This popcorn- this sweet, salty, flecked with rosemary popcorn- was my dinner the other night.
Why? Because what was supposed to be my dinner didn’t really work out: I neglected to turn my oven off so the root vegetables I was roasting ended up, well, black. Then I burned my crispy kale, too. In the words of my 11 year old son: it was an “epic fail” kind of night in the kitchen.
But then I made this popcorn. And I redeemed myself. Because this popcorn is pretty close to perfection.
I don’t necessarily suggest eating it for dinner (it’s not terrible for you, but it’s not really good for you, either), but it does makes a simple yet sophisticated snack. I plan to have a big bowl on hand for Thanksgiving Day.
The recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s Living and it states that it serves 8. I ate the whole bowl in two sittings. Hmmm. I did have a fair amount of unpopped kernels, so maybe I only made 6-7 servings, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. This stuff is addictive.
I made the original recipe a bit healthier by popping the corn in organic coconut oil; I also cut down on the butter and substituted maple syrup for the brown sugar and light corn syrup combo. I added a little more rosemary and used a bit less salt than the original recipe, too.
Recipe for Rosemary Caramel Popcorn
adapted from the December 2010 issue of Living magazine
*2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
*1/2 cup organic popcorn kernels
*1/2 stick organic unsalted butter (the original recipe calls for a whole stick)
*1/2 cup maple syrup
*1 1/2 tablespoon rosemary leaves
*3/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt (I used a smoked sea salt; start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more to taste)
*1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
2. Place corn kernels and oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and cover. Once kernels begin to pop, shake pot frequently; when popping slows to about 3 seconds between pops, remove from heat; uncover. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Cook butter and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to turn amber (225 degrees F., if you have a candy thermometer).
4. Remove from heat. Stir in rosemary, salt and baking soda. Pour over popcorn mixture; toss to coat. Spread out onto baking sheet.
5. Bake about 45 minutes or until dried. Allow to cool and then break up into chunks before serving. This popcorn can be stored in an airtight container for about 3 days.