Popcorn, better

I just really wanted some popcorn the other night, so decided to make some. I have a microwave popper thing that I use — 2.5 minutes to get those kernels nice and poofy (I have learned the hard way that in my new microwave 3 minutes gets me a bad smelling, smoky kitchen and black popcorn).

Ate a kernel and it wasn’t quite what I wanted; it was missing something. Opened some cupboard doors and then it happened — drizzled the popcorn with olive oil put some garlic salt on top, tossed it and BAM (trying not to thing of Emeril). That was perfection, and now it’s an addiction. Have had it several nights the past weeks. Oh. So. Good. I recommend giving it a try.

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Gourmet Popcorn

Had a party to attend the other night and wanted to take something a little different.  After flipping through a recent issue of Food & Wine came across a good sounding recipe — Popcorn with Sesame-Glazed Pistachios. All flavors sounded perfect so to the kitchen I went.

Ingredients

1/3 cup vegetable oil (I made air popped stuff in a microwave container I have, so didn’t need this oil)
1/2 cup popping corn
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 cups shelled unsalted pistachios (8 ounces)

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Directions

-Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large saucepan, combine the vegetable oil and popcorn, cover and cook over moderate heat until the corn starts to pop. Cook, shaking the pan until the popping stops, 
3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the popcorn to a large bowl and season lightly with salt.
-Wipe out the saucepan. Add the olive oil, sugar, sesame seeds, soy sauce, garlic powder and 2 teaspoons of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add the pistachios and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Scrape the pistachios onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until bubbling. Scrape the pistachio mixture into the popcorn and toss well. Let cool before serving.

Make Ahead
The mix can be made early in the day and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Prep-wise, not as easy as I expected.  The pistachios did not get crusted/coated.  I got clumps of sesame seeds with soy sauce and a glaze over the pistachios.  But, overall, the taste was nonetheless delicious.  So, was glad I tried the recipe.  Would totally make it again.

Manchego Madness!

I was debating what to do for dinner last night and had a craving for the one cheese I can eat — Manchego!  Then, what to do with it?  My creativity got going on my way to the store, yes Trader Joe’s, I came up with two ideas:

-Manchego Nachos, aka Manche-chos

-Manchego Popcorn

When discussing these options with the as-eager-food-lovers at TJ’s, all of decided both had to be tested.

Manchego

For the ‘chos, I wanted to start out simple – nothing but cheese!  I used the blue corn tortilla chips as they nicely contrast the color of the Manchego and used the microplane grater/zester to finely grate the cheese to adorn the chips with the lactose-free treasure.  Since I was making a small bit, I just threw the chips in the toaster oven — perfect for small bits of nachos!

For the popcorn, I used my microwave popper and when done, tossed the popcorn with more finely grated cheese, S&P.

To complement these, I served them with some prosciutto and grape tomatoes.

 

Result

Ok, a picture doesn’t do it that much justice.  They were pretty good.  The cheese doesn’t look as pretty as expected, but it was a unique taste.  The prosciutto would taste very nice under the melted cheese!!

For the popcorn, the cheese melted just a bit and it was a nice addition.

I would give this 7.5 out of 10 stars, especially for a first try.  With 2.5 to go until perfection, that definitely means more testing is in order!  Darn.