Up until a few weeks ago, I thought popcorn was a mysterious, magical substance that could only be made in a microwavable bag or a Very Special Popcorn Popper like this:
Maybe you knew that wasn’t true. Maybe you knew it could be made easily, cheaply and chemical-free on your stove using a standard pot. Maybe you also knew that the song “Put me in, coach” is about baseball and not about asking for the cheap seats on the airplane. In all those cases, you’d definitely be smarter than me.
But a few weeks ago it rocked my world to learn I could be making my own popcorn in any flavor I could DREAM of, right here in my kitchen sans popcorn popper. So I’m going to show you how I do it, and if you knew about this trick your whole life, and this post turns out completely lame, it’s probably your fault.
YOU SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME!
But let’s hope for the best.
Okay, first – the background. Did you know microwave popcorn releases toxic fumes when you cook it which can give you something called “popcorn lung?” It’s a life-threatening disease that impacts your breathing but does not, in fact, make you hock up giant hairballs of popcorn, like my imagination predicted when I first heard the term.
Still, I don’t want any of that. Just say no to microwave popcorn.
I actually stopped eating popcorn altogether when I heard about the research, because we’re not “super fancy” and do not own our very own “popcorn popper.” I thought chemical-free popcorn was for the elites. You know, the kind of people who own popcorn poppers. It’s not. It’s for you and me.
Now dump some kernels in a pot. Seriously, any pot that has a lid. I’m in the process of switching my non-stick pots and pans to enameled cast iron to limit our chemical exposure. Here’s my pretty new enameled cast iron skillet:
With some kernels in it. Just “some.” However many you want.
Then pour some olive oil in there. I probably didn’t use enough, but you want it to just cover the bottom of the pot. There are no exact measurements happening here, friends.
Then dump all your seasonings on it. BE GENEROUS. Life is short. Cheese…
Cajun seasoning and salt…
Pop the lid on and turn it on high.
Now’s the fun part! It doesn’t take very long to get poppin’, but it’s pretty delightful when it does. Stay nearby for this part – don’t go start painting a room or running to the mall or anything. It’s like I always say*:
If the popcorn’s a-poppin’, don’t go a-shoppin’
*I have never said that.
When the popping slows down a little, pick up your pot and kind of wave it over the burner for a sec, til the popping is almost finished. THEN open the lid and smell that delicious chemical-free magic you just created! YUM.
If you’re lucky, a few more kernels will pop while you’re pouring it from the pot to your bowl, sending a happy popcorn explosion into your kitchen. This is a GIANT WIN. Be thankful.
Enjoy! I think the spicy cajun seasoning plus a little pinot noir makes a happy little nighttime snack.
Okay, so did you guys know you could do this? If so, what else are you keeping me in the dark on, guys? What are your favorite healthy, easy snacks?
**PS – this is my second-ever attempt at a food-related post. You can check out the first here.