Monday, March 17, 2014

One Great . . . sports-watching popcorn

The trouble with March Madness is that there is so much madness and so much March. It's not like the Super Bowl, where you can put out a whole table of football-watching snacks and be done with it.

No, there are those multiple game-watching parties, which calls for things that are simple, tasty and fast. After I tried this simple dressed-up popcorn, it occurred to me that it would be perfect for watching basketball. It's easier to make than something like caramel corn, but it's still sweet and salty, with just enough curry to be interesting and compulsively eatable.

Even better: If somebody gets mad enough to throw something, you can't do much damage with it.

Golden Curried Popcorn 
Adapted from Food Network Magazine. If you have another means of popping popcorn, use those directions instead. You could even substitute a fully popped bag of unbuttered microwave popcorn.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
4 tablespoons butter
5 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

PLACE oil and two kernels of unpopped popcorn in a heavy Dutch oven or 3-quart saucepot with a lid. Place over high heat with lid on. Wait until you hear the test kernels pop, then add the rest of the popcorn. Cover and let the popcorn pop, shaking occasionally to keep the bottom layer of popped corn from burning and listen for the popping to almost stop.

REMOVE from heat and pour the popped popcorn into a bowl. Let the pan cool, then wipe it out and return to the stove over medium-low heat. Add the butter and swirl until melted. Add the sugar, curry powder and salt, stirring just until well mixed.

REMOVE from heat and add the popped popcorn. Stir well with a rubber spatula, turning until the popcorn is completely coated with the butter mixture. Serve warm.

YIELD: 2 servings.