There was a time when a small section of my kitchen wall, about 4 ft x 1.5 ft, was decorated with mementos of our movie dates. Because my husband and I are incapable of remembering 90% of the movies we’ve seen, even minutes after walking out of the theater, we decided that taping the ticket stubs on our wall would save us from the blank looks we give each other when asked, “What movie have you seen lately?”
And we do get asked that question a lot. And for years those stubs not only helped us, they were also a big conversation starter with family and friends. That tiny section of wall became an ombré pattern of white to yellowed paper, bold to faded movie titles and showtimes. Eventually, we cleaned up that wall but my husband and I occasionally talk about bringing it back.
The final scenes of Argo are unfolding on the screen now but we are comfortable and cozy in our living room instead of sitting in the dark at our neighborhood movie theater. Though our screen is much smaller we made sure that one of our favorite elements of our movie dates was present: popcorn. My husband tends to order his plain, no butter and I favor something with a little more flavor, but his family-size, free-refills bag never stops him from reaching over our shared armrest to nibble on my kettle corn.
I’ve been known to smuggle a tiny jar of brewer’s yeast (nutritional yeast) enhanced with garlic powder and paprika to sprinkle over my popcorn (recipe here). Here I’ve done something just a bit different–kettle corn tossed with brewer’s yeast and cayenne pepper for a little kick. Try it sometime. Salty, sweet, spicy and a little cheesy (from the brewer’s yeast), this popcorn has a little bit of everything.
Note: Not all brewer’s yeasts taste the same. Lewis Labs is my favorite, by far. It has a pleasantly nutty, almost cheesy taste that brewer’s yeast in bulk bins just doesn’t have. It costs more than other brands but I think it’s worth it.
Kettle Corn with a Kick
- 1/2 cup corn kernels
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt I would use 1/2 teaspoon next time
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons brewers yeast nutritional yeast
Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat, about a minute, then add the corn kernels and sugar. Stir the corn kernels and sugar together and cover the pot with a lid. I waited a minute or two before I heard the first kernels start to pop.
Meanwhile, have a large bowl ready with the salt, cayenne pepper and brewers yeast in it.
When the corn starts popping, shake the pot lightly every few seconds and do this until the popping slows down, about 3-4 minutes. (I turned of the heat at the 3-minute mark, worried that I might burn the sugar and this seemed to work fine)
Immediately transfer the popcorn to the large bowl, cover with the lid and shake to distribute the salt, cayenne and brewers yeast.
Recipe adapted from this PBS Food recipe.