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she’d be mortified

March 01 2009 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Recipe,snack » 23 comments


Sometimes I wonder what my adolescent self would make of me now. She’d probably raise her eyebrows at the cut of my skinny jeans—a bit too close for comfort, she’d think, to the tapered, stone washed trend that I left behind in elementary school. But I don’t think she’d be at all surprised that I am a lawyer. After all, during a third grade art project, when presented with a wallet size school portrait, scissors and instructions to decorate my photo with the trappings of my future profession, I promptly cut out a miniature business suit and briefcase. I was a big fan of Claire Huxtable and I was that nine-year-old who wanted to be an attorney.


She’d be surprised, though, to learn that I’m an omnivore, willing to taste anything at least once. For a girl who once refused to allow the different foods on her plate to touch, I’ve come a long way.


And she’d be absolutely shocked—mortified, really—to learn that when I go to the movies, I smuggle in a batch of this popcorn in my purse. For one thing, she’ll wonder how I get past the ticket-taker without my nervous giggle blowing my cover (I barely do). And beyond that, I can see her eyes rolling dramatically at the tackiness of it all. What’s next, she might challenge me, absconding with the packets of sugar on the table at the diner?


But this popcorn, I’d tell her, is worth it. Because it’s freshly popped, for one thing. So it’s already miles ahead of the dry, tasteless stuff that’s been sitting in the greasy glass case at the theatre for, what, hours? days? And it’s swathed in real, melted butter—and that neon yellow “buttery topping” the snack counter employees dispense from a pump just can’t compete. And it’s spiced gently with kosher salt and generously with black pepper and fresh rosemary—a welcome departure from the deluge of salt on the theatre stuff.


I’d like to think I could convince her, that moody, flannel-clad, teenage me, but I’m not so sure. She was stubborn, that one—a trait that has most certainly not faded over time. Oh well, more for the grown up me!


Rosemary-Parmesan Popcorn with Black Pepper

Printable Recipe

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup popcorn kernels*
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 to 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper (start on the low end, taste and adjust)
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (start on the low end, taste and adjust)

Heat the oil in the bottom of a large, heavy stock pot or Dutch oven* over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn kernels, cover the pot with a tightly fitted lid and shake the pot to coat the kernels in the oil. With the lid closed, continue cooking over medium-high heat, shaking the pot occasionally, until the popping slows down and almost stops.

Transfer the popcorn to the biggest bowl you have. Drizzle the melted butter over the popcorn and stir to distribute the butter. Add the cheese, rosemary, pepper and salt; stir to distribute.

* Make sure the pot has at least a 5.5 quart capacity; otherwise, decrease the amount of kernels you’ll use.

23 comments so far. »
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  1. Gena says on March 01 2009 at 8:54 pm:

    I love this popcorn. I love every handful, each more than the last. I could eats pounds and pounds of this fabulous snack. I would not only sneak this into the movies, i would build a makeshift stand outside the theater and give it out to unsuspecting movie goers who may fall victim to the sludge that passes as butter inside.

  2. Erin says on March 01 2009 at 9:12 pm:

    On the rare occasion I go to the movie theatre, I totally sneak in popcorn in a ziploc bag. And I have a soda in my purse I wait until the loud trailer to pop open. Hehehe…

  3. Christina says on March 01 2009 at 9:31 pm:

    In your instructions, you forgot to add, “fill ziploc baggies with popcorn, and carefully place baggies in purse to avoid crushing the popcorn.” Then we’d be all set for a night at the theater!

  4. Marianne says on March 01 2009 at 10:18 pm:

    Ya know, I’ve never tried to take in my own popcorn to the theatre before. I would never think of taking it, because it’s pretty bulky.

    That popcorn recipe looks great. When I can eat popcorn again, I’m going to have to try it.

  5. kickpleat says on March 01 2009 at 10:57 pm:

    i used to work at a little indie movie theater and the popcorn there was amazing. real butter, freshly popped and delicious. i still think fondly of that popcorn. but this sounds lovely. i love herbed and cheezed up corn. yum.

  6. Jennifer says on March 02 2009 at 3:57 am:

    YUMMMM! Incredible pictures!

  7. sue bette says on March 02 2009 at 4:50 am:

    Love the combination of rosemary and parm! I have to admit I am an extremely nervous movie treat smuggler (usually a good chocolate bar), now you’ve got me thinking of a fresh, homemade bag of popcorn in my oversized bag!

  8. Amy says on March 02 2009 at 6:06 am:

    Hee hee, I’m also a nervous movie treat smuggler…but this looks worth it! We’ve been on a homemade popcorn kick recently, and I can’t wait to try this topping. Rosemary and parm cheese is never a bad idea.

  9. Robin says on March 02 2009 at 6:50 am:

    I’ve been literally dreaming about popcorn lately. And this post is just making the hankering worse. Too bad I’m snowed in without any kernels.

  10. Treehouse Chef says on March 02 2009 at 7:27 am:

    this looks yummy! healthy too!

  11. ingrid says on March 02 2009 at 8:35 am:

    Loved the post….. More for you indeed but only if you don’t share. I’d have smelled the deliciousness and asked you to pass some down.

  12. chisai says on March 02 2009 at 9:18 am:

    I wanted to check the amounts. I’ve never made popcorn using a whole cup of kernals. usually I make about 1/4 to 1/3 cup at a time which yields about 3 quarts of popcorn, so I watned to double-check the amount. Is this really made with 1 tbs oil and 1 cup kernals?

  13. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on March 02 2009 at 9:38 am:

    Gena: Now that is an idea! I think I loved your guacamole at the Super Bowl even more than you liked this popcorn.

    Erin: Yes! The loud trailer is a good tactic!

    Christina: Ha! Yes, indeed.

    Marianne: This recipe is one of my chief motivations for carrying such a large purse. : )

    kickpleat: I’m happy to know that there are some theatres out there doing it right. Alas, I haven’t found one yet. Until then, there’s this.

    Jennifer: Thanks!

    sue bette: Or, I know!, both!

    Amy: I like that pairing too, especially with the kick of black pepper.

    Robin: I am so jealous of your snow day. Even a popcorn-less snow day.

    Treehouse Chef: Thanks!

    ingrid: Thank you! I’d share.

    chisai: Yes, that’s the ratio I used. To be honest, I don’t usually measure. I just like a thin coating of oil on the bottom of my 5.5-quart Dutch oven and then a single layer of kernels lining the bottom. I measured this weekend for purposes of this post, and 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 cup of kernels did the trick. If you’re pot is smaller than 5.5 quarts, you might want to decrease the amount of kernels as this ratio fills my Dutch Oven. I’ll update the recipe to that effect now.

  14. alxis says on March 02 2009 at 11:50 am:

    I love this recipe!!! Will try it out stat. It’s healthy and delicious.

    There is a bar here in NYC that serves a curry popcorn – will have to tweak it and see if I can emulate…

    On the sneaking into movies – one time I snuck an entire box of fried chicken into the movies. I just covered it with my sweatshirt and carried it under my arm and they had no idea!

  15. Betsy says on March 02 2009 at 1:03 pm:

    What a cute entry :) I sneak my own in too – it’s much more economical!

  16. Kristy - Where's My Damn Answer says on March 03 2009 at 12:42 pm:

    I’ve been making popcorn in an old pot forever. I still love it the BEST. I have made it for my nieces who only typically eat microwave popcorn and they now ask for Aunt Kiki’s special popcorn all the time. I even have a special pot that is only used for popcorn because it’s aged just perfectly :-D

    I love the rosemary and kosher salt. I don’t use melted butter, but I might have to give it a try just in case.

  17. Alaskan Andi says on March 05 2009 at 9:37 pm:

    Wow, you’re killing me here. That looks divine! I love your writing as well. Keeps me entertained whilst my children run me ragged…thanks for the break!

  18. KatieJ says on March 06 2009 at 2:43 pm:

    Yumm! I loved herb’d anything but popcorn? Woohoo! We sneak stuff into the movies all the time…imagine paying $5 for pop when you can sneak in 5 individual cans in your humongous purse for like $2! It IS a little embarrassing though when you pop the tab…

  19. Julie in Asheville says on March 06 2009 at 6:08 pm:

    Popcorn looks great and reminds me of some of the best I’ve ever eaten. While living in Florida, a coworker brought in popcorn made by some friends from India…in the oil they placed minced garlic and Indian spices…that was fantastic. Another coworker’s husband was trying to get back on her good side and would bring in brown grocery bags filled with popcorn that had been popped in bacon grease for the entire office. WOW. Years ago when babysitting for a huge family, we popped corn in the pot their mother used for canning but added salt only after putting popcorn in another bowl. Next morning, I marveled as I watched the children put milk in a bowl, top the milk with handfuls of the popcorn, and then squeeze honey on top of the corn…..nothing like a natural cereal.

  20. bj says on March 07 2009 at 5:14 am:

    i looooooooooove embarrassing teenagers. there is absolutely nothing funner.

  21. Bruce A says on March 08 2009 at 9:49 am:

    Hello there,

    I’ve worked in theaters before, and I can tell you that in my experience popcorn is popped fresh as often as it’s needed. One theater I worked in bagged its leftover popcorn at night and gave it to the employees to take home. For them it was fresh or nothing (and this was one of the big chains, not an indie theater). If the theater you’re at is large and has a lot of people in it, your popcorn is freshly popped.

    All that aside, this stuff sounds awesome. The next time I pop up a batch I think I’ve got to try this.

  22. Melissa says on March 10 2009 at 4:56 pm:

    That looks mighty enticing. I don’t think I’ve ever had rosemary on mine.

    I wanted to be an attorney until I was about 13. Then I wanted to be a writer… and a film trailer maker… and a teacher… and on and on and on…

  23. Nicole says on June 19 2009 at 6:41 am:

    I love your creativity and your assumptions of mortification to your adolescent self! I will be sure to share those thoughts with my daughters who are picky eaters and then make the popcorn together! Thanks!

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