Chili Cheese Popcorn
Crunchy, freshly popped popcorn tossed with chili and cheddar cheese powder makes the ultimate healthy snack. A spicy, salty, savory treat for anytime of day.
I used to eat microwave popcorn by the truckload. It was such an easy and, so I thought, healthy snack I bought it in bulk. I’d keep bags at work for a quick afternoon snack…smart, I thought. Until, one day…..I read an article on the internet. Yep…doesn’t the internet always have to ruin everything? The article (which I can’t seem to find at the moment) said that microwave popcorn was FULL of chemicals. Surprised? Neither was I….how would the magical popcorn pop any other way? AND the chemicals were linked to all kinds of health issues…respiratory problems, cancer…and infertility. At that time, we were struggling with infertility so I found the root cause despite any diagnosis I had previously received from my Dr. It had to be the popcorn. It DEFINITELY was the popcorn. I would no longer had to endure those lousy injections because I had eaten my last microwave popcorn kernel. Problem solved. I was firing my fertility doctor.
From that point forward, I never bought microwave popcorn again. I started making it on the stovetop and let me tell you….this is the only way I will ever make it. Even the Pinterest paper bag microwaving popcorn tricks (as genius as they are) can’t match the flavor of the stovetop version. And if you’re like me and enjoy some popcorn for an afternoon snack at the office….just make it ahead of time and store it in a zip top bag. I heat about 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a heavy bottom saucepan (make sure you have a lid that fits snugly) and throw in 1-2 kernels, cover with the lid and wait for them to pop. Once they pop, CAREFULLY remove them with tongs and pour in enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pot (one layer is sufficient). Cover the pot and gently shake the pot occasionally to prevent the kernels from burning and to help unpopped kernels make their way to the bottom once the popcorn starts to take off. Once the popping has stopped, transfer to a bowl. Store in an airtight container.
Like I said…there’s just no other way in my house and I always have a giant bag of kernels ready for a quick snack. The best part about making it this way is you have a small window to amp up the flavor. Like with chili powder….and powdered cheese. Yes, powdered cheese…you know, the kind you make mac and cheese from the box with? Well, I found the BEST cheese powder from King Arthur flour and it’s incredibly versatile….the easiest way to use it is in this popcorn. This recipe comes together in 10 minutes including the time it takes for the popcorn to pop. It’s the perfect, pull it out of your butt because you have friends dropping in unexpectedly, recipe.
Does it cure infertility? No….no it does not. But it does go well with an ice cold beer.
Chili Cheese Popcorn
Makes 3 cups of popcorn
3 cups popped popcorn
2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fine salt (I use popcorn salt)
3 tablespoons powdered cheese (I use King Arthur Vermont Cheese Powder)
In a ziptop bag, add the chili, cumin, cayenne, salt and cheese shaking to combine.
In a large bowl, toss the popcorn with the chili cheese mixture. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.