Popcorn

Theater-Style Buttered Popcorn Recipe

Movie Theater Style popcorn

Photograph by Burke/Triolo/Jupiter Images

Movie theaters use butter-flavored oil, which has a lower water content than butter so it makes popcorn less soggy. Real clarified butter has the same effect. To make it, melt 2 sticks butter in a glass measuring cup in the microwave. Let sit for a few minutes; the butter will separate into 3 layers. Skim off the top layer of foam, then slowly pour the clarified butter into a heatproof container; discard the bottom layer of milk solids. Use 3 tablespoons hot clarified butter for 10 cups popcorn; refrigerate the rest (it’s great for sauteeing).

Food Terms:

clarified butter
Pronunciation: [KLEHR-ih-fide]
Also called drawn butter, this is unsalted butter that has been slowly melted, thereby evaporating most of the water and separating the milk solids (which sink to the bottom of the pan) from the golden liquid on the surface. After any foam is skimmed off the top, the clear (clarified) butter is poured or skimmed off the milky residue and used in cooking. Because the milk solids (which make butter burn when used for frying) have been removed, clarified butter has a higher smoke point than regular butter and therefore may be used to cook at higher temperatures. Additionally, the lack of milk solids prevents clarified butter from becoming rancid as quickly as regular butter. It also means that the butter won’t have as rich a flavor. Ghee is an East Indian form of highly clarified butter.

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Martha Stewart's flavored popcorn

Pop something new with Martha’s flavored recipes

This recipe for sweet and spicy popcorn is a delicious snack perfect for parties. It was featured on The Martha Stewart Show, October Fall 2007.

Martha Stewart’s Sweet & Spicy Popcorn Crunch

Click here: to Watch the Video

Yield: about 11 cups
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons safflower oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with nonstick baking mats; set aside.
  2. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add 3 popcorn kernels and cover until they pop. Add remaining popcorn kernels, cover, and shake pot continuously over burner until popcorn is completely popped, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer popcorn to large bowl; add peanuts and set aside.
  4. Combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium pot over medium heat.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high, and cook, without stirring, until golden brown, about 5 minutes, swirling pot occasionally.
  6. Remove mixture from heat and quickly stir in salt and cayenne with a heatproof spatula or spoon. Immediately pour over popcorn mixture and stir to incorporate.
  7. Divide popcorn mixture evenly between baking sheets. Transfer to oven and bake, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Let cool on sheet pans before breaking apart into clusters. Store popcorn in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Martha’s Flavored Popcorn

Set the scene for a night at the movies with custom popcorn containers. Trim the tops of white paper bags with scallop scissors, and then draw stripes with a red marker. Print Martha’s popcorn labels on adhesive paper, or attach with glue.

Spice things up with fun varieties, such as pesto, sugar and spice, and s’mores.Place 1/4 cup popcorn kernels in a brown paper lunch bag. Fold down the top of the bag, and crimp to seal. Microwave on high until popped (making about 6 cups), 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Season popcorn with 1/4 teaspoon salt; transfer to a bowl, and add toppings as suggested below.

Add a Topping:

Yield: Makes 3 to 4 tablespoons seasoning

1. Pesto Presto
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter + 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons jarred pesto

2. Sugar and Spice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted with 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar (toss with popcorn) + 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice

3. S’mores
2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows melted with 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (toss with popcorn) + 2 chopped graham crackers + 1 1/2 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate

More Flavors to Try….

Directions:  For each of these mixtures, simply place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl; stir until they are combined, and transfer to an airtight container for storage. Season popcorn to taste.

  • FOR CAJUN POPCORN

    • 2 teaspoons paprika
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 2 tablespoons salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, (optional)
  • FOR CURRY POPCORN

    • 1 tablespoon curry powder
    • 2 tablespoons salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • FOR ITALIAN POPCORN

    • 1/4 cup finely grated (about 1/2 ounce) Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes, (optional)
  • FOR SOUTHWESTERN POPCORN

    • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 2 tablespoons salt

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