Photo: Kemp Minifie
Gourmet Live’s latest issue, Dinner And A Movie, along with Melissa Roberts’ popcorn recipes, reminded me that it’s been a long time since my husband and I have actually gone out to a theater to see a movie. Two adult tickets in New York City these days is a major investment. If you add the exorbitant cost of the movie theatre popcorn, the question becomes a choice between a movie or dinner in a restaurant, not both.
We also happen to be serious fans of popcorn. So serious, that we cheat when we do go to the movies: We bring our own popcorn. In a supermarket brown paper bag. Inside a plastic shopping bag. Inside a backpack.
Why bother? Because compared to the way we make our popcorn, movie theater popcorn doesn’t come close. Movie popcorn is usually way too salty, even for me—and I love my salt—but beyond that, we just don’t like the flavor of popcorn cooked in hot oil.
Call us popcorn snobs, but we think our homemade popcorn rocks. So much so, that we never seem to tire of it. A giant bowl of it counts as dinner more evenings than I dare admit to. Continue reading
My idea of the classic American culinary experience is noshing on munchies while watching the Super Bowl. And if you’re in a bind and need a few creative ideas for gameday snacking, there’s no better place to turn than to homemade takes on a few of our stadium favorites.
Turn boxed crackers into a cheesy breading for Cheddar Chicken Tenders with Wilted Spinach, which features tenders tossed in tangy mustard and rolled in crushed crackers. It’s a hearty snack that both adults and children will appreciate. Or for a crunchy bite, try Chile Peanuts that are roasted with smoky paprika, cayenne, lime, and sea salt.
And for those who are avid fans of the salty-sweet combo, opt for Maple Pecan Popcorn, a mixture of buttery popcorn tossed with chopped pecans and maple syrup. Serve it in a large, communal bowl, or divide into individual bags for simple snacking.
What’s on your snack spread for Super Bowl Sunday?
Ever wonder why popcorn and the movies go together like Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio? Here’s a brief history of the duo.
Popcorn wasn’t introduced to the general public as a snack food until around 1840, when it first made appearances at fairs, carnivals and rallies. In 1885, with the invention of the first portable popcorn machine, its popularity increased dramatically. Popcorn vendors followed the crowds, set up shop, and introduced popcorn neophytes to the joys of butter, salt, and crunch. It was a cheap and tasty hit.
As fate would have it, the popcorn boom coincided with the dawn of nickelodeon (or dime) theatres. Vendors, quick to spot an opportunity, sold their treats outside of the movies. Though patrons loved it, the mess left behind, the smell of the machines, and popcorn’s association with burlesque, irritated movie theatre owners, especially as the fancier theaters of the 1910s and 20s were built. Continue reading