Think of a food with the power to polarize. Coconut instantly comes to mind. I have met people who love it or hate it, but I have never heard anyone say they did not really care one way or the other about coconut. Beets are part of the conversation. I loathe beets. I thought I was the only one in the “I hate beets” camp until recent banter among friends revealed everyone thought beet wine (which like beet beer, I am willing to try) would taste like dirt. I guess the only thing nice to say about beets is they are a beautiful color.
What else is tough on the palate? Melon probably gets an honorable mention. Cilantro is most definitely in the conversation. Oddly enough, a few people I know disdain bananas. And then there is popcorn. A snack so great it is served at every movie theater in America, yet some people hate it.
I will admit I am biased in my warm feelings towards popcorn. You see, popcorn is my family snack. Bowls of it always magically appeared out of nowhere when I was up in my room reading a book or lounging on the couch watching television. The magic part was pretty much my dad popping a bag or two in the microwave and then delivering it to his girls because he loves us. But still, magic.
Then somewhere in the course of our family history, my grandmother began making caramel corn each year at Christmas. Each of her children and their spouses and her adult grandchildren and their spouses get bags of caramel corn. By this point, that is 13 bags of caramel popcorn, which is really no small task. So you see, popcorn is love.
I am not alone in my love for popcorn. This week, I teamed up with 14 other bloggers to share a variety of popcorn recipes. You can check out everyone’s popcorn creations via the links below, or search for our hashtag #popcornisforbloggers on social media. I have also added everyone’s creations to my Popcorn board on Pinterest.
Beth at bethcakes // Amy at Club Narwhal // Abby at The Frosted Vegan // Nick at Macheesmo // Linda at Brunch with Joy // Meghan and Cake ‘n Knife // Erica at The Crumby Cupcake // Molly at Hey There Sunshine // Meredith at Meredith Noelle // Katie at Twin Stripe // Sarah at The Sugar Hit // Erin at The Speckled Palate // LeAndra at Love and Flour // Heather at Sugar Dish Me // Susannah at Feast + West
Perhaps more exciting for you all is that we are giving away a movie night prize pack worth more that includes:
- A West Bend Professional On-Demand Hot-Air Popcorn Popper // $80 value
- Two 27-ounce bags Bob’s Red Mill White Popcorn Kernels // $7.38 value
- Two 27-ounce bags Bob’s Red Mill Yellow Popcorn Kernels // $7.78 value
- One 8-ounce jar Cabot Cheddar Cheese Shake // $6.95 value
- And a $15 gift card to Amazon.com!
See the Rafflecopter below the recipe to enter to win.
If you do not happen to be the lucky winner this time around, take solace in knowing you have a boatload of kick-butt popcorn recipes to try, perhaps starting with this contribution of Caramel-Masala Popcorn with Pistachios. With a nod to both Grandma and my love for all things quirky, I found a classic caramel corn recipe taken up a notch with garam masala.
A spice blend traditionally used in Indian cooking, garam masala can include a variety of spices. The blend I used includes black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, coriader, and cumin. It is not uncommon to find nutmeg and cloves in the spice blend as well. Adding the garam masala to the caramel provides an unexpected flavor with a bit of heat. Throw in some pistachios, and call your friends to come help you eat this before you devour it all yourself. Enjoy!
Caramel-Masala Popcorn & Pistachios
- 8 cups popped popcorn (approximately 1/4 heaping cup of kernels)
- 1 cup roasted and shelled pistachios
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons garam masala
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, optional
- Spread the popcorn and pistachios across a large jelly roll pan, roasting pan, or baking dish and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir in the garam masala and cook until aromatic, about one minute.
- Add the brown sugar and the corn syrup and continue to cook, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil.
- When the mixture reaches a boil, begin stirring constantly and cook for another three to four minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the baking soda to lighten and expand the caramel.
- Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn and pistachios and stir to combine. It's okay that the mixture will not evenly cover the popcorn.
- if using, sprinkle the salt over the caramel popcorn at this time.
- Bake the caramel popcorn at 250 degrees F for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes to distribute the caramel throughout the popcorn.
- After the hour, set the caramel corn aside to cool, continuing to stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Serve within a few hours or store in an airtight container for a few days.
I used dark brown sugar for this recipe. Light brown sugar, as called for in the original recipe, will give the caramel a lighter brown color.
- Enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter widget below. Everyone gets a free entry! You can enter multiple times, up to 18 additional entries, by following the giveaway sponsors on social media. (If you’ve followed in the past, that counts! Just enter the info as prompted.) All entries will be verified. No purchase is necessary to win.
- The giveaway is open until Friday, July 17, 2015 at 10 a.m. EST. One winner will be chosen at random and emailed within 48 hours. Winners must claim prize within 48 hours of initial contact. The retail value of the prize is $117. Prizes shown in the graphic are the only ones available.
- Open to U.S. residents with a valid shipping address only. Must be 18 years of age as of July 6, 2015.