a few smashed garlic cloves over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the garlic is golden; then, strain it out.
You may also want to decrease increase the amount of oil and or/butter you’re using depending on how healthy or unhealthy you’re feeling that day. Also feel free to play with the proportions…I was always partial to butter, mostly because I usually make truffled popcorn, but this time I was really digging the olive oil vibe. In fact, I recommend drizzling the popcorn with a little extra every now and again.
The last order of business with this garlicky-Parmesan version I made is, you guessed it, the Parmesan. Sprinkle it on – I used about 1/4 cup or so – after adding the butter and/or oil and give it a toss. And then, plenty of salt to taste, of course, and a nice dash of crushed red pepper flakes for a little heat.
And if you want to get super-fancy-pants-popcorn-crazy, you can try this insanely addicting Bacon + Cashew Caramel Corn. You won’t regret it.