State fairs across the nation this past summer have been enjoyed by young and old alike. Our family has braved the crazy sea of visitors at the state fair almost every summer. This year was different, though. This was the first year all our boys were old enough to really enjoy it. With our “baby” at 3 years old now, we are finally able to do more all-day excursions with everyone participating in the fun. The kids can all go on way more carnival rides, ask a million more questions per millisecond, and eat way more kettle corn.
Seeing how our family devours kettle corn, it only makes sense to pop them up fresh at home – because popcorn is the best when it’s freshly popped, still warm from your own kettle.
My “kettle” is simply a large, heavy pot with tight fitting lid. Otherwise known as my trusty large All-Clad pot. You can use any such heavy pot.
The lightly sweet, slightly salty, and super crunchy qualities of this little snack make it extremely addictive. Every time I make kettle corn, it’s gobbled up until all that remains are the broken crumbs at the bottom of the bowl. Honestly, I had to keep my peeps (mostly self) from popping too many of these into our mouths during the photo shoot, because there had to be some popcorn to shoot.
Did I mention there are only 3 ingredients in this thing? Oh, wait, it’s 4 ingredients if you count the pinch of salt :) So, four ingredients it is. Just oil, sugar, salt, and of course – popcorn kernels. Get good quality kernels if you can, as it will make a bit of difference in how well they pop up.
Considering the common snacking alternatives, I feel pretty good about the kiddos – and me- snacking on popcorn! To make it even healthier but still yummy, I use less sugar and light olive oil (not extra virgin, due to its lower smoking point.) I give the correct proportions in the recipe, but feel free to play with it. The only thing you really have to do is make sure to keep shaking the pot so your popcorn doesn’t burn. And, try to share… if you want
1/4 cup extra light olive oil or vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup good quality popcorn kernels
Heat oil with 3 test kernels in large, deep, heavy pot with tight fitting lid. Once all 3 kernels pop, your oil is hot enough. Add sugar and popcorn kernels, stir a bit, and cover. Shake pot vigorously every few seconds (yes, every few seconds). I alternate between setting pot down to rest a few seconds and shaking it a few seconds. This is a bit of an arm workout, but it must be done so sugar/popcorn won’t burn. Once popping has slowed, remove pot from heat and keep shaking until there’s no more popping. Sprinkle evenly with a pinch or two of salt, give it another good shake, and immediately pour into large bowl. Break up clumps as needed, and let cool just enough to dig in!