I am so excited to tell you about this popcorn. My arms are flailing enthusiastically. You all know how that tends to happen to me.
Who knew that popcorn could be so exciting? Well, news flash: IT SO IS. I’ve talked about my love of popcorn a few times now, and how it was a homemade snack staple in our house growing up, and how awesome and fun it is to switch up the flavors. You get that I like this stuff.
Popcorn is still (and always will be) a go-to thing in our house. It happens at least once a week. While my preferred method is definitely on the stovetop in a pot with a little oil and salt, we did get an air popper a couple Christmases ago (we have this one – it’s awesome), and it’s been a game changer since we had the baby. Turns out, a baby eats up all spare time for things such as waiting for oil to heat up, waiting 8-10 minutes for the popcorn to actually pop, and then CLEANING up after the whole ordeal.
Well, that last one was always falling by the wayside in our kitchen. It’s only intensified since having the baby. Why is emptying the dishwasher the most dreaded task on Earth?! Tell me I’m not the only one who loathes that chore. #firstworldproblems
Anyway. I digress.
Back to the popcorn. I am 100% committed to the oil-popped stovetop version. It’s the best. It’s my favorite. There’s no denying that. BUT, I will say, the convenience and efficiency of the air popper has served us well since becoming parents. Hello?! There’s no oily pot to clean! When I was nursing (I just recently weaned), I was always hungry and always in need of a quick and easy snack that wasn’t completely awful for me. The answer: POPCORN. I would throw some kernels in the air popper, turn it on, and while the popcorn popped in mere minutes, I’d melt some butter in the microwave or infuse some olive oil on the stove with a couple cloves of garlic. Easy peasy stuff. I could eat a whole bowl (and I often do) of the stuff. Nursing or not. It was a complete lifesaver for me in the early weeks and months of motherhood.
With that all said, though, the recipe below is written as a stovetop recipe. I can’t quit you, Stovetop Popcorn.
Here comes the broken record part of this post: as I said, popcorn is a regular occurrence in our house, and with all the endless flavor possibilities, there’s no end in sight. May there be bowls upon bowls of freshly popped goodness in our lives. How’s that for some well wishing? “God speed. May you always have popcorn.” Hah. I’d take it.
This particular popcorn is my newest obsesh. You all know I have a thing for sriracha by now (see here and here). I adore it’s tangy heat and find that it pairs well with just about anything savory. Adding it your popcorn butter? HEARTS. To play off the heat, I added in some lime juice and zest and just a smiiiiiiidge of brown sugar. This combo results in the perfect spicy, tangy, salty, teensy-bit-sweet butter to drizzle over your freshly popped corn. It’s incredibly addicting.
I was nervous to serve this lime-infused flavor to my husband since he’s not a huge citrus fan (I’m working on it). But guess what? He loved it. The lime is subtle but necessary. It brightens everything up and gives the popcorn more “punch,” if you will. Don’t skip it. It’s a game changer.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some butter to infuse and some corn that needs poppin’.
¾ cup popcorn kernels
3 tablespoons olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce (or more to taste)
Salt, to taste
Heat the oil in a large pot and once shimmering, add the popcorn. Cover the pot and allow the popcorn to pop, shaking the pot every now and then. Once the popping subsides, remove from heat and remove the lid. Sprinkle half the lime zest and a pinch or two of salt over the popcorn while it’s still hot and toss to coat.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan and whisk in the lime juice, brown sugar, and Sriracha. Mix well to combine. Pour the mixture over the popcorn, tossing well to evenly coat. Check seasonings and then serve immediately, garnished with the remaining lime zest.
Lightly adapted from here.