So I've been pretty obsessed with making half popped popcorn lately (see Al Dente Popcorn post), and this is what I think I was going for orignally. This half popped popcorn is super duper crunchy, almost like potato chips. They're cracked open and only puffed enough to soak up a little of the oil. Mmm. I still think it's healthier than potato chips though, beccause it's got fiber and all that. Plus I read an article recently that says popcorn is packed with antioxidants. So I shall continue eating this and other popcorns each morning with my grape juice smoothie...and I'll probably snack on it until I'm sick of it too. But in the meantime, I will be happy with my new obsession. Give it a try and you might just become obsessed too.
Half Popped Popcorn
- 1 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
- 2-3 tablespoons salt
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 splash vinegar
- canola oil
- 1/2 to 1 tablespoon butter
- salt to taste
Two days before... place unpopped kernels, 2-3 tablespoons salt, and the splash of vinegar in a plastic container that has a tight-fitting lid. Cover kernels with water about 1/2 inch over the top of the kernels. Secure lid and shake to mix. Allow kernels to sit in water at room temperature for two days, shaking once or twice a day.
When you're ready to pop the corn, place a medium sized heavy bottomed pot (that has a matching lid) over medium high heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of canola oil to the pot as it heats. While the pot heats, use a slotted spoon to remove about 1/2 cup of the soaked kernels. I rinsed mine in a colandar to remove most of the saltiness, but you don't have to rinse. Dry kernels on paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. They don't have to be completely dry, just mostly dry. Add kernels to the heated pot with oil (be careful, it may spit a little) and add enough oil so that it pools just a bit around the kernels, but they are not swimming in oil. Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon butter. Cover the pot and shake until the butter is melted. It will take longer than usual for the kernels to begin popping. When they do start to pop, shake pot occasionally to make sure unpopped kernels go to the bottom. When popping subsides to once every 1 to 2 seconds, remove from heat and set lid ajar. Leave the lid ajar for a couple of minutes because a few kernels still may pop. When popping has finished, pour half popped popcorn into a bowl and salt to taste. Toss until popcorn is cool enough to eat. It tastes crunchiest when it's completely cool.
Seal uneaten popcorn in a zip top bag or other airtight container. You can pop the rest of the popcorn, or wait until the next day.