Recipe: Perfect popcorn

  • Updated: February 16, 2011 - 4:24 PM

PERFECT POPCORN

Makes 5 cups.

Note: It's best to use a deep, heavy pan. Use only as many kernels as cover a single layer in the bottom of the pan. Use a neutral-flavored oil with a high smoking point, such as canola.

• 2 tbsp. vegetable oil (see Note)

• 1/2 c. popcorn kernels

• Melted butter, optional

• Salt, optional

Directions

Cover bottom of 3-quart pan with thin coat of oil. Place over medium-high heat. Add kernels to cover the bottom of pan in one layer. Cover. You do not need to shake the pan as the popping keeps the kernels moving. The popping will take 3 to 5 minutes. When the popping slows to 2 seconds between kernels (instead of the early rapid-fire), remove pan from heat.

Transfer popcorn to a large bowl. Add melted butter and salt, as desired, and toss well. Serve immediately.

Curried variation: Combine 2 teaspoons curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Toss with 8 cups buttered popcorn.

Ranch Chile variation: Combine 1 tablespoon dry ranch salad dressing mix, 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper or chili powder and 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt. Toss with 8 cups buttered popcorn.

Savory variations: Butter popcorn first so the other flavorings will stick. Use one: Ground red pepper; grated Parmesan, Cheddar or other hard cheese; finely chopped fresh rosemary; garlic powder or paprika.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 122 Fat 6 g Sodium 2 mg

Carbohydrates 15 g Saturated fat 1 g Calcium 1 mg

Protein 2 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 1 fat.

CARAMEL CORN

Makes 5 quarts.

Note: You will need a candy thermometer for this recipe. This is an old Taste recipe that has been a family favorite for decades.

• 1 c. butter or margarine

• 2 c. brown sugar, packed

• 1/2 c. light or dark corn syrup

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1/2 tsp. baking soda

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

• 5 quarts (20 cups) popped corn

Directions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in brown sugar, syrup and salt. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 5 minutes or until candy thermometer reaches 248 degrees. Remove from heat.

Stir in baking soda and vanilla extract. Gradually pour over popped corn, mixing well. Turn into 2 large shallow baking pans. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool completely. Break apart. Store in airtight container.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 220 Fat 10 g Sodium 230 mg

Carbohydrates 34 g Saturated fat 6 g Calcium 23 mg

Protein 1 g Cholesterol 24 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 1 other carb, 2 fat.

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