Mexican Popcorn with Lime Salt

Days like these (endless rain, thick muggy air, the looming mud bath at T in the Park) have me craving an indoors hide out. A thick blanket, comfy jim jams, a mug of coffee and a pack of jammie dodgers. Sometimes I wish my doctor could prescribe me these things after 5 long shifts at work in a row. Forget ‘making the most of my day off’, after a considerable amount of ice skating all I want to do is stick lovefilm on repeat and make my way through some trashy-but-loveable films (Princess Diaries anyone?).

The traditional accompaniment to movie days and nights is popcorn, but recently I discovered an alternative to my usual salty snack. Shutterbean, one of my go-to food blogs, recently made an inspiring take on a Jamie Oliver popcorn recipe, which was slathered with spiced butter, lime juice and a good dose of salt. Still savoury, but packing a whole lot more punch than the usual sodium chloride.

This popcorn recipe is a beaut. Not only because it tastes like popcorn was always supposed to taste, but it is the first outing of my hand me down Le Creuset pan from my Grammy. The thick set pan allows for some serious poppin’ and less chance of charcoaled corn, but any old lidded saucepan will do really. Hot melted butter is toasted with colourful paprika, unmistakable cumin and herby oregano. Add a good splash of fresh lime and the sauce is a fiery blend of flavour. Quickly toss in freshly made popcorn to coat each pop and stir through some homemade lime salt, which is a simple way to add flavour to your typical seasoning, adding zest with each bite. On a miserable day, a bowl of this with a cold beer is like a little tropical paradise on your sofa. Give your popcorn a makeover with some spice. Anne Hathaway may be a princess, but this popcorn is king. Ole!

 

Adapted from Shutterbean and Jamie Oliver Magazine

 

You Will Need

3 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil

1/3 cup popcorn kernels (or 75g if you don’t have measuring cups)

1 teaspoon rock salt

1 lime, zested and juiced

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon paprika, smoked if you have it

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Set a heavy based pan over a medium heat and add the sunflower oil. Put 3 kernels in the pan and cover with a lid until the popcorn starts popping. Pour in the remaining kernels and keep moving the pot to avoid burning. Once the popping has slowed down, almost to a stop, remove from the heat and set aside.

To make the lime salt, rub together the lime zest and salt with the back of a spoon to release the oils until smashed and fragrant. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the spices, cooking for one minute. Add the lime juice and quickly pour over the popcorn evenly and stir quickly to cover each piece. Sprinkle over the lime salt and serve in bowls with a beer.

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