Sunday, May 19, 2013


“This is really good. What’s in it? Pickles?”

“I couldn’t have another bowlful, I already ate three.”

“I need some more. The wind blew mine away.”

As it turns out, seasoned popcorn is the perfect festival food. It is easy to make lots, or to make fresh batches here and there all day. Everyone likes it. And the smell of popping corn puts people in a party mood.

I adapted this recipe especially for Art Flare Northeast, which went down in my friend Betsy’s backyard this weekend. If you didn’t make it out there, you should definitely watch this space. Will Art Flare return next year? And will they be serving Flarecorn?

I made a tenfold batch, then kept the butter warm all day in a baby crockpot and popped the corn as we needed it. The recipe is adapted from Rebar Modern Food Cookbook, which wants you to use Chimayo chile powder. I a) do not have any of that and b) would not make it to serve to random Minnesotan strangers. Oh yah, 6000 Scoville yoonits is kinda hot fer us, don’cha know!

Serves 4-6.

½ stick butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 t Hungarian paprika
2 t rubbed sage
Pinch cayenne
½ t salt
½ c popcorn

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Toss in the garlic and simmer for a few minutes. Add the spices and simmer for a minute more. Scrape the butter and spices into a big not-plastic popcorn bowl. (Plastic will stain, and plastic + hot fat = bad news.)

Pop the popcorn right into the bowl if you still have one of those old-school air poppers. Take a rubber scraper and toss the popcorn around in the butter, scraping up the butter and seasoning from the bottom, as if you were folding cake batter.

Serve it when everything is about as evenly coated as you can get it.