I buy popcorn in bulk from either Hannaford or Honest Weight. Heat a pot on high, add some oil, then add the kernels, slap a lid on a shake every so often. When it's done, I mix in some butter and salt. Delicious, right?
Well last week I was flipping through a friend's copy of Cook's Illustrated. I dropped my subscription to Cook's Illustrated awhile ago for a number of reasons. I wasn't actually making any of the recipes. I hated their writing style - everything they do is not "the best" and they have proven it by updating the "the best" recipe to be "really, seriously, this time it's the best" recipe. They also write like they've invented the technique. While I have no proof, I feel confident in my assumption that they didn't invent brine. The magazine often refers to techniques and recipes that are online for a few months. A magazine at that price is should have content worthy of being saved. Two years from now when you come back to the recipe you wanted to make but never had time to cook it until this weekend...and are directed to find some online content that you may or may not have access to? Screw that. So I let the subscription lapse. And it was like a bad break up. I got a lot of letters asking me to come back. I got phone calls too. Couldn't we just be friends? It finally ended when I told a telemarketer that I didn't like the magazine and I would never buy it again. A little over the top and untrue, but the letters and phone calls stopped.
I think if I ever went back to them, it would just be online only. I hope I'm not leading them on. I'm way off track here..let's go back. Last week I was flipping through a friend's copy of Cooks Illustrated. Not even sure if it is the current issue. I think it was. One of the tips in the back was for popping corn. They recommend heating the pot, adding some oil and then dropping in a few kernels. When those few kernels pop, add the rest of the kernels, slap the lid on, give it a shake and move the pot off heat for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, put the pot back on the heat, crack the lid and shake frequently until the popping stops.
I tried it. Dammit, it worked really well. Amazingly well. After the little pre-heating, I don't think there were any un-popped kernels at all. The popcorn came out great too. Next time you are making popcorn, give it a try.