In the Pantry: Three Ways to Make Popcorn

You don't need an air popper or a microwave to make your favorite channel surfing companion, a delicious bowl of popcorn. Instead, try popping your popcorn in a big pot on the stovetop. Then, season it to your liking! Here is how to pop your popcorn on the stove and three scrumptious ways to season your popcorn.

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Making Stovetop Popcorn:

First, to make the popcorn, place a large pot over medium-high heat and add a couple of tablespoons of high-heat oil with a neutral flavor, like canola, grapeseed, or peanut oil. For every two tablespoons of oil, you'll need a quarter cup of kernels. Add just a couple of kernels to the pot, and as soon as they begin popping, the oil is at the right temperature. Remove pot from the heat, count to 20, and then add the remainder of the corn kernels and a pinch of salt. Return the pot to the stove and use the lid to shield you from oil splatters, but be sure not to cover the pot; you'll steam the kernels instead of popping them. Gently shake the pot back and forth for three to four minutes. When there are a couple seconds between each pop, the popcorn is done.

Tip: Keep popcorn fresh by putting it on a baking sheet in a 325 degree oven for up to a half hour.

Three Ways to Season Popcorn:

Movie Theater Popcorn - Melt one stick of butter. Even though most movie theaters don't use real butter, you should because it makes the popcorn taste so much better. Let the melted butter sit for a couple of minutes until the solids float to the top. Then, remove the solids. Drizzle a couple tablespoons of butter on top, add a pinch of salt, and shake, making sure everything is coated.

Parmesan Truffle Popcorn - After popping your popcorn, return the empty pot to your stove over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter. While the butter is melting, throw in one, smashed garlic clove. Add freshly ground pepper to the butter, and when the butter has melted, remove the garlic clove. Pour in a little bit of truffle oil. Then, drizzle the melted mixture over your popcorn, sprinkle in Parmesan cheese, and shake the popcorn. Add ground pepper to taste.

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Spiced Kettle Corn - Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pot and then add 2 tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of salt to get the popular salty-sweet combo of kettle corn. Then, add some spice, such as five spice, ground cinnamon, or ground curry powder. Cook until you can smell the spicy aroma. Add the popcorn back to the pot, place lid on top, shaking it so the popcorn is coated in the mixture.


For more cooking tips and tricks, check out host Aida Mollenkamp's book, "Keys to the Kitchen."

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