Dressed-up Popcorn

So for awhile now I have been intrigued by a recipe I saw for rosemary popcorn. As I remembered it, it had rosemary and a hard cheese, like Pecorino Romano, sprinkled throughout the popcorn bowl. Actually looking at the recipe tonight I found out most of what I “remembered” was more or less made up. Maybe I did see this elusive recipe…just somewhere else. Anyway, it called for rosemary infused olive oil to cook the popcorn kernels in. I wanted my popcorn as a snack for my drive home tomorrow, so I was not going to be able to wait the two hours desired by the recipe for the rosemary to fully infuse the olive oil. Here’s what I did do:

1 tsp. fresh rosemary (approximately)

3 Tbls. extra-virgin olive oil 

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels

2 Tbls. grated Pecorino Romano

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 Tbls. butter

1. Chop rosemary and combine it with extra-virgin olive oil in small pot over medium-low heat. Cook until it bubbles, about two to three minutes. Remove from heat and let cool down for as long as you can (I let it cool for approximately 20 minutes.).

2. In a medium to large pot combine rosemary, extra-virgin olive oil, and popcorn kernels. Place heat at medium and leave a small crack for steam to escape. Let cook until the popping of kernels slows and spaces out. Usually no more than just a few minutes. Remove from heat immediately, while some kernels continue to pop, usually no more than a minute, just so it doesn’t jump out when you take the lid off.

3. Melt butter in same pot you infused olive oil with rosemary.

4. Add cheese, salt, remaining extra-virgin olive oil and butter mixture. Toss together.

I was a bit unsure how this would work; if the rosemary would really come through, but thankfully it does. It lightly perfumes the popcorn and “dresses it up,” if you will, lending a woodsy, savory note. The cheese, however, I feel is not adequately showcased. It seems much of it landed at the bottom of the bowl. Next time I think I will use a smaller grating size. Overall, definitely a step up from your average popcorn, although I must say, it is hard to beat that butter and salt-laden popcorn at movie theaters. This is just as tasty, but there is something to be said for comfort levels. I think this version gets additional warmth from the rosemary and is perfect for a movie night in, and maybe even to sneak into the theater.

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