Popcorn with Mustard Butter & Fresh Herbs

popcorn

My love of popcorn is something I inherited from my dad. I have many memories of sharing bowls of microwaved and homemade stove-popped corn in the evening hours after dinner. That hasn’t changed much as the years have passed. I still attack a bowl of fresh (or even day old) popcorn like it’s going out of style. Sometimes, I want what I like to call “gourmet popcorn” which  I consider popcorn topped with any number of elevated toppings like truffle oil and parmesan, spicy chili powders, or crushed kale chips and sea salt. When I was flipping through Super Natural Every Day searching for dinner ideas (Harissa Tortellini coming soon!) I stumbled across this recipe for popcorn topped with mustard butter and fresh herbs. Yes Please. The mustard mixed with the melted butter is a fantastic idea I wish I’d thought of- the butter tones down the zing of the Dijon, but you still get a little of that mustardy bite. I think my favorite part was the little bits of thyme mixed in, and next time I think I’ll add more. Be warned, this recipe makes a lot- it almost overflowed onto the stove, (I was popping in my biggest pot) and it stopped just in time. If you are going to be munching all by yourself or want 2 smaller bowls of popcorn (the full recipe made 2 large bowls) I would halve the recipe. Even with David munching politely and me attacking the bowl per usual, there was still quite a bit leftover.

from: Super Natural Every Day
serves: 4-6

4 tablespoons clarified butter or extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup popcorn kernels
1/3 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 small bunch fresh chives, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

Heat the clarified butter or oil in a deep, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add a few popcorn kernels to the pan and cover. Once they pop, add the remaining kernels and shake the pot until they cover the bottom of the pan evenly. Place the lid on the pan, leaving just a sliver of a crack, and shake intermittently while the popcorn pops, until there is a 5-second pause between pops. Remove the popcorn from the heat and transfer all the popped corn to a very large bowl, leaving any un-popped kernels behind.

In the meantime, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat and let it sizzle away until it has browned a bit and is fragrant. Whisk in the mustard and salt.

Pour one-third of the mustard butter over the popped corn and toss well. (I find this step easier when I just shake the popcorn, butter, and herbs all together in a paper grocery bag) Add about half of the remaining butter and toss for another minute. Taste and decide if you want more butter, if so add more to taste. Sprinkle with the chives and thyme, toss once more and serve immediately.

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I realize now this was not a great close-up as you can’t see the chives or thyme, but they are there! Some of the herbs fell to the bottom half of the bowl-the best part!

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