It’s Fiesta Friday at Angie’s The Novice Gardner… and I’d like to bring popcorn this week to share with all of my friends there.
Popcorn? You ask looking at me a bit skeptically…maybe as if I have lost my mind…
YES!! I wholeheartedly reply, knowing full well that you’re thinking that I lost my mind!!
Did you know that popcorn has been around for thousands of years? It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me, but it did. I guess I never really thought about people 4000 years ago not only eating popcorn…but popping it!
Corn, yes. But popcorn?? No.
From what I’ve read about popcorn, it wasn’t considered a snack food… (and that made me wonder if they even had snack foods 4000 years ago)…but archeologists believe that the kernels were popped on a hot stone; and then ground up into a fine powder, and mixed with water.. my guess it was used to make bread and/or grits.
In colonial times, it was popped, and then served for breakfast with cream and sugar (corn pops?). Even Christopher Columbus jumped on the popcorn train when he wrote about the Native Americans making headdresses and corsages, not only for rituals, but they also sold them to Columbus’ sailors!
I could just see me wearing a popcorn headdress…
Prudy!! Stop eating your headdress!
She’s pouring butter on her head!!!
Prudy!!! Quit pouring butter on your head!!!
Would somebody PLEASE get that headdress away from that girl before she eats the whole thing?!!
Oh man, she’s got the salt!!
Prudy!!!! Drop the salt!!
For the love of God, GET THE SALT AWAY FROM HER!!!!!…”
It would not be pretty.
I joke, but I’m certain that the rituals were of most importance and religious, and very important to the tribes. Because they used popcorn to make the headdresses, it makes me wonder if there was some sort of meaning behind it. My guess is yes. Maybe it was for a Harvest type of ritual.
Apparently I could talk about that stuff all day… but that’s because I’m kind of nerdy, and I’m totally into the history of things…
But this is about the popcorn..Today’s popcorn..
Katie’s boyfriend Ryan works at Freedom Run Winery on the Niagara Wine Trail…and last summer he came up with the best idea… he started doing a movie night on Friday nights. Imagine this… a warm summer evening, a quirky movie, and a quirky drink to go with the movie…all outside in a bistro setting.
I can’t tell you how happy and relaxed I am on those evenings, which is exactly why I wanted to share this with you today……And….while I enjoy the silly movie and the funky drink… the thing that I look forward to the most is the popcorn.
Yep, the popcorn.
Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon Popcorn, to be exact.
Head over heels…
And that’s why Ryan was there the other night…to show me how to make his popcorn, so that I could share it with you. A special thank you to Ryan and Katie for spending that evening with me… I had so much fun, even if I had to cook thousand pounds of bacon… I just love the both of you!
And..in my true fashion… as I was gathering the ingredients necessary for the maple and brown sugar popcorn, we started brainstorming… what other flavors could we come up with? The list was endless, and there are a ton that we wanted to do (and we plan to in the near future), but we had to narrow it down to three for this post.
Our favorite three.
The first flavor we came up with is Cranberry Relish. Popcorn cooked in coconut oil, mixed with cranberry and walnut butter, and drizzled in blood orange olive oil. Totally out of this world…totally delicious! You need to try this. You really do.
The next flavor that we came up with is S’Mores. Popcorn cooked in vegetable oil, drizzled with chocolate, and topped off with graham cracker crumbs and crunchy marshmallows. Crazy good. Seriously. Crazy good..You won’t look at S’Mores the same way ever again. I promise you.
And my personal favorite… Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon. This stuff is so good, I guarantee that you won’t be able to stop eating it once you start! Cooked in bacon grease, vegetable oil, and brown sugar, it is then mixed with chunks of bacon and maple syrup. It’s crunchy, it’s sticky, it’s smoky, it’s sweet.. it’s fabulous!
So now all you need to do is gather some friends, and set up a movie night in your backyard! Serve these popcorns with a drink that goes with the movie! It’s just a relaxing and happy evening, with wonderful friends and great food!
But today, I’d love for you to join us at Fiesta Friday, because I know that you would love all of the great recipes and ideas that these wonderful bloggers share as much as I do! Thank you to Saucy Gander from Adventures in the Kitchen, and Johnny from Flours n Dainty Buns for hosting the party this week! Saucy, who is one classy chick, lives in Sydney, so she got the party started yesterday for us with her beautiful Chana Masala which looks absolutely delicious… (I think it was Friday, or pretty close to Friday for her!) And Johnny… so sophisticated, yet funny and quirky…you’ll immediately fall in love with him and his outstanding recipes! I’m excited that they’re hosting together… the perfect pairing if you ask me!
If you’re a blogger, and this is the first that you’ve heard of Fiesta Friday, I’d love for you to join us! Just click on the link to the right, and follow the directions to link up to the party! You will absolutely love Angie, her recipes are just spectacular, I can promise they are nothing like you’ve ever seen before… and that girl always has something fun up her sleeve!
Life is good…it’s a “ movies on a hot summer night, funky drinks, and maple bacon popcorn…sharing with all of my friends on Fiesta Friday” kind of good.
Popcorn: Our Favorite Three
Just a quick note: Ryan said that the first batch of popcorn always tastes stale, so he usually doesn’t use that first batch..I guess you can call it “seasoning the pan” with the first batch, because he was absolutely right. It did taste stale, but the second batch of popcorn tasted sweet and perfect!
So, my suggestion to you, is to discard the first batch of plain popcorn…and use the second batch to make these recipes. It’s not a huge loss..doesn’t cost that much…it’s just one extra step, but worth it.
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
Salt & Pepper
Heat vegetable oil in a large heavy pan (I used a 4 quart pan, and of course, one that has a lid!) over medium heat. Place 2 popcorn kernels in the oil, and cover. When the two popcorn kernels have popped, immediately pour the popcorn into the heated oil and cover the pan. Holding the lid tightly on the pan, remove the pan periodically from the heat and shake it up so that the unpopped kernels fall to the bottom of the pan to heat and pop.
When the popping is finished, uncover the pan, and pour the popcorn into a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper (or just salt).
Cranberry Relish Popcorn
NOTE!! Cook popcorn in 1/4 cup coconut oil, rather than vegetable oil.
1 batch plain popcorn cooked in coconut oil.
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup butter, melted
Blood orange olive oil for drizzling
Popcorn should be in a large mixing bowl.
Melt the butter in a medium size mixing bowl. Add the cranberries and walnuts and mix well with the butter. Spoon a little bit of the cranberry nut butter into the bowl of popcorn and gently stir it. Continue to spoon a little bit of the mixture into the popcorn until it’s all incorporated.
Drizzle with blood orange olive oil. Serve in individual bowls, or one large bowl or basket.
NOTE!! Cook popcorn in vegetable oil.
1 batch plain popcorn, cooked in vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1-1/2 cups mini hot chocolate marshmallows (the crunchy kind)
1 – 11.5 oz bag milk chocolate chips
3 tbsp heavy cream
Popcorn should be in a large mixing bowl.
Melt the milk chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl, on medium high heat for about 30 seconds in the microwave. Remove from microwave and stir. Continue to microwave for about 30 seconds at a time until the chocolate chips have melted and are of drizzling consistency.
Drizzle some of the chocolate over the popcorn, and immediately sprinkle with the graham cracker crumbs and marshmallows, so that the graham cracker and marshmallows stick to the chocolate. Continue to add the chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows in small batches, stirring gently until it’s all incorporated.
Let cool, so that the chocolate hardens. Serve in individual bowls or one large bowl or basket.
Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon
NOTE!!! Cook the popcorn in 3 tbsp bacon grease, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Add the brown sugar as soon as you pour the popcorn into the pan. Give it a quick stir, and cover. The brown sugar on the popcorn will seem a little soft to begin with, but as it cools, it will harden into a wonderfully crunchy popcorn!
1 batch popcorn, cooked in bacon grease, vegetable oil, and brown sugar
1/2 pound bacon, cooked crisp, and broken into small bits
1-1/2 cups maple syrup
1 tbsp melted butter
While the popcorn is cooking, mix the maple syrup, butter, and bacon together. You’ll want to pour it over the popcorn while it is still hot, so that the maple syrup and bacon stick. Stir it in gently, until it is fully incorporated.
Let cool completely so that it has a good crunch to the popcorn, and serve in individual bowls or baskets.