National Popcorn Poppin’ Month

PopcornBlog.pngOctober is National Popcorn Poppin’ month and there is no better way to celebrate it than with popcorn and a movie. I have found some really fun popcorn recipes and paired them with appropriate films. Get your popper out and get ready for an evening at home with some great tasting popcorn and a movie.

Chocolate Almond Popcorn
In the mood for something sweet? You might think the perfect movie for chocolate almond popcorn would be Chocolat with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche.  But let’s go in a different direction and honor the late Gene Wilder by watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Enjoy your chocolate popcorn as Charlie discovers a world of pure imagination.

25 cups unsalted popped popcorn
3 cups roasted salted almonds
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons salt

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Mix together the sugar, corn syrup, butter, cocoa powder and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat until the mixture is smooth and begins to simmer. Place the popped popcorn into a very large bowl, mix with the almonds and then pour the chocolate syrup over the mixture. Stir until all the popcorn and almonds are coated. Spread the chocolate popcorn out onto several large baking sheets in a single layer.

Bake in the preheated oven until thoroughly dry, about 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so to dry all sides of the popped corn. Allow to cool on the sheet, then transfer into sealed containers.

Cajun Popcorn
Yum! A big bowl of popcorn seasoned with butter, garlic and cayenne, some of the key ingredients in creole Cajun cooking. There are a lot of movies that feature the city of New Orleans, such as The Big Easy, The Pelican Brief and Runaway Jury, but the film I will recommend is Southern Comfort, which really goes deep in the bayou where a group of weekend National Guards underestimates the inhabitants and will be lucky to get out alive.

20 cups unsalted popped popcorn
1/2 cup butter (melted)
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the popped popcorn in a large roasting pan.

In a small bowl, stir together the melted butter, paprika, lemon pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Pour over the popcorn and stir until it is somewhat evenly coated.

Bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for later.

Thai Popcorn
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is the perfect film to watch while eating popcorn filled with the flavor of chili pepper and citrus. This film was nominated for Best Picture and was directed by the great Ang Lee. Open up your mind for this film and recipe.

8 cups unsalted popped popcorn
kaffir lime leaves
5 tablespoons dried coconut flakes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon roughly chopped fresh lemongrass
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
Kosher salt

In an electric spice grinder or high-power blender, combine coconut, lime leaves, sugar, chili powder, lemongrass, powdered ginger, garlic powder and lime zest and blend until a fine powder forms.

Place popped popcorn in a large mixing bowl and drizzle melted butter all over, tossing to coat evenly. Add about 1/4 cup coconut mixture, tossing to coat evenly; add more, if necessary, until popcorn is well coated (leftover coconut mixture can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days). Season with salt and serve. Popcorn can be stored at room temperature in a zipper-lock bag overnight.


Indian Spiced Popcorn
The obvious movie choice is Slumdog Millionaire, the Best Picture winner in 2009. But let’s explore something a little different while eating your zesty popcorn seasoned with garam masala – Monsoon Wedding. The groom is living in Texas, and relatives from both families, some from distant places such as Australia; converge on New Delhi during the monsoon season. The four-day arrangements and celebrations see comic situations and family drama play out as a prelude to the Monsoon Wedding.

1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon each cayenne and ground turmeric

Heat oil in a large pot over high heat, and then add popcorn, cover, and shake pot often. When popping slows, remove from heat until popping stops. Transfer to a large bowl. Melt butter in pot, then add garam masala, cayenne, and turmeric. Drizzle over popcorn, tossing well. Sprinkle to taste with salt.

Italian Popcorn with Parmesan
This popcorn recipe contains the classic ingredients of olive oil and parmesan, so how about a true classic in the DVD player – Roman Holiday. Gregory Peck plays an American news reporter in Rome who befriends a Princess, played wonderfully by Audrey Hepburn, who wants to escape her life of royalty, even if just for a short time as they explore Rome together for a day.

6 tablespoons popcorn kernels
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil for seasoning
1 1/2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt

Combine popcorn and 1/4 cup olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan; cover. Cook over high heat,continuously shaking the pan, until the popcorn is popped and the lid begins to lift from the popcorn, about 5 minutes. Pour popcorn into a large bowl. Mix 2 tablespoons olive oil, Italian seasoning and garlic salt into popcorn; toss to coat. Add Parmesan cheese and mix well.


Enjoy these recipes and many others in these fun popcorn cookbooks. Nothing beats popcorn and a movie!

Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.

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