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Pass the Popcorn, it's time for Oscar!

The Food Dude has popcorn recommendations for your Academy Awards watching experience.
by Dave Cathey Published: February 20, 2013

As long as folks have been watching pictures move on a screen, they've also been doing it with their fingers stuffed in a box of popcorn.

When Hollywood goes black-tie-up for the Academy Awards on Sunday night, it's only fitting we dress up those popped kernels of corn in their Sunday best.

But popcorn predates film by a good 6,000 years, when Guatemalans learned moisture-sealed corn kernels and their starchy interiors were apt to burst into a tasty treat when heated in fat.

It was Charles Cretors who developed the commercial popcorn machine not too long before Thomas Alva Edison and company figured out how to capture movement on celluloid and project it as a film. Mass-produced popcorn and motion pictures were made for each other. Coconut oil was the popping agent of choice in old-time movie theaters. It's solid at room temperature but melts quickly like shortening. If you want to go old-school for your Oscar-viewing experience try some coconut oil.

But if you want to give your popcorn the red-carpet treatment, try spices and powdered cheeses of your choice. Savory Spice Shop, 4400 N Western Ave., offers a variety of popcorn support, including a variety pack.

If you don't have a popcorn popper, don't want to buy one and recoil at the idea of popcorn sprung to life via microwave, Popcorn Fharmacy, 7518 N May Ave, offers prepopped corn in every conceivable color and flavor. They also have popcorn receptacles and premium popping corn and can provide you with enough to fill your house “Real Genius”-style.

Want to make your popcorn flavor have a theme according to the Best Picture nominees?

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by Dave Cathey
Food Editor
The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene.
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Old-Time Movie Theater Popcorn

Makes 4 servings

½ cup popcorn kernels, preferably white

3 tablespoons coconut oil

4 to 5 tablespoons clarified butter, instructions below

Salt to taste

Heat a heavy pot with lid on the stove to medium heat and add coconut oil into the pot, swirl until melted.

Add a couple of kernels to the oil. Once they've popped, add remaining kernels, making sure to spread them evenly.

Tilt the lid on the pot, mostly covering but leaving a little space to allow steam to escape.

Shake the pot to keep the kernels in motion. If using a flat-top range, lift the pot as you shake to avoid damaging the stove top. Continue shaking until popping subsides, between 3 and 4 minutes.

Remove pot from heat, uncover and let cool 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer cooked popcorn to a resealable plastic bag. Add clarified butter to bag and shake vigorously to coat.

Transfer buttered popcorn to a large bowl and salt to taste.

Clarified butter

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

Heat a heavy saucepan at low heat and add butter.

Slowly melt butter and remove from heat.

Let stand in pan 5 minutes.

Skim the foam butter, and drizzle into a container, making sure milky solids stay in the bottom of pan.

Keep tightly covered in the refrigerator up to six weeks.

Source: Dave Cathey


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