For an event at work today, we decided on a "state fair" theme... long story, but trust me, it was an appropriate theme for what we were doing.
Anyway, after much discussion, the menu came down to churros, cowpie cookies, kettle corn and a wild array of crudite vegetables (to combat the other menu items!). I wasn't quite sure about how to go about making the kettle corn and contemplated ordering giant bags of the stuff online, but after a little research, it became apparent this was not rocket science and could easily enough be made at home.
Here's the recipe I settled on, from a fun site called Seattlest.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons white sugar
kosher salt to taste
melted butter (optional)
In your saucepan, heat the oil and popcorn kernels over medium-high heat, shaking the pan to keep the kernels from burning. When the kernels are about to start popping, they will become slightly lighter in color, and most important, they will start to smell like popcorn. At this point, sprinkle the sugar over the kernels and cover. With the lid on, continue to cook the popcorn by gently shaking the pan over the heat. When the popping has slowed (don’t keep cooking until the very last kernel has popped, you will end up burning the sugar), remove the pan from heat and empty the popcorn into a large bowl. Toss with salt immediately (when the sugar on the popcorn is still hot and sticky, the salt will adhere to the kernels better) and sprinkle with melted butter if you like. Enjoy while still warm.
Since I needed to make a rather large-ish quantity, I hatched up the idea of using my electric fry pan and quadrupled the batch. I made about 8 quad batches this morning, and it was quite a workout to shake the fry pan adequately while the popcorn happily popped away! Quite fun, and very tasty. I will be making this again, soon. Unfortunately, at the moment I'm out of popcorn. Go figure.
Here are the kernels in the pan, just ready to start popping. For some reason, adding the sugar kind of stops the popping for a minute, so don't be worried that you've added it too soon, just keep on shaking and soon the whole pan will be exploding with popcorny goodness.