Award Winning Popcorn

February 20, 2019

We love throwing a watch party for the Academy Awards and putting together a fun and easy menu. This year, we are dressing up popcorn with bold-flavored toppings like cripsy pancetta + porcini salt and Thai curry butter + coconut lime zest. An evening with Hollywood also calls for a festive drink like our ruby-hued Pineau Jolie Cocktail and decadent Chocolate-Espresso Crackles for dessert.

Crispy Pancetta, Rosemary and Porcini Salt Popcorn

Porcini salt
1 ounce (approximately 1 cup) dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoon kosher salt

1. Place dried porcini mushrooms in a blender or coffee grinder and pulse until a fine powder forms. Add the salt and pulse until combined. Pour the salt into a bowl and set aside.*

*The porcini salt can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 months. The salt is great to add to any dry rub for an extra earthy flavor or as a seasoning for chicken or pork or beef.

Popcorn
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 ounces pancetta, cut into ½-inch dice
Freshly ground black pepper
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/2 cup ghee or clarified butter
1 tablespoon porcini salt, recipe above

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pot or dutch oven set over a low heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring a few times, until crispy and the fat has rendered, about 8 minutes. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate then chop into pea-sized pieces and set aside.

2. Turn off the heat, stir in the rosemary sprigs to the rendered fat and allow to infuse for 10 minutes. Remove the rosemary sprigs and discard. Pour the infused oil into a small bowl.

3. Return the pot to the burner over medium heat, add the ghee and cook until melted. Add a few kernels to test. Once the test kernels have popped, add the remaining kernels in an even layer and cover the pot with a lid.

4. As the kernels begin to pop, shake the pot vigorously a few times. Once the popping has slowed to less than a pop or two every 5 seconds, immediately transfer the popcorn to a large bowl.

5. Toss the popcorn with the rosemary oil, diced crispy pancetta and 2 teaspoons of the porcini salt or more to taste and serve immediately.

Thai Red Curry Popcorn

Coconut Lime Zest
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
Finely grated zest of 1 lime

1 Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Spread the coconut in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until dry but no color is achieved, about 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and let sit 5 minutes longer. Remove and let cool.

2. Transfer the coconut to a blender and blend until pulverized to a fine powder, transfer to a bowl and stir in the lime zest

Thai Curry Butter
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 heaping tablespoon red curry paste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Finely grated zest of 1 lime

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, whisk in the curry paste and salt and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the zest, cover and keep warm while you make the popcorn.

Popcorn
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
Thai curry butter, recipe above
Coconut Lime Zest, recipe above

1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot or Dutch oven set over a medium heat. Add a few kernels to the pot to test. Once the test kernels have popped, add the remaining kernels to the pot.

2. As the kernels begin to pop, shake the pot vigorously a few times. Once the popping has slowed to less than a pop or two every 5 seconds, immediately transfer the popcorn to a large bowl.

3. Toss the popcorn with the Thai curry butter and coconut-lime topping until evenly coated. Serve immediately.