When you eat popcorn for dinner as much as I do, you pick up a few tricks along the way. Any true popcorn lover (and hater of excess oil and dishes) should own an air popper. You'll save yourself from washing a greasy kettle, and you can pretend you're being healthy. Next step: Get a spray bottle for your oil! Confession: I don't have one of these, but I desperately want one. We popcorn-for-dinner lovers have to stick together, and my future sister-in-law says it's the best way to get an even coating of fat. I always end up with dry patches, or a pool of oil at the bottom of the bowl when I'm in a hurry.
My favorite part of consuming extreme amounts of popcorn is coming up with new flavor combinations. A few years ago, I couldn't get enough of buffalo popcorn (Frank's red hot + butter). When I first moved to New York, I was on the taco popcorn train for about a year (canola oil + taco seasoning). More recently, I've been attempting to curb my ever-present thai takeout cravings with red coconut curry popcorn. All of these combinations are incredibly easy to make — the basic formula is some type of fat + seasoning of your choice, then shake to coat.
This popcorn recipe is the perfect way to meal-i-fy popcorn — if you're unconcerned with the lack of protein and nutrients, of course. But it also makes an easy snack to for a big group, like for your upcoming Super Bowl party (or Fatty Food and Commercials Bowl, as I like to call it). It doesn't keep very long — definitely make it the day of — but it's so fast to put together that cooking 30 minutes before your party is a breeze.
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (for air popped popcorn) or 1/4 cup coconut oil + 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil (for stovetop popcorn)
- 1 tablespoon red thai curry paste
- For stovetop popcorn: Heat 1/4 cup coconut oil until hot in a large kettle. You can test this by dropping in a few kernels at a time. Once oil is hot, add popcorn and lid. While popcorn pops, shake the kettle to make sure nothing stick to the bottom.
- For air popped popcorn: Air pop 1/2 cup popcorn kernels.
- Melt coconut oil (2 tablespoons for air popped popcorn; 1 tablespoon for stovetop popcorn) and add red thai curry paste. Stir vigorously to combine. Immediately drizzle on the popcorn, stirring as you do so.
- You'll need to stir or shake the popcorn a bit to distribute the coconut curry mixture. Once it's thoroughly mixed, top with a sprinkling of salt.
Photos and text by © Theresa Berens, 2016. All rights reserved.