Remember about a year ago when the whole microwave popcorn=cancer thing broke out? After years of eating a snack that smelled like hot plastic and left a slight tingle on my tongue I came to the conclusion that maybe it was time to put the packets away and return to the old fashioned method. So over this past year I’ve pretty much perfected the process and a recent blog post by famed food writer Michael Rhulman inspired me to share because while his method is good, mine is better. http://blog.ruhlman.com/ruhlmancom/2009/01/popcorn.html
Start with a lidded pot. I use a small sauce pan for one serving, a medium for two... Put in just enough regular old vegetable oil to cover the bottom with a bit of swiveling and swirling. Add your kernels to the pot, but only put enough to create a single layer. Cover the pot and then, and only then, place it over medium high heat. Now the next part I learned from my microwave popcorn days. Like it says on step #2 on the back of the greasy envelope you need to listen. Once the popping begins stand over the pot ‘cause it will all be over in a few minutes. When it sounds like the popcorn is half popped, reduce to medium heat. When you hear that first kernel breach the lid, turn the heat off completely and wait. It will take around 45 seconds to a minute for the last kernel to pop, so be patient.
I like to melt my butter in the same pan to keep the dish count down and sometimes I add a little Franks hot sauce to spice it up. The rest I leave to you and your tastes.