Saturday, April 13, 2013

How To Dry and Pop Popcorn On The Cob!

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At first when I saw these shiny hard cobs of corn from my Foodie Penpal one month, I wasn't sure what they were. But in looking them up online, I was introduced to the wonderful world of Popcorn On The Cob!

Popping them is surprisingly easy, and I have links on how to dry your own cobs down below!
organic non-gmo cheaper easier healthy healthier frugal how to recipe on the cob kernels
You can pop popcorn cobs just like you would any other popcorn kernels. You could do it on a stove, but I don't know that method. I would most likely set something on fire, or have fiery hot popcorn rockets blasting through my kitchen.
So I used the microwave.

You'll Need:
Popcorn Cob (or loose kernels)
Butter or oil of choice
Paper Lunch Bag
Desired seasonings or flavorings
Microwave (obviously...)

Directions:
1. If using a solid fat like butter or coconut oil, heat it up first until melted. I'd say start with a Tablespoon, and see if that's enough for you by the end. You can always melt more!

2. Rub, drizzle, or spray some of your butter or oil onto the popcorn cob (or shake to coat loose kernels,) and place in a paper lunch sack. Depending on the seasonings, you can add a little here (and shake it up, if using loose kernels.) Dry and less-likely-to-burn items like salt, garlic powder, and sugar are okay. I would avoid dried herbs and yeast flakes at this step.

3. Fold top of sack closed several times. You can use tape to secure it, but do NOT use staples or metal paper clips! Doh! But you'll want the bag to stay closed so you aren't rescuing errant popped corns from the pool of mystery sludge under your rotating plate thing.

4. Place closed bag in microwave and cook on High for however long your microwave has been most successful at store-bought bags of microwave popcorn. I hear the "Popcorn" setting is no good. I usually set mine for 2 1/2 minutes, but cooking times may vary by machine, altitude, blah blah blah, phase of the moon, etc.
5. After removing the cob from the bag (Ow ow hot hot hot!) drizzle in remaining butter or oil and lightly close top of bag and shake up to distribute evenly. You can add seasonings now instead, or add more, to taste. Also close top of bag and shake to distribute evenly.

Taste Sensation
We like just butter and salt, with Brewer's Yeast or nutritional yeast sprinkled on. My preschooler thinks it's cheese, and loves it! Ha! But you could get fancy with garlic salt, salt and pepper, salt and paprika, salt and curry powder, even cinnamon sugar or honey - wherever your imagination takes you!

Don't Say I Didn't Warn You
You aren't supposed to attempt to pop unpopped kernels, but I did anyway, and got two more little batches of popcorn before the cob started looking too dark and burny for me. But it might burn and start a fire in there - I'm sure the oil and flammable paper sack won't help any! So proceed at your own risk!

Make Your Own Popcorn Cobs!
I am excited for corn season to start up again this year at my organic CSA farm, so I can try making my own popping corn!

You can either oven dry the whole cobs, or just oven-dry the kernels. If stored properly, your kernels or cobs should be good for 12 to 30* months!

You can also air dry over several weeks, however I don't think that would work here in the Seattle area. Too moist. My forgot-to-cook-and-eat cobs were getting moldy on the counter after about a week. Probably user error though.

*For 30 months it says to refrigerate, however another source says that storing in the fridge or freezer that it removes the moisture from the center of the kernels, destroying its "popability."

So there you go! Healthier and less expensive popcorn! And YOU control all the ingredients!

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