Easy Eats

Game Day Popcorn: Curried and Carameled

If you are a college football fan, tonight is your night. The BCS National Championship is tonight which is supposed to tell us who’s the nation’s best college football team. Why have a tournament when you can have a crazy computer program figure out who should be playing in one game to decide all the marbles? End rant.

If you miss this game though, then there are the NFL Playoffs. Sometime in the next few weeks you are most likely going to watch a football game and you will need some snacks for this. One of my default snacks is homemade popcorn.

I’m not really sure how the microwave popcorn industry has survived this long. I mean, I like microwaved popcorn if I’m at work or on the road or something, but if I’m at home it takes just a few more minutes to make real popcorn. Oh and it costs cents per bowl.

If you didn't know, corn is cheap.

If you didn’t know, corn is cheap.

Curry and Caramel Popcorn

Just a moment please...

Yield
8
Prep Time
Total Time

Two easy popcorn recipes: one sweet and one savory.

Ingredients

Basic Popcorn:

1/3 cup popcorn kernels
1/3-1/2 cup neutral oil

Curried corn:

1 Teaspoon curry powder
1 Teaspoon seasons salt
1/2 Teaspoon basil
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon cumin
10 cups pocorn

Caramel Corn:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
10 cups popcorn
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Directions

1) To make basic popcorn, take a medium-sized pan and cover the bottom of it with kernels (about 1/3 cup). Then cover those kernels with a layer of vegetable oil until all the kernels are just covered (1/3-1/2 cup depending on pan).

2) Put the lid on this pot and stick it over medium heat. Then don’t touch it until the kernels start to pop. Should just take a few minutes.

3) When kernels start to pop, Just lift your pan a bit above the burner and shake back and forth. Don’t take the lid off. In fact, I like to hold the lid down with one hand while I shake with the other. You want to keep all of that steam trapped in there but move the unpopped kernels back and forth so they don’t burn to the bottom.

4) When popping slows so there is a few seconds between each pop, the popcorn is done.

5) Season while hot or proceed with caramel recipe.

For curried popcorn, combine seasoning and toss with hot popcorn.

For caramel corn:

1) Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. Melt your butter in a medium saucepan and add in your light brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Keep stirring this over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves completely. That will only take a minute. Then: Don’t touch it.

2) Let it bubble for about 5 minutes. Then add your vanilla and your baking soda to the pan. When you add the baking soda, give it a quick stir. The baking soda will make it start to bubble even more. Take it off the heat and right away pour it over your popcorn.

3) Then stir it together real well to combine evenly. Pour your popcorn into a baking dish and pop it in that oven.

4) This will need to cook for 1 hour at 250 and you need to stir it every 15 minutes. Trust me. It is worth it. Once an hour is up, pour your caramel corn out onto some parchment paper to cool. You could also just pour it out on your counter if it is super clean. Spread out your corn as much as you can so the kernels don’t clump too much.

5) When popcorn is cool, break it up.

I bought this whole bag for $.99. I’ll get probably 10-12 large bowls of popcorn from it. For this post, I made one batch of popcorn (about 10-12 cups) and then did two different things with it: one salty and one sweet.

Below is how I make my homemade popcorn and it is practically fail proof. Take a medium-sized pan and cover the bottom of it with kernels. Then cover those kernels with a layer of vegetable oil until all the kernels are just covered. No measuring or anything. Just do that.

One quick note. There are two or three different kinds of popcorn kernels. Some are fluffier and larger. I got just the normal yellow kernel for this recipe. The cooking process is the same no matter what you choose.

It's not as much oil as it looks.

It’s not as much oil as it looks.

Put the lid on this pot and stick it over medium heat. Then don’t touch it until the kernels start to pop. Should just take a few minutes.

Meanwhile, I prepped my curry salt.

Simple curry seasoning.

Simple curry seasoning.

This amount of spice should be enough for a whole batch of popcorn unless you like it really spicy. Obviously you can make as much as you want and I encourage you to adjust according to your tastes.

What’s that I hear? By the time you mix all those things together, your kernels will probably be popping. This is the only tricky part of the situation and sorry I couldn’t take a photo of it but I was busy. It isn’t that hard. Just lift your pan a bit above the burner and shake back and forth. Don’t take the lid off. In fact, I like to hold the lid down with one hand while I shake with the other. You want to keep all of that steam trapped in there but move the unpopped kernels back and forth so they don’t burn to the bottom.

Should only take a minute or so for the popping to be done. You won’t hear any more popping and the kernels will most likely be hugging the top of your pan. Now you can take the lid off and pour it straight into a bowl. Ideally, you won’t have any unpopped kernels.

If you are doing the curry spice or just salt, do it right away while the kernels are hot.

Season this while hot if possible.

Season this while hot if possible.

Like I said, I split up my bowl and curried up one half and reserved one half for the caramel side.

I’ve been making caramel corn from scratch for a few years now and I can guarantee you that it is much better than that stuff you get in Christmas tins (and that stuff isn’t so bad).

You’ll need these things:

Caramel deconstructed.

Caramel deconstructed.

First, preheat your oven to 250. Yes. 250. Then melt your butter in a medium saucepan and add in your light brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Keep stirring this over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves completely. That will only take a minute. Then: Don’t touch it.

This is super easy.

This is super easy.

This won’t burn unless you forget about it. Stay close but don’t stir it. It will start to bubble which is good. Let it bubble for about 5 minutes.

Getting close...

Getting close…

Then you need to go from watching to working. And you need to move pretty fast. Add your vanilla and your baking soda to the pan. When you add the baking soda, give it a quick stir. The baking soda will make it start to bubble even more. Take it off the heat and right away pour it over your popcorn.

This is no time to lolligag.

This is no time to lollygag.

Then stir it together real well to combine evenly. Pour your popcorn into a baking dish and pop it in that oven.

Ready to bake. Low and slow.

Ready to bake. Low and slow.

This will need to cook for 1 hour at 250 and you need to stir it every 15 minutes. Trust me. It is worth it. Once an hour is up, pour your caramel corn out onto some parchment paper to cool. You could also just pour it out on your counter if it is super clean. Spread out your corn as much as you can so the kernels don’t clump too much.

Dogfish head siting!

Dogfish head siting!

I like to serve popcorn with a salty and sweet option. The curry is good. The caramel is good. Feel free to make one or the other, but when served together that spot in the middle where you get some curry and some caramel is absolutely perfect.

I promise once you make this stuff homemade you won’t be buying much of the microwaved stuff.

3 comments on “Game Day Popcorn: Curried and Carameled

  1. I’ve been totally converted me to the real popcorn–it’s incredible. I think it’s the best drunk snack ever and N. makes a mean bowl of popcorn at 3am. This said these variations look great and I might even be able to make the curry popcorn in Sofia, Bulgaria. Thanks!

  2. I am not a football fan (I know, I know) but this is a really well explained post. Microwave popcorn has been around so long that most people don’t know you can make it on the stove! I’ll have to try your caramel corn recipe, it looks wonderful.

  3. Oh man, that is awesome. We often make our own popcorn but struggle to get big flavours into it. I am certinaly going to be trying this one tonight

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