It seems the latest popcorn recipes have been inspired by the guys in my life. Last week’s popcorn post was about my Dad and his weekly blueberry muffins, and this week it’s based on a snack my husband began eating at work several years ago.
My husband, affectionately known around here and in blog-land as Husband Face, worked in a place where they would tend to knock off a little early on Fridays. They’d open up the beer tap and pop a few batches of popcorn as a way to boost morale and kick off the weekend. Usually that popcorn would include a version popped with jalapeno peppers, making the popcorn spicy and delicious. I liked the idea of having the flavor “popped in” the popcorn, so when I was coming up with something for this week’s entry, that’s where I headed. Of course I had to put my own little twist on things, and I added mini pepperoni and shredded parmesan cheese. What I ended up with was a snack with a tangy, spicy kick that was absolutely share-worthy in my book. I figured that since I was posting this on Thursday, it sort of counted as knocking off a little early for the weekend…beer optional.
2 Tablespoons Vegetable or Canola Oil
1/3 cup mini Pepperoni or diced Pepperoni
2 Tablespoons Pickled Jalapenos, diced
1/3 cup Popcorn Kernels
2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
2 Tablespoons Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Pickled Jalapeno slices, for topping
Mini Pepperoni or diced Pepperoni, for topping
Place oil in a heavy bottomed pot or stovetop popcorn popper over medium heat. Add in the pepperoni and let cook for 1-2 minutes just until pepperoni is crispy and the oil has taken on the color. Remove pepperoni from the oil and drain on paper towels.
Add the pickled jalapenos to the oil and let sizzle for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Remove from the oil onto the same paper towel as the pepperoni and let drain. A word of caution: the oil can be quite spicy, so take care around sensitive eyes and noses.
Place popcorn kernels in the oil and cover. Let sit for about 30 seconds to heat evenly, then turn up the heat to medium high. When the kernels start to pop, shake the pot to keep them moving until the popping slows down. Once the popping has stopped, uncover the popcorn to let the steam out and prevent soggy popcorn.
Pour popcorn into a bowl and toss with melted butter, parmesan, reserved pepperoni and jalapenos. Taste for salt, and add a little if necessary. The pepperoni and pickled jalapenos are quite salty, so it’s a matter of personal taste here. Top with more pickled jalapenos and pepperoni right before eating, and dive in to a crispy, tangy, spicy treat fit for starting a weekend right.