Sunday, September 12, 2010

Vulcan's popcorn

I have the bad habit of snacking while I work. If paper were edible, I'd have the cleanest desk in town.

But while snacking helps me concentrate, it doesn't help my waistline. There are always sweets beckoning from the office trough, so I've started bringing in popcorn as an alternative. Popcorn is not calorie-free, but made at home with a light oil it is healthier and lasts a lot longer than a handful of Oreo cookies.
Making popcorn on the stovetop is simple, fast and cheap. You just need oil, popcorn and seasoning. I've been using tea seed oil that Jen gave me. It's very light and has a high smoking point. But any vegetable oil will do. Just a splash – about a tablespoon. Heat the oil in a covered pan over medium heat with a couple of kernels. When the kernels pop, add 1/3 cup kernels, shake the pan and wait for the popping to begin. As the corn pops, shake the pan once in a while so it doesn't stick. When the popping slows, take the pan off the heat, let it sit for a few more seconds, then pour the popcorn into a bowl.
I have been seasoning my popcorn with Vulcan's Fire Salt from The Spice House in Milwaukee. It's a mix of salt, Louisiana chile mash, garlic, habanero chile, shallots, Tellicherry pepper, lime peel, pimenton de La Vera, picane, cumin, allspice and vinegar. Boy, is it yummy! Leaves your tongue a little numb.
I just ordered a pound of the stuff to refill my shaker. That should last me for a few months of snacking. Give it a try!


  1. Glad I'm not the only one with a work-snacking habit. I've been chewing on necco wafers as a 'lesser of evils' lately.
    (I need to order myself some of that fire salt!)

  2. Ooh, click. I can't eat at my office desk (Rare Book & Manuscript house rules, even though I'm nowhere near a rare book or a manuscript), so I chew a ton of gum. But at home? That's a click.

  3. oh, popcorn made on the stove is one of my favorite things. i could eat massive quantities of it by myself (and have).

  4. Great to see you sing the praises of stove-cooked popcorn--one of my favorite snacks (and so much better than the microwaved stuff).

    Remember the scene in Madonna's movie, "Truth or Dare," where she has a massive bowl of popcorn to keep her from eating the more fattening stuff? That inspired me to try it and I find it a very satisfying treat.

    That Vulcan stuff sounds cool, too!

    Oh, and while we're on the subject, my brother went to a bar at some fancy restaurant down south that serves "white truffle popcorn" popped in truffle oil with, I think, some shaved truffles on top. He said it rocked!