popcorn

Sriracha- Parmesan Popcorn

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When I was really young, movie theaters were open early on the weekends so parents could send their kids off to to watch cartoons and some "westerns" and maybe even a newsreel.

It's like weekend TV today, only not everyone had a TV back then and also, children don't get the news on their favorite channels.

I don't remember any of those old movies. Just that I went with my older brother and had to share the popcorn with him.

I hated the way he doled out the pieces.

Maybe that's why, when it comes to popcorn, I am a gobbler. Stuff the stuff into my mouth without stopping until I am ready to explode.

I like all kinds of popcorn. Plain. Caramel. Chocolate-Marshmallow Heavenly Hash.

Recently I made some Sriracha-Parmesan Popcorn. Sriracha can be overbearing, especially if you just sprinkle it over or splash it on to food. But I popped the kernels and seasoned them with Carrington Farms Coconut Oil -- just one tablespoon was enough to give a hint of hot, enough to satisfy without tasting like fire.

I got the sriracha oil from a new website, Crafted Kosher, which is an absolute boon for anyone looking for kosher products that are unusual and hard-to-find, the kind of ingredients and packaged items that inspire creative cooking. Of course they also carry stock items (beans, pastas, spices, pancake and cake mixes, olive oils, soup mixes, coffee/tea, sauce/salsa, etc.) But it's so good to find so many specialty items (like Murray River Salt, Mango Vinegar, Coconut Nectar, Tandoori Masala) too, all in one place.

If you're a person who might be watching the Iowa caucus results tonight, or the Superbowl on February 7th or the Academy Award ceremony on February 28th or a movie or TV program any time, snack on this popcorn for a change.

Sriracha Parmesan Popcorn

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha flavored vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt to taste

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the kernels. Cover the pan and cook, popping the corn until all the kernels have popped. Place the popped corn in a large bowl. Heat the butter and Sriracha oil over low heat until the butter has melted. Mix and pour over the popcorn. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and salt, toss and serve.

Makes about 10 cups

Caramel Corn

Although I love a good, crunchy-crusted hunk of bread and could happily spend my life feasting on pasta, I don’t eat much of either, because going nearly carb-free is the only way I’ve found to keep my weight down to a reasonable number.   So not-eating bread and pasta during Passover is not a big deal for me.  What I miss most during the holiday is popcorn, which at all other times throughout the year I make or buy (plain) and nibble on in the belief that it is a healthier snack snack than most. Popcorn is also filling and besides I absolutely LOVE how it tastes and feels in my mouth.   Unfortunately when it comes to popcorn, I am like a chicken. Just keep putting more in front of me and I will keep pecking at it. I keep a bagful in my car trunk so it isn’t as easy to grab as, say, anything in my kitchen cabinets.  I always resume my popcorn habits after passover. And, for good measure, on a home night-at-the-movies, I sometimes indulge in the glorified caramel corn in the photo, because, hey, I haven’t had popcorn in a while and besides, I am generally carb-free.  That makes it okay, don’t you think?                                                                                          Caramel Corn   2 tablespoons vegetable oil  1/2 cup popping corn  1 cup brown sugar  1/4 cup honey  12 tablespoons butter  3/4 teaspoon salt  1 teaspoon vanilla extract  1/2 teaspoon baking soda  1 cup chopped nuts or raisins or chopped dried fruit (r a mixture of these)  Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the corn kernels, cover the pan and pop the corn. When the kernels have all popped, place the popped corn in a large bowl. Place the brown sugar, honey, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid has thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and baking soda. Pour over the popped corn. Add the nuts and/or fruit if desired. Mix the ingredients to coat the kernels completely. Place the popcorn on a baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring the ingredients a few times. Remove from the oven and let cool.  Makes about 10 cups      An InLinkz Link-up

Although I love a good, crunchy-crusted hunk of bread and could happily spend my life feasting on pasta, I don’t eat much of either, because going nearly carb-free is the only way I’ve found to keep my weight down to a reasonable number. 

So not-eating bread and pasta during Passover is not a big deal for me.

What I miss most during the holiday is popcorn, which at all other times throughout the year I make or buy (plain) and nibble on in the belief that it is a healthier snack snack than most. Popcorn is also filling and besides I absolutely LOVE how it tastes and feels in my mouth. 

Unfortunately when it comes to popcorn, I am like a chicken. Just keep putting more in front of me and I will keep pecking at it. I keep a bagful in my car trunk so it isn’t as easy to grab as, say, anything in my kitchen cabinets.

I always resume my popcorn habits after passover. And, for good measure, on a home night-at-the-movies, I sometimes indulge in the glorified caramel corn in the photo, because, hey, I haven’t had popcorn in a while and besides, I am generally carb-free.

That makes it okay, don’t you think?                                                                                       

Caramel Corn

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup popping corn

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

12 tablespoons butter

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup chopped nuts or raisins or chopped dried fruit (r a mixture of these)

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the corn kernels, cover the pan and pop the corn. When the kernels have all popped, place the popped corn in a large bowl. Place the brown sugar, honey, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid has thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and baking soda. Pour over the popped corn. Add the nuts and/or fruit if desired. Mix the ingredients to coat the kernels completely. Place the popcorn on a baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring the ingredients a few times. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Makes about 10 cups

 

An InLinkz Link-up

Popcorn!

Yes, yes, yes!!! I just read that popcorn is a good, healthy snack. One that will not “derail” my diet. I’ve heard that before, but it’s so good to see it said at a reputable website.

Yes, yes, yes!! I love popcorn. Have ever since the long ago days when my brother Jeff took me to the movies on Saturday and doled out the kernels one by one.

The article was about 10 healthy snacks and one of the points that was made was this one:

"You should think of a quick snack as a mini-meal,” advises Debra J. Johnston, RD, registered dietitian and director of nutrition services at Remuda Ranch, a treatment program for eating disorders in Wickenburg, Ariz. 

A mini-meal!! Imagine, popcorn as a mini-meal.

I have to confess that on occasion, when my husband Ed is away on business and I am alone, I sometimes go to the movies with my friend Susan and popcorn is my meal. And I don’t mean mini-meal. I get the big bag because like most Americans I can’t resist the fact that it is SO much bigger than the smaller one and only costs a dollar more.

I only make popcorn at home occasionally. It’s a snack I really should think of more often because if I had homemade popcorn to nibble on while reading or watching TV, it might cut down on more caloric items (like yogurt raisins, which sound healthy but are sugar-loaded candy, after all, or potato chips, which are probably the worst snack there is because they are high-fat, high-calorie and addictive (at least for me)). 

Fairway has great store-made packaged popcorn, but I have found that when I buy the package I eat half on the way home from the store.

Not good.

Homemade — is good but I tend to cook it after I’ve eaten a meal so I don’t gobble it all up.

Here’s how to make popcorn. It isn’t difficult and takes only a few minutes. Also, you don’t need any special equipment. Just a large pot. The recipe is dressed up a bit to add variety to your popcorn choices. But you can leave out the additions and just pop the kernels in the vegetable oil. 

Garlic-Parmesan Popcorn

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 large cloves garlic, cut in half

1/3 cup corn kernels

1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt to taste

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes to brown the pieces and flavor the oil. Remove the garlic and add the popcorn kernels. Cover the pan and cook, popping the corn until all the kernels have popped. Place the kernels in a large bowl. Pour the olive oil on top and toss the ingredients. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper and salt. Makes about 8 cups

Heavenly Hash Popcorn

I’m a sucker for movie popcorn. You can tell me how awful it is and how it isn’t fresh or that it’s terribly fattening or full of fat or salt or hidden ingredients that will make me confess to giving top secret documents to the Soviets (Remember them? I just saw the movie Breach and it reminded me of the olden days when the bad guys in all the movies were the Soviets.)

You can tell me how much more delicious homemade popcorn is and how much better it is for you especially if you use an air popper and no butter.

But I don’t care. I love movie popcorn. And I am a sucker because even though it is way way more than I should eat, I always buy the big tub because it is such a bargain compared with the small bag. If you can call paying over $6 for popcorn a bargain. Also, if I buy the tub at my local theater I can get a free refill, so that I can have stale movie popcorn in my house to nibble on for a few days.

When I was a girl my brother and I went to the movies by ourselves over the weekend. My mother gave us each 10 cents for a treat. That dime got us a box worth of popcorn, though my brother sometimes bought Jujubes or Dots.

We never thought about whether the box of popcorn was large or small. That’s the only size there was. (Today if you have a store like Party City in your neighborhood you can buy those boxes to use for party favors.)

One of the problems I wrestle with these days is that we have Netflix and PPV and DVDs and so on and they come so quickly after a movie is out that we don’t get to the theater as often as we used to. So I’ve been really missing my popcorn recently. 

Home cooked popcorn may not be as wonderful as movie popcorn, however, if you do something else with it, like make it into caramel corn or some other sweet-and-salty goodie, it might make up for the lack. It’s also a good treat for watching the Academy Awards ceremony.

For all you committed movie popcorn lovers, try this:

Heavenly Hash Popcorn

2 quarts plain, popped corn

1 cup packed mini-marshmallows

1/2 cup salted peanuts

7 ounces chocolate (milk or semisweet)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the popcorn out on a large jelly roll pan. Sprinkle the marshmallows and nuts on top. Break up the chocolate into small pieces and scatter the pieces on top. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool and toss slightly. Makes about 2 quarts

My Pathetic Hallowe'en Costumes

My daughters are still po’d at me because I was so inept at Hallowe’en costumes. Even though it’s many years later and they are both now working moms with kids. 
 I hate to sew. And I am awful at it. And when they were little kids Hallowe’en was not the huge zillion dollar 2-month celebration it is now. Unless you wanted to spend a fortune (I didn’t) the only costumes were the ones you could buy at the local drugstore. Lame, cheap and uncool. There were mothers then who made nice costumes for their kids. 
 I wasn’t one of them. 
 One year I took white pillowcases, cut out holes for eyes, nose and mouth, plopped them over my daughters’ heads and they went trick-or-treating as ghosts. 
 I have to say, to confess, it was lame, cheap and uncool. And if my daughters are reading this, I apologize. But even now I think, I’m just not good at costumes. 
 Nevertheless they are still po’d about it and it’s one of those things (every family has these) that comes up regularly as conversation. 
 They still believe I made them wear those costumes for YEARS but it was only one year. 
 Okay, maybe two. AT MOST. 
 There were always nice things to eat when they got back from getting their candy stash. Usually my father’s recipe for hot cocoa (recipe’s here at  www.ronniefein.com ) and caramel corn or some other kind of popcorn or cookies. 
 I do hope they remember that part. 
 Heavenly Hash Popcorn 
 2 quarts popped corn 
 1 cup miniature marshmallows 
 1/2 cup peanut, cashew or almond pieces 
 2 4-ounce plain chocolate bars (such as Ghirardelli 60% or 70% baking bars) or 8 ounces chocolate chips 
 Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the popped corn on a large baking sheet with rims (jelly roll pan). Scatter the marshmallows and nuts over the popped corn. Break up the chocolate bars and place the pieces over the popped corn. Bake for 5-6 minutes or until the chocolate has melted. Cool slightly, then toss ingredients. Makes 2-quarts+

My daughters are still po’d at me because I was so inept at Hallowe’en costumes. Even though it’s many years later and they are both now working moms with kids.

I hate to sew. And I am awful at it. And when they were little kids Hallowe’en was not the huge zillion dollar 2-month celebration it is now. Unless you wanted to spend a fortune (I didn’t) the only costumes were the ones you could buy at the local drugstore. Lame, cheap and uncool. There were mothers then who made nice costumes for their kids.

I wasn’t one of them.

One year I took white pillowcases, cut out holes for eyes, nose and mouth, plopped them over my daughters’ heads and they went trick-or-treating as ghosts.

I have to say, to confess, it was lame, cheap and uncool. And if my daughters are reading this, I apologize. But even now I think, I’m just not good at costumes.

Nevertheless they are still po’d about it and it’s one of those things (every family has these) that comes up regularly as conversation.

They still believe I made them wear those costumes for YEARS but it was only one year.

Okay, maybe two. AT MOST.

There were always nice things to eat when they got back from getting their candy stash. Usually my father’s recipe for hot cocoa (recipe’s here at www.ronniefein.com) and caramel corn or some other kind of popcorn or cookies.

I do hope they remember that part.

Heavenly Hash Popcorn

2 quarts popped corn

1 cup miniature marshmallows

1/2 cup peanut, cashew or almond pieces

2 4-ounce plain chocolate bars (such as Ghirardelli 60% or 70% baking bars) or 8 ounces chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the popped corn on a large baking sheet with rims (jelly roll pan). Scatter the marshmallows and nuts over the popped corn. Break up the chocolate bars and place the pieces over the popped corn. Bake for 5-6 minutes or until the chocolate has melted. Cool slightly, then toss ingredients. Makes 2-quarts+