Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Toasted Hot-Sauce Popcorn

Hoosband and I love to make our own popcorn. We can make it as healthy or fat-drenched as we like and customize the flavor profile to our daily whims.

Our favorite way to eat it? Doused in hot sauce.

We are hot-sauce junkies around here, so we don't mind if a few of the puffs of popped corn become a bit soggy in the process. Thinking about sharing our favorite flavor with others, however, I wanted to come up with a way to deliver a more crowd-pleasing, evenly dispersed, slightly heat-tamed, non-soggy hot-sauce experience.

The kernels start completely naked in the microwave (thank you, Pinterest) and are then transferred to a baking sheet, where they receive an even misting of a hot sauce and oil mixture before getting a quick toast in a 325-degree-Fahrenheit oven--sayonara, Sogginess.

Toasted Hot-Sauce Popcorn
3 T cooking oil (if using coconut oil, make sure it is warm enough to be free-flowing)
4 T hot sauce
3 T popcorn kernels
fine-grain salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Use a funnel or spouted measuring cup to add the cooking oil and hot sauce to a clean, food-grade spray bottle. Set aside. You will not use all of this mixture, but the spray-feature will work better with a little extra in the bottle. Excess mixture can be used for another purpose--try tossing with sweet potato spears, salt, and pepper before roasting for a yummy side dish!

Place the popcorn kernels in a large, microwave-safe bowl and cover with a microwave-safe plate.

Microwave for three minutes or until there are 30 seconds between audible "pop"s. Transfer the popped corn to the prepared baking sheet. Any un-popped kernels may be microwaved again if necessary.

Spread the popcorn out in an even layer on the baking sheet.

Make sure the top is tightly screwed onto the spray bottle and shake very well to emulsify the hot-sauce mixture. Do a few test-sprays into the sink, adjusting the spray nozzle as necessary to achieve an even mist. Shake once more if necessary, and evenly spray the mixture over the popcorn, coating lightly. Sprinkle evenly with fine salt.

Toast the popcorn at 325 degrees F for 4 minutes. Repeat the spraying and toasting once more for greater flavor, if desired. Serve immediately.

Makes about 3 cups of popped corn.

Thanks for reading! Here's to Being the Secret Ingredient in your life.

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