Popcorn, Plain and Fancy

Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn

A few months ago, I bought some organic bulk popcorn and popped a batch the way it was done in ancient times; in a saucepan on the stove top. I shared the bowl with the kids while we watched a movie, and A noticed right away that there was something different - like - hey, crunch - this is really good!

It was good, a revelation, even. I think I'd become so used to mediocre, oversalted popcorn that I forgot how good it can be. I started making popcorn to serve with cocktails, with some chopped fresh rosemary, sea salt and Parmesan cheese grated over the top. It's even better with some cold champagne. Yum.

Now I can't go back to the packaged microwave popcorn habit - it just doesn't compare in flavor, plus I can skip the extra fat, sodium and artificial ingredients.

The only hard thing is that when the kids have been trained to get their popcorn exactly three and a half minutes after they ask for it, waiting for the stovetop stuff can be excruciating.

I was happy to find a brown bag microwave method in Whole Grains by Lorna Sass. Now the kids and the grown-ups share the popcorn love.

Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn
makes 12 cups
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add popcorn kernels and cover pan. Cook, shaking pan back and forth occasionally, until popping stops; about 5 minutes. Transfer popcorn to a large serving bowl.

Add the butter, rosemary, pepper and salt to the popcorn and toss gently. Top with cheese and toss once more to blend.

Perfect wine pairing with a crisp, herbal Pinot Gris from Oregon or Argentina; or a chilled sparkling wine like Prosecco.

Microwave Brown Bag Popcorn
thanks to Janelle at Brown Bag Blues for the inspiration

1/4 cup popcorn kernels, organic if possible
2 teaspoons canola or peanut oil
Kosher salt, to taste

Toss the kernels with the oil in a small bowl. Pour into a plain brown paper bag and place on a paper towel on the microwave turntable. Cook on high for exactly 1 1/2 minutes. Or, depending on your microwave, listen carefully and stop the microwave as soon as the popping slows; not more than 2 minutes total.

Carefully open the bag and sprinkle with salt.

Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food


Deborah Dowd said...

Your popcorn looks delicious! I have long been a fan of popcorn with butter and parmesan, so I will definitely give your twist a try!

Nupur said...

Karen, you must be a mind-reader! I have always loved popcorn, and totally got into the microwave-popcorn habit during my thesis-writing days. I do hate the salt and greasiness of that method, not to mention all the over-packaging waste. Thanks for sharing a tried-and-tested stove-top method :) I'm going to try this!

Sarah said...

That rosemary popcorn looks so fabulous--wonder if you could sneak it into a movie theater?

janelle said...

Yum! I think it is time for me to move away from the microwavable bag.

My sister in law makes popcorn, then I kid you not, drizzles a scant amount of white chocolate on it.

Karen said...

Deborah - I think you'll like it - don't forget to sip some wine!

Nupur - Wow! I have to tell you that I thought of you when I posted this.
I don't know if that makes me psychic. Probably just that I post more often about meat/fish than not.

Sarah - That's a good idea. I'm such a sucker for movie theater popcorn. Then I eat the whole bag and feel awful.

Janelle, I think white chocolate could take kettle corn to an ultra-gourmet level. Wonder how dark chocolate would taste??

Squishy said...

Excellent idea chick :)

fiftyfinally said...

I've been waiting for a pot luck to try this recipe.
Popcorn Salad
a few handfuls of unseasoned popcorn
pinch of gr cumin powder
salt and pepper
splash of olive oil
3-4 handfuls of any mix baby greens
a thinly sliced red bell pepper
honey lime dressing-recipe follows
juice and zest of 4 limes
2 heaping spoonfuls of honey
a spoonful of mustard
cupful of olive oil
salt and pepper
toss the popcorn with the cumin powder salt and pepper and oilive oil. toss with the greens red pepper and generous splash of the dressing
haven't tried it but one of these days

Susan said...

I just love popcorn for a treat and prefer to make it on the stove to control the amount of salt and oil in it. I usually eat it with Splenda and cinnamon for a sweet version, but your savory recipe is making my mouth water! Rosemary and parmesan are fantastic together. I can't wait to try it.

Kristen said...

There is nothing quite like real popped popcorn. I had no idea you could make it in your own paper bag. That is great!
Thanks for sharing these recipes.

Alison said...

We use an air popper, which my 5-year old now likes better than the microwaved stuff, because she gets to watch the popcorn dance. Will have to try your spices, though my guess is that I'll love them and my five year old will be like "why does this taste funny?"

(it's not funny, love, it's GOOD. You're just not used to that in this processed world...but we'll keep workin' on it).

Marianna said...

I saw this recipe linked on Slashfood, and couldn't wait to try it. Lucky me, grocery stores are closed by law in Germany on Sundays. Unfortunately, they only had ground rosemary and "italian grated hard-cheese", but my approximation still tastes smashing, and your idea has reminded me of the joys of homemade popcorn. I think I'm going to experiment with some German flavored butters that I also bought. Yay!

Karen said...

Thanks, Squishy!

Fifty Finally, that salad is so creative. Where is the recipe from?

Susan, I hope you try the savory version. I'll have to go the sweet route next time I pop some.

Kristen, I'm glad to share!

Alison, air poppers are great. I used one for a while before the motor blew. It's much more fun to watch than a covered saucepan anyday.

Marianna, thanks for visiting! I hope you were able to find some of the flavored butter. That sounds like it could be very tasty...

Mar said...

Wow. That was some tasty popcorn. I felt like making popcorn for the first time, and I seasoned it with the salt, pepper, parmesan, and butter and wished I wasn't too lazy to go get rosemary from the garden (but its dark and cold) and I can only imagine how much yummier it would have been with rosemary.

J. William said...

Just happened upon this post about brown bag popcorn...per your information, you don't need to use oil or butter when microwaving in a bag like this, it will pop perfectly well all on it's lonesome, making it an even healthier little kickshaw for all involved.