In the words of James Brown “I don’t want all that mess…just give me some popcorn.” http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4131422760421767776# (for the uninitiated, here is the Godfather of Soul himself singing Popcorn.) That is what was going through my mind the night I finally decided to do some research on popcorn. I love popcorn. (James Brown is kind of fun too.) I love to pop a bag of popcorn into the microwave and 2 glorious minutes later start the enjoyment of nibbling one unique kernel of popcorn at a time until they are all gone. However, I really do not care for the chemical taste that microwave popcorn has ( is it getting worse or is that just me)? So I had gone back to the “old school” way, getting out a heavy saucepan, pouring in the oil, adding the popcorn, shaking the pan, pouring the popcorn into a bowl, adding he salt, eating the popcorn, cleaning the greasy pan and dishes.
Tastes great, but it brings us back to “I don’t want all that mess…just give me some popcorn”. I liked the idea of an air popper, but really who needs another giant appliance to move out of the way each time you need a casserole dish or mixing bowl? I thought I had heard something about being able to make your own microwave popcorn so I decided to take the time to hop on the internet and google it. I went to allreceipes.com and what I found made me feel like I was the last person on earth to know about how to make my own microwave popcorn! But just in case you are one of the few who have not yet discovered this secret, I will continue.
First of all the recipe is elegant in its simplicity. Poporn, oil (or no oil, perfect for our recipe for snack mix), small paper lunch bag, and salt,(or no salt) or your favorite seasoning. Just think of the possibilities! No fat, no problem. No gluten no problem. No sodium, no problem. This is endlessly adaptable to almost any dietary restriction. And the preperation is no problem. Place all items, except the bag, in the bag, fold the top of the bag down, pop until the pops are 2 seconds apart. Nothing could be simpler, however it seems that the devil is in the details.
I really love this recipe. Almost as much as I loved sifting through the 183 comments about this recipe. You can check this amazing discourse out for yourself here http://allrecipes.com/recipe/microwave-popcorn/detail.aspx but I will give you my take on it here. Most loved it and shared their special ways to seal the bag, season the popcorn or deal with the unpopped kernels. However, there were some who complained that they burned the popcorn, some that complained that they filled the house with the smell of burnt popcorn and even someone that complainted that they burned up their microwave!
All I can say is that this recipe is much like raising a child. If you give it your undivided attention for just a little while, you will soon be rewarded with the ability to relax and completely enjoy it. Once you have the basic formula down you can add the details that reflect your personal preferences.
Okay, I will have the last word. Mix popcorn kernels with small amount of olive oil, just to coat, in a resealable plastic container. The oil is just to make the salt stick better. Add salt, to taste (you can always add more after it is popped). Add three level tablespoons of mixture into the paper bag and fold the top down 2 times. Put in microwave fold up, not on side. Give it your full attention because microwave times vary. When it starts slowing down to near 2 seconds between pops remove from microwave. Best to stop before all kernels are popped as you can recycle them back into the plastic container with the remaining popcorn mixture. Open the bag, kick back and enjoy! Place your plastic container with your new popcorn stash in the refrigerator for the next time.