All-American Snack (Recipe: Homemade Microwave Popcorn)
Snacks are important actors in American culinary culture. We love nibbling on morsels. Personal preference dictates sweet or salty selections and the winner in the Little Debbie versus Cheetos battle.
Golden Flake potato chips are original to the South and gained a lot of fame by co-sponsoring with Coca-Cola, the television show of the legendary Alabama football coach, Bear Bryant. Coach Bryant and his guests would drink Coca-Cola from little glass bottles and eat Golden Flake potato chips from a bowl while discussing Alabama football. Homespun, comfortable and a sign of much simpler times.
In the category of All-American snacks, popcorn carries a high rank. Popcorn has been enjoyed for generations. The cooking methods have varied from using a heavy pot on the stove top to Jiffy Pop to microwave.
I thought microwave popcorn was the greatest advancement in snacking since Little Debbie learned to make neat little cakes in individual packages. Now, they’re telling us that the lining in the microwave popcorn bag creates some sort of substance that might make our heads fall off. Honestly, is there anything we breath or put in our mouths these days that isn’t killing us? The list is getting shorter and shorter and shorter……
Homemade microwave popcorn uses ordinary brown paper bags and takes away the risk of losing your head. At least, I think it does. Well, the FDA warns against using brown paper bags for cooking. They say the brown paper bags weren’t designed for cooking and might not be safe. Now that I’ve let you know what the FDA thinks about homemade microwave popcorn in brown paper bags, I’ll teach you how to make it.
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Homemade Microwave Popcorn
1/4 cup popcorn kernels
1 teaspoon olive oil
Place popcorn kernels and oil in a lunch size brown paper bag. Fold the top over and crease the seam. Repeat. It’s not necessary to tape or staple the fold.
Shake well to make sure all the kernels are covered with oil.
Place on a plate or napkin in the microwave with folded side up.
Microwave until the you only hear one pop every two to three seconds. Remove and salt while still hot.
Here’s important things to know:
(1) Make sure the popcorn kernels are fresh.
(2) When removing the popped popcorn from the microwave, BE CAREFUL. The oil spots on the bag are HOT. Protect you hands when handling the bag.
(3) I tried several ratios of popcorn to oil and 1/4 cup popcorn: 1 teaspoon oil produced the most consistently good popcorn. I lost count of how many bags I popped trying to get it just right.
(4) It’s important to cook the popcorn long enough. If the bag’s removed too soon, the popcorn won’t be tender. One pop every two to three seconds is exactly where it needs to be.
(5) I use table salt. The grains of kosher and sea salt are too big and won’t adhere to the popped kernels.
(6) The bag will have lots of oil on it when the popcorn’s done. That’s how it’s supposed to be. The brown paper lunch bag doesn’t have a coating to make it moisture proof. I think that’s the reason it won’t make our heads fall off. If this comment makes no sense to you, read the top part of this post.
(7) Some of the kernels will remained unpopped. Regardless of the cook method, popcorn does that to us. It’s trying to make us mad.
(8) Since the bag isn’t moisture proof, oil gets on the outside during cooking. Protect your microwave by placing the bag on a plate or paper towel prior to cooking.