Friday, July 1, 2011

Popcorn- or what is that makes you pop?

Be honest, when you go to the movies, how big is the bag of corn you buy? Do you go with the super large, economy size bag or the small, least expensive bag? Either way, not many of us don't like FRESH POPPED popcorn. So you maybe asking how is Chef Cheapo gonna save me money on popcorn, something that is already pretty cheap? Read on.

With the popularity of the microwave oven back in the 80s, microwave popcorn became the best selling snack item in the grocery store. Yes it is not too expensive, but if you're old enough to remember the “old days” when you had to cook it over the stove top. No not the Jiffy Pop, but the same theory. Someone gave us a Whirley Pop popcorn maker a couple years ago and we have since stopped buying microwave corn. This particular popper works on the same concept as the commercial, theater corn poppers, but for the home, stove top. You twirl the handle and it turns a couple of wires inside the bottom of the pan to keep the corn from burning. I get no royalties from you buying this maker, but I prefer it and the kids love to help out with it.

If you don't have one of these, you can still make it on the stove top with a big stock pot. Put your oil (and here I suggest you get coconut oil- the health benefits are just now being revealed and the oil actually helps to preserve the popped corn. Additionally, the oil has a high heatability, so it won't burn at high temps) in the pan along with salt and the corn. I use enough oil to just cover the bottom of the pan and about 1/3 cup of corn. This is important- COVER THE POT!! Put the pot over medium heat and holding the lid and handle of the pot, continue to shake the pot the entire time it is cooking. You will hear the corn start to sizzle and then one or two will start to pop. Then in rapid fire, the rest will start to pop. Continue to shake the corn until the popping slows down and remove from the heat immediately. Pour the popped corn into a large bowl and add more salt, melted butter, soy sauce, cajun spice, chili powder, powdered ranch dressing mix, powdered cheddar cheese, caramel sauce or whatever seasoning you can come up with.

Again you are asking, “How is this cheaper?” Simple, a one pound bag of corn costs about $1.50. A 3 or 5 count package of microwave corn cost about twice that and you are getting half the corn. Simple math....The retro effect for the kids is wonderful too. They get a hands on approach to making their own snack. It is also healthier for you, since you control the additives to it.

Popping another one off for you at Chef Cheapo's...

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