Homemade Popcorn

Fresh, homemade popcorn—there are few simpler pleasures in life. On short nights after long weeks when Ryan and I are feeling particularly adult, we’ll opt to have popcorn and wine for dinner. We’re all class.

(Seriously, though, a bright Gewürtztraminer or a full-bodied fruity red are a pleasure to drink with airy homemade popcorn. I’ll never stop trying to get you to drink more #realwine.)

So here’s thing. I know that you’re familiar with popcorn that comes in vacuum-sealed pouches, unwrapped in thirds and placed this-side-down in the microwave for two minutes—most of that is actually vegan, as it contains various oils and colorings (hey, achiote!) instead of butter. And I know that you still feel like a little kid inside when the kernels start popping—the same feeling that the finale of a fireworks show elicits.

Homemade popcorn is like being in the front row of that show.

Sure, it takes a little more effort, but how hard is shimmying a pan for a few minutes? If you’re like me, then you’ll be cackling like a child as the kernels pop all over the place and eventually push the lid off your largest pot.

So please, I implore you, won’t you try your hand at homemaking popcorn this fall?

It’s so easy to customize—you can keep it plain with a little melted Earth Balance and salt, or mix up a bowl of various spices to sprinkle on. I’m a fan of chili powder, and I like a little heat, so my go-to mix is peppery. You might like some fresh herbes de provence; a little nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar; some curry powder; or some nutch and ground sesame seeds for a parmesan-like taste. Keep it simple—a little sprinkle here will go a long way, and you’ll be happily licking your fingers (and making prints on your wine glasses) as your flick-of-the-week plays.

Now go curl up with a bowl of popcorn. In ten minutes.

Spicy popcorn mix:

  • 2 T nutch
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 t paprika
  • A healthy bit freshly ground black pepper
  • A dash cayenne

Français popcorn mix:

  • 1 T nutch
  • 2 T herbes de provence
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • A few cranks freshly ground black pepper

Homemade Popcorn Recipe

By M. M. Cassidy Published: November 4, 2011

  • Yield: ~10 Cups (2-4 Servings)
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Ready In: 10 mins

So here's thing. I know that you're familiar with popcorn that comes in vacuum-sealed pouches, unwrapped in thirds and placed this-side-down in the microwave for two minutes—most of that is actually vegan, as it contains various oils and colorings (hey, achiote!) instead of butter. And I know that you still feel like a little kid inside when the kernels start popping—the same feeling that the finale of a fireworks show elicits. Homemade popcorn is like being in the front row of that show. It goes well with new wine and old films.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Hint: it's handy to have a sous chef melt the butter, prepare the spice mix, and generally help with the little things while you're tending to the popcorn.
    Spicy Mix for Homemade Popcorn
  2. In a small bowl, mix together your spices, if using.
  3. Heat a very large pot over medium-high heat. Don't be tempted to turn the heat up too high, or your popcorn will burn, and it's pretty much universally acknowledged that that's one of the worst smells ever. The smell of failure lingers for days.
  4. Add to the pot the oil and three kernels of popcorn. Cover the pot, angling the cover slightly so that steam can escape, but splatters of oil cannot.
    When making homemade popcorn, the oil is hot enough when the heat causes pressure inside three little hard, sealed hulls to build up, turning the kernels in-side-out as the pressure is released.
  5. When the three kernels pop, remove the cover, dump in the rest of the popcorn, replace the cover at an angle away from you, and gently shimmy the pot back and forth over the heat until all of the kernels have popped (until pops occur at intervals of a few seconds or more).
  6. Don't worry if they pop the lid right off your pot.
    Popcorn will push the lids right off your largest pot. Don't be daunted—you'll be able to share it all.
  7. Once the popping has subsided, transfer the popcorn to a large bowl. Gently drizzle with Earth Balance (or oil) and toss with your fingers to distribute.
  8. Sprinkle in the salt, as well as the spice mixture—if using—and toss again to evenly coat the popcorn.
  9. Garnishes with some freshly chopped complementary herbs, or a drizzle of a sweet sauce (chocolate, anyone?) if you've made a sweet mix.

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  • Megan McEvers

    Thanks for sharing this! I have a container of Archer Farms yellow and red popping corn I’ve been meaning to use.

    • http://www.thewickedgoodvegan.com Meaghan

      Yes! Enjoy!

  • Belle

    This is a great idea xx thank u