One of the best ways to watch the snow fall and revel in icy weather is with a big bowl of popcorn. Don’t give in to the convenience of microwaveable popcorn, though you may be tempted. That low-fat, low-salt, and no taste popcorn holds nothing up to a home-popped batch. The truth is, popcorn is a versatile snack that is easy and fun to make and should always be homemade.
Our Chef’s Table writer Katie covers how to do popcorn from scratch, and once you master the technique (there’s really nothing to it), the fun can really begin: seasoning it.
For seasonings, the sky is the limit. Try:
- Truffle salt and Parmesan cheese
- Garam masala and toasted cashews
- Shredded coconut, toasted almonds, and dark chocolate chips
- Pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon chips
- Dried chipotle powder, dried cilantro, and lime zest
Or better yet, try using popcorn in place of croutons or nuts (perfect for those who have gluten or nut allergies). Try :
- Cheddar cheese-topped popcorn in a bowl of chili
- Salted popcorn in a dish of snapper ceviche
- Parmesan-dusted popcorn in a Caesar salad
- Buttered and salted popcorn in a bowl of clam chowder
- Caramel coated popcorn on an ice cream sundae
And then there is my ultimate popcorn accompaniment topping. I call it the “5 S” popcorn because it’s salty, sweet, spicy, smoky, and savory. It’s not so much a recipe as a guideline. Feel free to increase or decrease ingredients according to your taste preferences.
5 S Popcorn
- ½ cup popcorn kernels
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
- 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped finely
- 1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
- Pop the popcorn.
- Put soy and sugar in a stockpot, and bring to a slow simmer over very low. Don’t let the mixture boil, because you don’t want it to burn. After about 10 minutes, the mixture should have thickened and reduced. Taste it, and add more sugar to taste.
- Take off the heat and add the chipotle and the pepper to sugar mixture. Taste again for seasonings, and serve alongside or over popcorn.