Thursday, June 6, 2013

How To Make Popcorn on the Stove

By request, to follow my post Snack For Pennies, here are instructions for making popcorn on the stove top. 
You will need:
1/4 cup popcorn kernels
1-2 tbsp oil (I use Smart Balance)
a medium-sized sauce pan with a lid
salt if desired (you can buy ultra-fine popcorn salt next to the regular salt and pepper)

Add your oil and kernels to your pan, shake around a little to coat the kernels in oil, and turn the heat to the highest setting. Do not cover yet. When the first kernel pops, put the lid on. Begin shaking the pan back and forth, maintaining contact with the burner. You want to keep the kernels moving to prevent burning. Remove from heat when your pan becomes full or when pops are about 2 seconds apart.

A few hints:
-If steam builds up in the pan, the popcorn may have a tough texture. Choose a lid with a vent if possible.
-I have purchased store brand kernels and all the name brands. They all taste the same. Some claim to be fluffier, but I have never noticed any difference. Buy whichever is the best value per ounce.
-Spritzing your popcorn with a little cooking spray or Kernel Season's popcorn spray will help your salt or any other seasonings stick.
-You can make kettle corn by adding about 1/4 cup of sugar to the kernels and oil before popping starts. Sprinkle with a little salt afterwards for the perfect salty-sweet combination.
-To make a sweet treat, salt your popcorn a little bit, and then drizzle with melted chocolate. Stir to coat as you add any mix-ins you like. We like milk chocolate with M&Ms or Sno Caps and white chocolate with slivered almonds.
-Some other yummy flavors to try; chili powder and lime juice, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper, or experiment with anything else in your spice cabinet!

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