Saturday, June 23, 2012

Not-too-sticky Cracker Jack

We stopped up microwaving popcorn several years ago when Amanda discovered this easy recipe for cooking popcorn on the stove (and I had switched to stainless steel pans with glass lids, which are imperative to pulling off the recipe). It's fast, easy, and way more delicious than pre-packaged popcorn once you get the process down.

Because I like to post recipes on this site that are original, or at least incorporate my own twist, I started experimenting with different powdered topping ideas to post, but never could get one that I loved. Then a few weeks ago Corin asked what Cracker Jack was after hearing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," and, not wanting to buy him some (if he didn't like it I wouldn't finish it, since it's way too sticky for me, molar-wise), I improvised a version of it on the stove with brown sugar. It turned out better than anything I had slaved over inventing.

2 tbsp peanut oil
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsp popcorn kernels
1/3 cup salted peanuts
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar

1) In a three-quart stainless steel saucepan, add oil, salt, and 3 to 4 popcorn kernels. Cover with glass lid.

2) Heat at a high heat (my knobs go up to 10 and I cook it at 8) until those kernels have popped.

3) Remove pan from heat momentarily, remove lid and add the rest of the kernels (replacing lid), and shake pan for 30 seconds. Place back on heat until all kernels have popped.

4) Immediately after popping has ceased, remove lid and sprinkle brown sugar on the popcorn and toss in the peanuts. Replace lid quickly to keep the steam inside and shake well to coat evenly for about 20 seconds.

5) Pour your sugar-sweet popcorn into a large serving bowl and enjoy!

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