Popcorn with Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Runny Honey

Popcorn

I’ve never really understood why people buy bags of popped popcorn. Granted its not that expensive but the bag is rarely big enough. Especially if you’re me. And if you make your own you can flavour it as you like!

While watching the Chinese epic Red Cliff (5 hours!) Freya said she wanted dessert. Well we didn’t have anything. Freya will tell you that I don’t make puddings. Much to her disappointment. I did promise to make more sweet things in 2015 but it’s just not something that tickles my fancy. Savoury all the way for me!

Then I remembered we had a massive bag of popcorn kernels. So what better than some salted, runny honey popcorn. It takes minutes and can’t really go wrong.

Grab a big pan (if you’re making lots). I used my All Clad Tagine – which is very big! Then heat some oil and 100g of popcorn kernels on a high heat until they start to pop. Then reduced the heat and let the popping continue until it stopped.

If you’re impatient like me the popping won’t have stopped and you’ll have popcorn flying everywhere! No doubt I’ll find a few popped kernels next time I do the boat cleaning (‘housework’ to most of you).

Fish them out of the pan into a bowl – sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt and then drizzle with honey and stir with a couple of wooden spoons. Don’t overdo it or it’ll be too sticky to eat and will go soft.

Suffice to say I made a second batch. Well – it was a long film !

Rosemary Popcorn

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Is popcorn cooking? probably not. Although you can burn it and it might not pop if you do it wrong!

This recipe came from Maria Ella’s – The Modern Vegetarian. It’s not really a recipe when you say ‘pop some corn’ – much like another cookbook I have where they tell you how to make a shandy by pouring lemonade onto a beer.

We have bucket loads of popcorn kernels. When you visit a health food shop and see ‘Buy one get one half price’ you really do believe that ‘yeh I will eat that much popcorn’. Trust me you won’t!

A 1 kilogram bag of popcorn will feed a small country for about 20 years. So be prepared to have your spare bag of popcorn move house with you – much like the unused ‘fenugreek seeds’ and all the other Bart spices that you thought were a good idea at the time!

True story: when Freya moved in with me in Gamlingay, we sorted through my kitchen supplies and she found a Schwartz tub of Hot Chilli Powder that was older than she was! I bought it from Costco when I moved out of home in the 80s – thinking giant tubs of spices were great value for money – and it has taken up space in my kitchen cupboards for over 20 years!

Anyway – back to the popcorn! All you have to do here is melt some butter, or oil in a pan with some chopped up small rosemary. It’s probably a good idea to have a lid on your pan or you’ll be making a bit of a mess. It’s also a good idea to have a heavy based pan or it’s going to blacken and burn. I have cast iron Le Creuset pans – which are more than heavy enough !

Get the pan hot – add a layer of popcorn kernels (which really isn’t a lot at all) and put the lid on. It’ll pop in less than a minute. Once the popping abates turn off the heat – and let the remaining kernels pop. Take then out of the pan – put them in a bag with some sea salt and shake it. Job done!

Whatever you do – don’t be impatient. Take that lid off too early and those kernels are gonna be all over your floor.

I made three pans worth – about the size of a large freezer bag – and we couldn’t eat it all. I ended up feeding the left overs to the ducks!