If you think popcorn is only for when you’re watching a film, then you’re missing out on a highly versatile ingredient. Un-popped, the corn kernels will sit in your cupboard, just waiting to pop into life when required. You can make sweet and savoury snacks in minutes or as an unusual garnish to enhance other dishes you cook.
Is Popcorn Healthy?
It really depends on how the popcorn is prepared. However, it’s a whole grain, and high fibre whole grains are linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. In addition to the fibre, popcorn is a good source of polyphenols, which are linked to better blood circulation and digestion health. There’s great news for coeliacs as well because the corn itself is gluten-free.
Before you get too excited, much depends on how you add more flavour to the popcorn by way of seasoning. Too much salt or too much sugar will counteract the health benefits of this snack! Think smart on seasoning and choose robust flavours where less is more.
Why Oyster Venom Loves Popcorn
Popcorn is a fun food
Some foods make you smile when you see them or smell them cooking, and for us, popcorn is fun to cook as you hear the popping sound and has a distinctive smell even before you add your seasoning.
Popcorn is extremely versatile
When we think of popcorn, we think of sweet or savoury snacks, but popcorn can offer so much more, as you will discover later in this post.
It keeps for ages and cooks in Minutes
The golden corn kernels keep in a cool, dry cupboard for a long time, so they are ideal as a fallback ingredient for surprise visitors. They cook quickly, and the aroma of popcorn is fabulous even before you’ve added any flavourings.
If you just buy corn kernels, this is a very cheap ingredient that goes a long way. You don’t need much in the pan to create a light and tasty snack or accompaniment.
How to Cook Popcorn
The coolest way to cook popcorn…. over a hot fire, of course
For even more fun, take a look at this popcorn basket we’ve seen, perfect for campfires and alfresco eating. You just know it’s going to taste delicious. You can buy it from Not On The High Street
In a pan with a tight-fitting lid
This is our preferred way of cooking popcorn as it’s quick, plus you can control the amount of seasoning you add. We love a bit of salt and a generous sprinkle of smoked paprika. But be warned that popcorn is powerful, and you do need a tight-fitting lid.
We’ve all seen the popcorn in a bag that you can add to the microwave, but always remember that although it feels more convenient, you can’t control the quantity or the seasoning which has already been added.
Our Favourite Popcorn Creations
As croutons on soup
Make soup more interesting by adding flavoured popcorn as a unique garnish. Here we topped celery, pea, and crispy parma ham soup with popcorn lightly dusted in smoked paprika to add a different texture and contrasting taste.
Create Your Own Unique Canapé Using Popcorn
Who would have thought that by adding a few pieces of popcorn to a canapé, you could transform it into something more dramatic – it’s a beautiful way to start an evening with your guests.
This canape is puff pastry rounds covered with wafer-thin slices of bresaola, then topped with guacamole and finished with popcorn dusted with chilli powder. They are colourful and look more substantial, although they are very light. Plus, the mixture of flavours packs a delicious punch to get your party started.
Pack of ready-rolled puff pastry – if you don’t want to cook the pastry, you could also use a nice savoury cracker.
Pack of sliced bresaola or parma ham cut into pieces to cover the pastry round when cooked
2 tbsp popcorn kernels
1/2 tbsp oil
Chilli powder to sprinkle
Salt and Pepper to season
For the guacamole, you can buy a tub or make it yourself
juice and zest of half a lime
1 clove garlic, minced.
1 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
2 tsp hot chilli sauce
- Preheat the oven to 200 C
- Cut rounds of about 5cm in diameter (cut about 20) and place on a greased baking tray or in a non-stick muffin tin. Prick the pastry with a fork.
- Cook the puff pastry rounds for 5 minutes, then turn them over and cook for another 5 minutes. These can burn quickly, so keep your eye on them as they just need to be golden in colour.
- Remove from the oven and place the pastry rounds onto a cooling rack as they need to be at room temperature before you add the toppings.
- Cook your popcorn. Add 1/2 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp corn kernels to a pan on high heat and cover with a tight-fitting lid. As the popping noise intensifies, give the pan a bit of a shake and check on the popcorn.
- Make the guacamole – peel the avocado and finely chop before adding to a bowl, then cover with the lime juice, zest, and minced garlic. Then using a fork, mash the mixture until it’s smooth and more of a paste. I quite like to keep some of the avocado lumps to show it’s homemade.
- Then stir in the chopped coriander and hot chilli sauce. Season with salt and pepper and taste as you may want to add more lime or more chilli.
- Now you are ready to assemble the canapés. Put a dot of guacamole on the pastry round, then place the slice of either bresaola or parma ham on top (the dot of guacamole is just to hold the meat on the pastry).
- Then add a generous helping of guacamole on top of the meat, followed by 3 or 4 popcorn pieces. Repeat with the rest of the pastry rounds.
- Place the canapés on a plate or board, season with a small amount of salt and pepper. Finally, sprinkle sparingly with the chilli powder and serve.
Indian Style Popcorn
Oyster Venom has a Pearl of Wisdom food guide for creating an Indian Style Street Food Feast. We’ve created a savoury popcorn flavoured with classic Indian spices, mixed with vegetables, and finished with fresh coriander as an accompaniment to the apero.
Popcorn Mousse – a delicious dessert
Imagine the flavour of popcorn but intensified in a light dessert. Then, by blending and cooking the popcorn, you can create a mousse-like dessert in minutes with all the fun that popcorn brings. Check out this recipe.
Buy Already Flavoured Popcorn
If you don’t have the time to make your popcorn, then there are some great creators out there who have used their know-how to make some pretty unique flavours for you to experience. We like Joe and Seph’s with their vast array of flavours, you will easily find your favourite, or we suspect favourites. Click here to see their shop.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about why Oyster Venom loves popcorn and how it can feature in exceptional food you make for your friends and family then next time they pop round. It’s often those special touches and unique ideas that will make your next get-together fun, unforgettable, and most of all, effortless.
If you want to know more about the art of effortless entertaining, then have a look around our new website or get in touch and let us know how we can help you.