“Caesar Salad” Popcorn

30 Oct

I had this once at The Dock in West Oakland as a snack– popcorn dressed with flavors similar to a Caesar salad– oil, anchovies, garlic, citrus, and parmesan. And I’ve been wanting to make something along these lines ever since.

I found a recipe shared by the chef who created it and generally followed that– utilizing coarse crushed garlic (a smoky, powerful heirloom variety grown by my father), anchovy fillets or paste, and the recipe’s tip to try a little citric acid in place of lemon juice (to get the tartness of lemon juice without making the popcorn soggy)– and it was an addictively delicious savory addition to our Halloween party spread.

I really can’t stop eating it. This will have to join the rotation for any future “movie night” we host.

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The recipe I follow for about a gallon of popcorn, in case the above link breaks:

Blend together in a blender / cuisinart:

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled (a flavorful heirloom garlic is ideal)
  • 4 anchovy filets and a little anchovy oil from the container
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup oil (I do either all extra-virgin olive oil or 50/50 olive oil and canola oil)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • zest of one lemon
  • a pinch of citric acid if available (or juice of half a lemon)

Then make popcorn: Heat oil over medium-high heat with a few “test kernels”, put a layer of kernels into it, cover the pot, and periodically swirl/shake especially once the kernels start to pop to prevent the ones on the bottom from burning.  When the rate of popping slows to a crawl take it off the heat, shake the pot to help the unpopped kernels fall to the bottom, then scoop out the popcorn into a bowl rather than pouring it out– again to leave any unpopped or stuck-to-the-bottom kernels in the pot.

Toss the popcorn in the above dressing, then add:

  • Minced parsley
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • If you want it to be more tart, some lemon juice (beware of sogginess)

 

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