Simply heighten and amplify the popcorn goodness with these delightful herbs.
Adapted from Kitchenlane.com
Serves: About 9 cups.
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
¼ teaspoon fine flake sea salt, plus more to taste, optional
1¼ to 1½ teaspoons fresh finely chopped culinary lavender or finely chopped dried culinary lavender buds
1½ to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest (yellow part of the skin)
⅛ teaspoon finely minced fresh garlic, optional
Fresh lavender and chive “bloomlets” for garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil (or corn oil or safflower oil)
¼ teaspoon fine flake sea salt, to taste
⅔ cup unpopped popcorn kernels
For a light herb flavor or for those new to the taste of lavender, use the smaller amounts indicated. For a more robust herb taste, use larger amounts suggested.
1. For the butter: In a medium saucepan over medium heat stir together the butter and salt. Once the butter melts, stir in the lavender, chives, thyme, lemon zest, and garlic (if using). Continue heating, stirring, until the mixture is very hot but not boiling, then immediately remove from the heat. Let stand so flavors can mingle at least15 minutes and preferably 30 minutes. Or make ahead and refrigerate, covered, for several days. Reheat the butter over low heat just until melted when needed for the popped corn. If desired, double the seasoning butter recipe and make enough for 2 batches of popcorn.
2. For the popcorn: Put the oil, salt, and 3 or 4 test kernels in a large, flat-bottomed pot (minimum 5-6-quart) over medium high heat. Cook until the oil is hot and a test kernel sizzles then pops. (The oil should not smoke; if it does, remove the pot from the burner and lower the heat.) Immediately add the rest of the popcorn. Cover the pot and shake several times to coat all the kernels with oil. When the popping starts, frequently shake the pot back and forth to keep the kernels moving. After about a minute of heavy popping, turn the heat to medium; this keeps the pot from overheating and burning the last kernels. When the popping subsides, remove the pan from the stove-top; the heat in the pot will pop the remaining kernels. Using a large spoon, stir the corn while drizzling on the melted herb butter. Continue stirring, until the butter is evenly incorporated throughout. Taste and add more salt, if desired. Serve or let cool and pack airtight.