Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Home Grown Tomatoes presents: Football Seasoned

Caramel Popcorn

Home Grown Tomatoes is a weekly Vegan/Vegetarian column
by Giovanina Bucci

Well it's official, we've winterized our house and succumbed to turning our heat on. We were going to try and at least make it until Thanksgiving, but alas, when Beau could see his breath this morning inside, he decided that the battle had been officially lost. Which brings me to today's post - we're going for comfort, my friends. Pure, unadulterated, extra junk in my trunk, wintery comfort. Not to mention, it's football season. What better way to watch others exert energy than with a giant bowl of homemade caramel popcorn at your fingertips? And if you think you can make a nice big batch of this stuff and maintain portion control - you're fooling yourself.

Popping your own popcorn (uh hum...not in the microwave) is insanely entertaining. Or I'm easily entertained, which very well could be the case. Between that darling little popping noise and the aroma, it's a nostalgic combination I'm happy to delve into on a Sunday afternoon.

Servings: Dive in, selfishly...

1 C. popcorn kernels

3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Directions for popping popcorn are always on the container - but I've found this to be a perfect ratio of kernels to oil. I turn the stove on medium high heat, use our 10 quart pot with a breathable lid and go to town, making sure to shake the pot every minute or so, in order to maintain an even coat of oil among the kernels.

Once your popcorn is popped, you can begin the process of making the caramel sauce. A caramel sauce WITHOUT corn syrup - can you even imagine?!

3/4 C. brown sugar

3/4 C. white sugar (Most often, I have organic, cane sugar on hand)

1/4 C. Grade B Maple Syrup

1/4 C. honey

3 Tbs. butter

3 Tbs. water

1 tsp. vanilla

Bring all ingredients to a boil for 8-10 minutes and then pour over popcorn. I do this right in the 10 quart pot, stirring to make sure all of the kernels are coated evenly. Once coated, spread the, now caramelly, popcorn on a sheet of wax paper. Give it about 15 minutes to set up and then DIG IN! In my rare moments of non vegan baking, I like to add chunks of candy bars to cakes, cookies, etc. I'm assuming this combination would be borderline illegal. But, can you imagine biting into a half melted bit of Snickers amongst crunchy caramel popcorn? Not to mention, you could also add nuts or chocolate to kick things up a notch as well.

Also, I'm sure you could use agave syrup or agave nectar in place of maple syrup (due to costliness) or in place of honey (due to hard coreness of being vegan). Regardless, indulge and enjoy!!


Leslie said...

I am drooling right now. I want to leave work and make this today. YUM! Thanks!

GIANTS FAN said...

I can not wait to make this, I have been dying to get my hands on some, talk about memory lane, we where at the mall in syracuse and I found the carmel corn store that uncle b and I use to go to all the time when he was at syracuse u. back in the 70's I will let you know how it comes out. I am soooo enjoying the reciepts can't wait to make the celery soup. Keep up the great job. love ya.

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