You don’t have to re-invent the wheel every time you make an app or a snack for a party. Really, for casual get-togethers like the Super Bowl, good ol’ standbys can be much more welcome than the clever and complicated.
Mmmm hmmmmm… I do love a big bowl of popcorn! (Or a trio of mini, girlie bowls of popcorn arranged, just so, on the counter and on the sideboard.) While I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll never be able to replicate the artery-clogging deliciousness of buttered movie theatre popcorn at home, I can do a healthy, more interesting riff that involves fresh herbs, garlic, cheese and truffles (just not all of the aforementioned ingredients in the same bowl).
- Roasted Garlic Oil/Parmesan
- Truffle Salt/Truffle Butter
Trust me, sister–there’s no turning back once you’ve flavored your popcorn with homemade garlic oil or once you’ve given it a generous sprinkling of truffled salt. You might end up sneaking baggies of these into the theatre!
The Basic (and, yes, we are much bigger fans of stovetop popcorn than the microwave stuff)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup popcorn (or enough to cover the bottom of the pan, no more than one kernel deep)
- 1/3 stick unsalted butter
- Kosher salt
Over medium heat, in a large, heavy-bottomed pan or pot with a lid, pour vegetable oil. Allow oil to heat for 30 seconds and then add kernels. Cover pan and shake gently, adjusting the heat to medium/high. Allow steam to escape from popping kernels by slightly shifting the lid. Remove pan from heat when popping has almost stopped. Pour popcorn into a large bowl and lightly* season with kosher salt to taste. *It’s important to lightly season popcorn at first in case you use salty cheese later.
- Several sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1/3rd-1/2 cup finely grated pecorino-romano
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
Remove rosemary leaves from branch and roughly chop. Sprinkle over popcorn and lightly toss with your fingers. Add desired amount of cheese (I like a lot!) and toss again. Season to taste with salt and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper.
Roasted Garlic Oil/Parmesan
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, skin-on
- 1/3rd-1/2 cup finely grated parmesan (or pecorino)
- Kosher salt to taste
In a small sauce pot, bring olive oil and garlic cloves to a gentle boil. Once the oil begins to bubble, turn heat off, remove pot from stove and allow oil and cloves to hang out for about an hour. Drizzle desired amount of oil over prepared popcorn (save the rest of the oil for roasted chicken, fresh salads and steamed vegetables); gently toss. Add desired amount of cheese and toss again. Season to taste with Kosher salt.
- 4 tablespoons black truffle butter (*We love D’Artagnan)
- truffle salt (Ours was a souvenir from our trip to Alba, Italy! But you can find it at any specialty food store.)
In a small sauce pan or pot, melt truffle butter. Pour butter over warm popcorn; gently toss. Sprinkle with desired amount of truffle butter. Enter popcorn heaven!