I haven’t owned a microwave oven for at least the past 20 years.
It’s not that I have anything against using a microwave for heating up leftovers, cooking up some potatoes, or making a quick quesadilla, I just personally do not have much use for one since as I prefer the culinary results of a conventional oven, outdoor grill, using pots or pans on the stovetop, or even preparing a meal in the slow cooker. For myself, the microwave oven would just take up too much regular counter space in comparison to the amount of limited times I would use one.
I would imagine that one of the most common uses for a microwave in many households comes on movie night, when the craving for freshly popped popcorn sets in. With the absence of a microwave oven, I still pop popcorn quite regularly in my household, done in a large pot right on the stovetop.
There are several ways this can be accomplished with some choosing to pop the popping corn in oil or doing more of a dry pop with just the dried kernels themselves in the pot. I tend to pop my corn absent of oil, then finish with an array of seasonings, depending on the mood. Olive oil or melted butter, seasoned salt or brown sugar, dried or fresh herbs, curry powder or chili powder, there is a long list of seasoning combinations that can result in a very unique and flavorful popcorn, perfect for movie night.
This week I scored some organic dried popping corn from Roots Farms of Los Olivos.
Cooking this dish in a large pot with a lid to allow the corn to cook and burst into a fluffy edible product, I prepared a sweet and savory version using a little seasoned salt, brown sugar, and chili powder.
Leftover popcorn can be stored fresh in a sealed container of gallon sized plastic sealable bags.
Brown Sugar and Chili Seasoned Popcorn
2 cups dried popping corn.
2 tablespoons brown sugar.
1 teaspoon seasoned salt.
1 teaspoon chili powder.
Olive oil (or melted butter).
In a tall pot with a lid, add popping corn and turn to medium-high heat. Cover and let cook for a couple of minutes, then mix.
Continue until the kernels begin to pop, after about 7-8 minutes of cooking time. Once they start to pop, the kernels will mix themselves as the kernels that have yet to pop drop to the bottom and fluff popped corn coming to the top.
Cook until you hear the kernels significantly popping less and turn off heat. Mix the brown sugar, seasoned salt and chili powder.
Once the popcorn is popped, place it in a large mixing bowl, drizzle it liberally with olive oil or melted butter and add seasoning to taste.
Yield: Serve about 6.