It seems that almost every day is designated a ‘national food day‘. Some dates have multiple honors, today is National Cheese Lovers day, National Granola bar day and National Buttercrunch day. Tomorrow is national New England Clam Chowder day and so it goes on. Yesterday I read on twitter that it was national popcorn day. That was all the excuse I needed to make some caramel corn for a movie night with friends.
We had a couple of popcorn epiphanies last year. The first was thanks to Mark Bittman’s book Food Matters. Bittman taught us how to make our own microwave popcorn and we haven’t looked back since. No weird additives or artificial flavors, no messy pan to clean up, just a brown paper lunch bag, some corn kernels and a tablespoon of oil.
The second popcorn epiphany was a result of our Cincinnati road trip. Colonel De Ray from Herbs and Spices at Findlay Market sold AD some truffle salt and he has been addicted to truffle salted popcorn ever since. Amazing how much flavor you get from a tiny pinch of salt. You can find truffle salt in Columbus at Curds and Whey in the North Market.
Anyway, back to last night. I wanted something sweet to accompany the movie and used David Lebovitz’s recipe for caramel corn. I used toasted almonds and popped my popcorn in the microwave, but otherwise followed the recipe to the letter. My ongoing frustration is that my candy thermometer only works if the ‘candy’ is 3 inches deep, which it never is unless you are making industrial quantities. This leads to a lot more guesswork than I would like.
The caramel corn turned out perfectly, crunchy and not greasy. A slightly burnt sugar taste which was popular but for which I blame the candy thermometer. I would definitely make it again, but when there are plenty of people to eat it up, so that I don’t have the temptation of eating it for breakfast.
For the record, caramel corn goes really well with coffee, but is not part of a nutritious breakfast, and the movie we watched was Funny People, which I enjoyed.