It’s day two of my week of easy summer recipes and this one will take minimal effort with maximum flavor return. Kettle corn with a hint of cayenne brings nostalgia of the county fair, a sure sign of the dog days of summer. You can easily make kettle corn in your own kitchen that can be a great snack, something to share, or as a gift to give a hostess of a summer picnic. I do love some kettle corn….I discovered this spicy version last year (or the year before, I can’t remember) and have been in love ever since.
I started making my own at home to save money and curb the craving during the off season. I use an air popper to save on some calories, but frying up your popcorn in oil will make it more authentic. With only a little brown sugar and butter spread out among a large bowl of popcorn, this is a healthy treat that can satisfy your sweet tooth (or teeth in my case) without blowing your healthy eating lifestyle. Modify the amount and ratio of butter to vegetable oil. I vary and sometimes use more butter and less oil and less of both, depending on the size of the batch. I let this cool so the delicious flavors will melt into the popcorn, but if you’re looking to serve this right away, it’s always a hit. Kids can grab handfuls, adults will take the bowl and do the same, making this an excellent dish to pass or gift to give. Put a large batch in a decorative bowl to say “thank you” and you’ll be the most popular person in the room. I have yet to see anyone frown at receiving this and minus someone with extensive dental work–everyone is usually happy to pick their teeth or find some floss.
- 1/4 c. unpopped popcorn kernals
- air popper
- 3 T. vegetable oil or oil of choice
- 2 T. butter
- 3 T. brown sugar (white sugar is fine too)
- 1/4 t. cayenne pepper
- salt to taste
- Put the butter and the oil into a small pan and place the pan on a medium-heat stove
- Melt the butter, add the oil and the sugar and stir everything together just till the sugar dissolves completely (the sugar must not scorch)
- Take the pan off the stove
- Add the kernels to the popping tray
- Place a large bowl under the popper and switch it on
- Wait till all the kernels pop
- Once all the kernels are in the bowl take the pan and pour its content into the bowl
- Shake the bowl till the sugar, butter and oil are well mixed with the popcorn. If you want to cool it, lay it out on a cookie sheet or something comparable.
- Sprinkle salt on the popcorn
- Enjoy Your Kettle Corn!
- If you can keep it from prying hands–let this sit out overnight so the coating gets hard just like the fair! It may be too much to resist….