Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Load of Crop


And a very BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Snickerdoodle on passing the Bar! What an accomplishment!

As promised, here is my third food topic I can write about from the road. If anyone asks me for a recommendation to eat at a nice place downtown, the first place I always mention is Crop. They opened not too long ago and while I have only eaten here a handful of times, they won my lifelong devotion by offering one of my most favorite and almost never served at a restaurant foods: wait for it…. wait for it… Popcorn! Delicious popcorn with lots of yummy veggies, fresh herbs, and a balsamic glaze (tends to change a bit each time I go). Yes, I know it sounds like a strange thing to eat at a restaurant, but I would compare it to eating a salad. And I would recommend never getting it to-go because CC and I learned the hard way that it just turns to mush on the short walk from Crop to my apt. Which is why I have come up with a very easy way to make this dish at home. It starts with my no-fail directions for making stove-top popcorn. I guarantee once you master this, you will never make microwave popcorn again (unless its 99% ff kettlecorn, cuz that shiz is goood).

Stove Top Popcorn

In a heavy bottomed pot (I must emphasis the term heavy bottomed because I destroyed one of my mother’s pots by burning popcorn in it), heat 1tbsp. light oil over med-high heat. Place 3 popcorn kernels in the oil and cover. When you hear those 3 kernels pop, remove the pot from the heat and add 1/3 c. popcorn kernels to the oil, cover and count to 30. This method allows the oil to heat up and then the kernels to heat up together so that they don’t start popping at random times and thus you don’t get burnt or un-popped kernels. Once you count to 30, move the pot back onto the heat and keep covered. Wait for the popping to start and then shake the pot while it is still on the heat source. Remove once the popping slows down and salt to your desire. That wasn’t so hard, right?

Now to make it Crop-like. If you are adventurous you can roast your own peppers and onions. I prefer to go to the prepared foods counter at Heinen’s or Whole Foods. They usually have grilled or roasted veggies and I get ½ a red pepper, ½ green pepper, and ½ a red onion. I also really like peppadew peppers which you can find jarred or by the olives. Slice each of these into the thinnest slices you can. In a bowl, combine the thinly sliced peppers and onions with balsamic vinegar, just enough to cover the veggies. This next step I like to do in a paper bag. It works, so I keep doing it. Place COOLED popcorn in bag (if it is too hot, it gets mushy), add balsamic peppers and onions and shake to cover the popcorn. Serve with fresh torn basil or herbs of you’re choosing. I like to eat it with a big spoon. This is just the way I like it, but you could experiment with all kinds of fun things- like cheese!

Since I have mentioned peppadews in the last two posts, I must add that they make an awesome appetizer simply stuffed with feta or some type of marinated feta and a little piece of basil. It doesn’t get much easier (or much tastier) than that.


martha said...

Awesome shout-out! I guess I'm sort of destroying my anonymity by posting, but as long as you don't create a post entitled "Snickerdoodle's Adventures at College" I think it's fine. And you love that damn popcorn salad!

TKTC said...

sounds INCREDIBLE!!! I need a heavy-bottomed pot. You're the third person I've talked to in the last week who pops their popcorn on the stove. Homemaker's Habitat made it with truffle butter and I about died right there on the sofa it was so good.

Anne said...

I want you to put your recipe for your delicious home-made caramel corn. I want to make it this weekend. I want to try to come to your party. I am going to email Snickerdoodle to check with her Thanksgiving schedule.