Before leaving on this adventure, which by the way was my first present-buying outing this year, I fueled up with two eggs and sauted Brussels sprouts (made exactly like the September posting). I wanted a solid protein meal before I hit the road.
On the way home I brainstormed ideas for a small snack to accompany a glass of wine, and came up with popcorn. This is always the fallback snack. Popcorn kernels are something I can almost be guaranteed to have in the pantry. And my parents just recently bought me a microwave air popper, which has dramatically changed my way of snacking. E and I find ourselves making popcorn a lot!
Popcorn has so many good features. Nutritionally speaking, it is high in fiber and protein and low in fat. Culinarily speaking it is a vehicle for an endless list of flavorings. Tonight I went for a simple savory taste of extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. You can also add nutritional yeast, which is a vegetarian's best friend for a Vitamin B12 source. One of my classmates from graduate school had the most interesting recipe for popcorn that included nutritional yeast, curry powder, garlic salt and spirulina powder. If you are reading this, Susan, correct me if I am wrong about these ingredients...but regardless, it was the most multidimensional flavor profile I had ever had on popcorn.
You can also make sweet popcorn. This year for the Fourth of July I made cinnamon and sugar popcorn, bound together with butter. This in addition to a whole list of other July foods, fueled us up for a night of dancing on the boat.
So what I am basically saying is that you can always go for the classic butter and salt. But try branching out a little. Treat your popcorn like an open canvas to mix spices you see on your spice rack.
makes about 15-20 cups popped popcorn
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Air pop your popcorn. Each air popper has it's own limit of much you can pop at one time. Mine can hold 1/2 cup kernels. But if yours holds less, then you can do it in installments. Drizzle with olive oil. Top with salt and pepper to your taste preference. Add cayenne for even spicier punch.