It’s that time of year again – the time when dreams really do come true (at least for a select group of beautiful and ridiculously talented individuals who seemingly already “have it all”) – AWARDS SEASON!
This Sunday the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards
will air on NBC at 8PM ET. Get ready to watch some of Hollywood’s most glamorous actors and actresses from television and the big screen come out in style to claim their coveted awards and test the waters in anticipation of an even bigger Hollywood fairytale ending (the 82nd Academy Awards
, of course!).
So naturally, what comes to mind when we are sitting down to enjoy a movie, a television show, or an awards show celebrating the best of the best? Popcorn! This tasty and salty treat was originally “invented” by the Native Americans, who were the first ones to discover that corn could be “popped.” In the 1920s, street vendors used to push steam or gas powered popcorn poppers around through crowds in carnivals, parks, etc. But popcorn became associated with movies in 1925 when the first electric popcorn machine was perfected by inventor Charles Manley. Manley, being the genius that he was, came up with the idea of marketing the popcorn to theater vendors. During the Great Depression, at 5 – 10 cents a bag, popcorn was one of the only indulgences that people could afford. (And sadly enough during these troubled times there have been multiple reports of movies and popcorn making a comeback as well.) Popcorn became even more popular during World War II when sugar was rationed and candy became scarce. And thus, one of the great fairytale romances was born: popcorn and a movie.
In honor of this timeless fairytale romance, I’ve posted some savory and sweet popcorn recipes from my favorite Foodnetwork
stars. And in light of the recent news
surrounding the terrifying nutritional contents of movie popcorn, we may all be better off making our own anyway – at least we will know what’s in it!
If you are having a Golden Globe viewing party and want to get creative with the way you serve your popcorn, try serving the popcorn in small brown (or white) paper lunch bags. This is especially helpful if you want to make the popcorn before your guests arrive and are making different flavors. Simply write on the bag with a black marker what flavor your popcorn is and staple together. If you do decide to whip up a batch of Paula Deen’s decadent chocolate popcorn or Tyler Florence’s Carmel corn, I suggest bagging a cup of popcorn in little clear plastic bags tied with a ribbon and perhaps a little ticket with the names of the nominees of the night. (i.e., Sandra Bullock – Best Actress – The Blind Side, Meryl Streep – Best Actress – It’s Complicated, and so on!). After all, there’s nothing better than having a bowl of salty popcorn covered in dark chocolate to munch on and tear up into when your favorite star finally gets their fairytale ending. So don’t be caught without yours when your favorite actor/actress is making a sappy and uncomfortable acceptance speeches! Get ready and get poppin’!
Rachel Ray – Spiced Popcorn
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
15 cups hot unsalted stove- or air-popped popcorn (½ cup unpopped)
In a small bowl, mix the chili powder, paprika, cayenne and salt. In an extra-large bowl, drizzle some olive oil over the popcorn and sprinkle with some of the spices. Mix with your hands; repeat until the popcorn is evenly coated.
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
Pop the popcorn using a large, heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid or a popcorn maker.
Coat the bottom of the pot with vegetable oil and heat over low heat. Drop in 1 kernel of corn and when it pops add the remaining corn, cover and shake pan. Continue to shake pan until all the corn has popped, being careful not to burn.
1 cup popcorn kernels
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Rosemary Infused Oil, recipe follows
Stir the popcorn kernels and 1/2 cup of the oil in a heavy large pot. Cover and cook over medium heat until the kernels have popped, shaking the pot halfway through cooking, about 3 minutes. Immediately transfer the popcorn to a large serving bowl. Toss the popcorn with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with salt, to taste, and serve.
Rosemary Infused Oil:
1 cup olive oil
5 to 6 fresh rosemary sprigs (each 5 inches long)
Combine the oil and rosemary in a heavy small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Transfer the sprigs to a 4-ounce bottle or cruet. Add the oil and seal the lid. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.
Yield: 1 cup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 stick butter
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 cups popcorn
Over medium heat, using a 4 quart pot, combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter, cocoa, and salt and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is well mixed, add the popped corn. Cook and stir until popcorn is coated, approximately 2 minutes. Cool mixture and shape into 3-inch balls.
3 tablespoons peanut oil
3 ounces popcorn kernels, approximately 1/2 cup
1/2 teaspoon popcorn salt
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Place the oil, popcorn and salt in a large, 6-quart, metal mixing bowl. Cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil and poke 10 slits in the top with a knife.
Place the bowl over medium heat and shake constantly using a pair of tongs to hold the bowl. Continue shaking until the popcorn finishes popping, approximately 3 minutes.
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1/3 cup white popping corn
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (1/3 pound) piece assertive blue cheese, frozen
1/2 cup coarsely chopped lightly toasted walnuts
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
In a large, partially covered saucepan, heat the oil and 1 kernel of popcorn until hot enough to make the corn pop. Add the remaining popcorn and cook, partially covered, shaking until all the corn is popped. Transfer the popcorn to a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. While popcorn is hot, grate the blue cheese over the popcorn. Add the walnuts and chives and toss until evenly coated. Serve immediately.
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch cream of tartar
1/2 (10-ounce) package marshmallows, about 4 cups
10 cups hot, salted popcorn, uncooked kernels removed
In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water, corn syrup, butter, and cream of tartar (this bit of acid keeps the sugar from crystallizing.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. When the sugar syrup reaches a boil, stop stirring and swirl the pan around over the heat so it doesn’t burn. As the syrup reaches the caramel stage, the bubbles on top will become smaller, thicker, and closer together. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the caramel coats the back of the spoon. (If so inclined, stick a candy thermometer in the pot and cook until the syrup reaches the soft-crack stage, about 270 degrees F. When you drop a bit of this syrup into cold water, it will solidify into threads that, when removed, are hard yet bendable.) Remove the caramel from the heat and stir in the marshmallows. Fold the marshmallows into the hot caramel so they all melt into a gooey caramel sauce.
The caramel will coat better if the popcorn is hot, so make it while boiling the sugar or pop it first then keep it warm. Put the popcorn in a big bowl and pour the caramel marshmallow mixture over the popcorn. Gently fold with a wooden spoon to coat each kernel. Grab handfuls of the popcorn and squeeze it together to form popcorn balls; make them about the size of a tennis ball. Put the popcorn balls on a sheet pan lined with waxed paper to cool completely.