Saturday night is for the Popper-azzi!

by Crystal Cook

Did you know that Saturday (1/19) is National Popcorn Day? What a great excuse to pick out a good movie and make a big bowl of hot, salty popcorn—the old school way. And really, nothing makes me happier than special holidays like these to fuel my obsession with dishes. (As I have mentioned before, I do have a slight problem with collecting dishes). My boyfriend, Tim, thought I was crazy to purchase this 5-piece popcorn set, but look who’s laughing now? Wait until I make him watch The Notebook.

Empty Popcorn dishes

Anyway, you have to admit the dishes are adorable. And they’re perfect for what I am about to make! I’ve got three, yes, count ‘em, three popcorn recipes to choose from. Enough options to please everyone in the family, so let’s get popping!

1) Rooster Ranch Popcorn. I call it Rooster Ranch, because we are using Sriracha. Not sure what Sriracha is? Well, you’d better make a grocery store run right now and make a purchase! Sriracha, also known as “Rooster Sauce” for the rooster on the bottle’s label, is a Thai chili sauce that’s fantastically sweet and spicy. I am in love. So much, in fact, that I may have to marry it. (Sorry Tim, you snooze, you lose buddy.)

2) Popcorn with Truffle Oil, Parmesan and Cracked Black Pepper. Truffle oil. Wow. Enough said.

3) Caramel, Chocolate and Salty Peanut Popcorn. Salty, sweet goodness.

First, we pop the popcorn. I have to be honest, I typically don’t eat popcorn unless I am out at the movies or a carnival. The latter event being the more likely to happen, as I have always wanted to run away with the circus! So it will come as no surprise that I have never popped popcorn from kernels. Plus, it seems pretty old school right? The closest I have ever  gotten to that process was shaking up some Jiffy Pop. That was fun, but making it from scratch is even better! I don’t have a special formula—I literally just followed the directions on the back of the bag.

1 Popcorn Stove Ingredients

All you need is kernels, oil and pot (or popper). I just used my lovely 3-quart dutch oven, and I picked peanut oil because it does well over high heat.

2 Three Kernels

Cover the bottom of the pan with 1/8-inch 0f peanut oil.  Drop 3 kernels of popcorn in and heat with medium heat until they pop!

3 kernnels

Pop, pop, pop!

4 Adding Kernels

Add enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pan. It should only be one kernel deep.

5 begining to pop

Begin shaking the pan until the kernels start to pop. My instructions earlier didn’t mention anything about covering the pan, but trust me, a lid is necessary. Otherwise the random popping of the kernels could put an eye out. “You’ll shoot your eye out, you’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” Okay, this is no laughing matter, although you would be set for ‘Talk Like A Pirate Day’, my other favorite (but random) holiday.

6 cover and shake

Cover and continue to shake the pan until popping has completed.

7 Popped Kernesl

Tah dah! How fun was that?

Now onto dressing up your popcorn! I have given you three options to choose from! Do one, or do all three. Just know that the  Rooster Ranch and Parmesan, Truffle Oil and Cracked Black Pepper are best served immediately while still warm!

Here is what you will need for Rooster Ranch:

8 Rooster Ranch Ingredients 2

Popcorn, Sriracha, dry buttermilk , dried parsley, dill weed, onion powder, onion flakes, garlic salt, salt, pepper, and dried basil. (See recipe below) I am making my own dried ranch mix, but you can always use a package of Hidden Valley Ranch if you prefer. I don’t judge.

RR collage 1
Take all dry ingredients and mix together in a bowl. For best results, place in blender or food processor, blend until smooth. Start with a tablespoon of mix and approximately 2 tablespoons of Sriracha, taste and add more to preference.

13 Mixing RR

14 Final RR 2

Mix together and garnish with extra dill and Sriracha! Cock-a-doodle-do!

If spicy is not your thing, then we can head over to savory and indulgent! Popcorn with Truffle Oil, Parmesan and Cracked Black Pepper, anyone?

Parmesan Ingredients

Popcorn, parmesan cheese, black pepper, black truffle oil, and salt!

parm collage 1

Using a microplane, grate parmesan to taste. Add freshly ground pepper and salt.Truffle oil is extremely strong, so start off with just mixing in a teaspoon at a time until desired taste is achieved.

parm collage 2

Mix and garnish with shaved parmesan!

21 final parm

Oooh, la, la. Your popcorn is so fancy!

Caramel, Chocolate and Salty Peanut Popcorn. Since I had some leftover caramel sauce from the Elvis post, I decided that I had to make a salty sweet concoction too!

Salty Sweet Ingredients 2

Caramel sauce, popcorn, salted peanuts, salt, dark chocolate chips!

collage

Heat and drizzle caramel sauce, add peanuts and melted dark chocolate. Top with salt.

collage 2

Pour into large mixing bowl and mix well.

10 Final Salty Sweet 2

Dig In!

Top 3 2. rev

Which popcorn reigns supreme? You decide, or let us know your favorite way to dress up your popcorn! (Although there is nothing wrong with eating it plain!)

Caramel Sauce

Dry Ranch Dressing Mix:

1/2 cup dry buttermilk
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Store in an airtight container. To make ranch salad dressing combine  a tablespoon of dry mix with a cup of mayonnaise, or Greek yogurt, and a cup of milk.

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