Edible Gift #2: Popcorn 3 Ways

by Leslie on December 6, 2012

Today’s edible gift idea is inspired by those gallon tins of 3-way popcorn people have been sending at Christmastime for years. The ones that include a buttered popcorn, caramel popcorn, and that deliciously gross cheddar cheese flavor. You know, the one that you can’t stop eating until you are completely covered in orange powder. That tin of popcorn may be the thing I miss most about working in an office. Every year, around the second week in December, I could count on some vendor sending an endless bucket that I would spend the next couple of weeks arm deep in. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about!

For my popcorn, I decided to get a little fancier with the flavors. I made olive oil and sea salt to replace the buttered, salted caramel (my fave) to replace the plain caramel, and parmesan, rosemary and black pepper to replace the cheddar. I googled powdered cheddar cheese but couldn’t bring myself to press the buy button. Not gonna lie, I have regrets. Even missing that beloved orange powder, this popcorn would make for some addictive snacking on a cold, winter night. Throw in your favorite Christmas movie (Family Stone or bust) and you’ve got a nice little gift. Please include this piece of wisdom with the popcorn: all three flavors in your mouth at once equals magic. Trust me.

Olive Oil and Sea Salt Popcorn

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • sea salt

Pour a thin layer of olive oil in the bottom of a large, heavy pot like a dutch oven (this was about 2 tablespoons for me). Add the corn kernels to form a tightly packed single layer in the bottom of the pot (this was about 1 cup for me). Shake to pot to coat the kernels in oil. Cover the pot and cook over medium-high heat. Once the kernels start to pop, turn down the heat slightly. Shake the pot every 30 seconds or so. Once the popping has slowed, remove the pot from the stove top and transfer the popcorn to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.

Salted Caramel Popcorn

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a pan with parchment paper.

Cook a batch of popcorn following the instructions above, substituting canola oil for the olive oil and eliminating the sea salt at the end.

Combine the butter, brown sugar, heavy cream and sea salt in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Let cool for a few minutes. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and mix using a spatula.

Spread the popcorn in the prepared pan and cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Stir the popcorn after 15 minutes.

Once the popcorn is cool, break apart with your hands.

Rosemary, Parmesan and Black Pepper Popcorn
Adapted from Oprah

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Cook a batch of popcorn following the instructions above, substituting canola oil for the olive oil and eliminating the sea salt at the end.

Transfer the popcorn to the biggest bowl you have. Drizzle the melted butter over the popcorn and stir to distribute the butter. Add the cheese, rosemary, pepper and salt; stir.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Shaker December 6, 2012 at 10:30 am

Remember those giant (and pretty gross) popcorn tins we always got in the production office around the holidays? I’m guilty of eating way to much of that orange colored cheesy kind (mixed with caramel, of course).

Can’t wait to make these flavors!!

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Leslie December 6, 2012 at 10:48 am

Yes! I remember the floor just being covered for the entire month!

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