I’m not the biggest movie buff. I love going to see a movie while it’s in theaters, but at home my attention span doesn’t seem to last long enough. I’ll start a movie with every intention of watching and then soon enough I’m distracted by my computer or a magazine and I completely lose track of the plot.
While I may not be good at it, I do enjoy watching movies and recently I’ve made an effort to see many of the films nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. I’m pulling for The Imitation Game to win the award this year.
I made truffle parmesan popcorn for a party I catered a few months ago and I’ve been dealing with a slight addiction ever since. In fact, a big bowl of this stuff has been my dinner on three (maybe four) separate occasions just this month. The truffle salt and parmesan work so well together that I can promise you won’t be able to stop eating it.
While truffle parmesan popcorn is a great snack (or dinner), and it’s also a huge hit at parties. Truffles bring a bit of luxury and glamour, but are humbled by the parmesan and popcorn to create a true crowd pleaser. Serve it in a big bowl or portion it out into little cones for your guests to snack from while they mingle, just be sure to make more than you think you need because people will not be able to stop eating it.
Next time you watch a movie, make yourself a big batch of truffle parmesan popcorn first. You’ll be happy you did, but you may find yourself distracted from the movie and thinking only about how darn good the popcorn is. Consider yourself warned.
Black Truffle Salt can be found on Amazon, at Sur La Table, or at premium grocery stores.
TRUFFLE PARMESAN POPCORN
You’ll want to make sure you use an oil with a high smoke point – vegetable, peanut, and even coconut oil are good options. Heat your oil over medium-high heat and when it starts to shimmer, throw in a few kernels of dry popcorn. Once those kernels start to pop, your oil is ready and you can add the remaining kernels.
I give the pot a shake to make sure all of the kernels are covered in oil and then quickly put the lid on before the popcorn starts flying out. Make sure to leave the lid slightly ajar or your popcorn will end up chewy. While the kernels are popping, continuously shake the pot over the flame to prevent the kernels on the bottom from burning and sticking to your pot.
As soon as the popping stops, pour the popcorn into a large bowl and toss it with the grated parmesan. I add the parmesan right away so it hits the popcorn while it’s still hot and gets a little melty. It’s best to grate your own parmesan cheese, it only takes a few minutes and is remarkably better than the grated cheese sold at the grocery store.
Next, add the truffle salt, melted butter, black pepper, and sugar. Give it a good toss to make sure everything is combined and evenly distributed. I start with about 1.5 teaspoons of truffle salt and then add more if needed. Truffle, while delicious, can be overpowering for some people, so it’s better to go easy with the salt at first, and then add more if you need it.
Yields Serves 3-4
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons black truffle salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/4 teaspoon sugar
In a medium sauce pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is shimmering, add a few (3-5) kernels of popcorn. Once the kernels pop, the oil is ready and you can add the remaining kernels.
Cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and gently shake the pot over the flame. Continue shaking until most of the kernels have popped and you don't hear continuous popping. Turn off the heat and leave the pot covered for 15-20 seconds.
Immediately pour the popped popcorn into a large bowl. Add parmesan and gently toss, then add 1 1/2 teaspoons black truffle salt, melted butter, black pepper, and sugar. Toss to combine and coat the popcorn with the ingredients. Taste and add more truffle salt, if desired. Serve immediately.
If you’ve never popped popcorn on the stovetop, it’s fun and you should try it. But if, for whatever reason, you’re not able to use the stovetop, you can use this same recipe but pop plain popcorn in the microwave and then add the seasonings.
John (Tim) O'Neill says