This popcorn is easily one of my kids’ favorite after-school snacks. Mine, too. We left microwave popcorn behind a long time ago. Just about the same time Isaiah’s science project Play-Doh figurines blew up our microwave.
True story. Lesson learned: Do NOT microwave Play-Doh. Not even for a few seconds.
Back to popcorn…
I grew up in an era of Jiffy Pop and air-popped popcorn. That’s what my Mom made and we loved every kernel. I never actually knew you could pop popcorn in a pot. Until I tried it myself. I was suddenly inspired by a mason jar full of kernels that I picked up at my local farmers’ market one Saturday. It was partly the packaging: The kernels just looked so pretty sitting in that glass jar. Then, a few days later, I made popcorn. I’ve never made it any other way since.
The beauty is that all you need is a cast-iron pot, corn kernels and oil. Then, flavor as you want: salt, butter, parmesan, parsley, chile powder, smoked paprika, cinnamon. Your call (or your kids!). Feeling decadent? Make some caramel corn or even better, my caramel corn chocolate-pecan bark from my cookbook (page 218).
But, for right now, here’s the perfectly buttery, parmesan-flecked popcorn ready for popping.
1½ tablespoons canola oil
¼ cup popcorn kernels
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup packed grated parmesan
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- In a 3-quart heavy saucepan, heat the oil with a few kernels over medium-high heat, covered, until a kernel pops. Add the remaining kernels and cook, covered, shaking the pan frequently, until the popping slows down, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Drizzle over the melted butter and top with the parmesan and salt; toss.