Making popcorn from scratch can be extremely tricky and even quite difficult. Not only you do want as many kernels as possible to pop, but you also want to keep the kernels from burning at the bottom of the pan. Until I started enjoying cooking more, let’s say the past 3-4 years, I usually took the easy way out and used (ok, I apologize) microwave popcorn, which by the way, is not that good for the body. Or at least it’s less good then homemade popcorn. The following method of making popcorn not only pops almost every kernel, it also prevents the kernels from burning. Here’s the full recipe, hoping you’ll use it before watching a movie at home; in the end, what’s better than a good film or a dvd, a comfy couch and some salty popcorn?
DIRECTIONS Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan on medium high heat, then put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil and cover the pan. When these kernels pop, add the rest of the 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat and count 30 seconds. This method first heats the oil to the right temperature, then waiting 30 seconds brings all of the other kernels to a near-popping temperature so that when they are put back on the heat, they all pop at about the same time.
Return the pan to the heat: the popcorn should begin popping soon, all at once. Once the popping starts in earnest, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner. Try to keep the lid slightly ajar to let the steam from the popcorn release (the popcorn will be drier and crisper). Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and dump the popcorn immediately into a wide bowl. With this technique, nearly all of the kernels pop and they don’t burn. Add salt to taste: popcorn is ready!