Popping Popcorn

Everyday Food, Volume 16 October 2004

It takes just 10 minutes to make a fun and healthy snack. Serve it plain or mix it with other flavors.

Basic Popcorn
1. In a large heavy-bottom saucepan, stir together 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 cup popcorn kernels; cover partially with lid to allow steam to escape.

2. Cook over medium heat until popping slows, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand (covered) until popping stops, 1 minute. Toss hot popcorn with one of the flavorings below, or more oil or butter and salt, as desired. Makes 8 to 10 cups.

Popcorn Flavors

Cinnamon-Sugar Popcorn
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons melted butter

Combine sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Toss hot popcorn with melted butter to coat evenly, then toss with sugar mixture.

Parmesan Popcorn
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Toss hot popcorn with oil to coat evenly, then toss with Parmesan mixture.

Spicy Popcorn
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine paprika, salt, cumin, cayenne, and black pepper. Toss hot popcorn with oil to coat evenly, then toss with spice mixture.

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