In keeping with having fun with the made up food “holidays,” how could I pass up the opportunity to celebrate one near and dear to my heart—National Popcorn Day? It is coming up on January 19 but could certainly be celebrated early—or anytime—as you cozy up on the couch and watch a movie or have a few friends over for drinks and snacks. Popcorn even pairs well with sparkling wine—the buttery flavor especially complements Chardonnay. With the Italian slant in this recipe from The Popcorn Board, perhaps a Chianti or other Sangiovese-based Italian wine could be a good match if you prefer red. And, of course, there will be football and basketball games ahead as well as the Academy Awards when you will need tasty snacks to munch on.
This “holiday” is celebrated at the end of January, although its exact date is a matter of debate, according to The Popcorn Board. Various sources report it as January 19; others claim it takes place on whatever day the “big game” falls on. The organization is often asked about the origins of this day; unfortunately, they do not know how or when the celebration began. Some other individual or organization (with obvious good taste) began this tradition, they note. Whatever the origins, I’ll take it as another good reason to whip up a batch of this whole-grain snack.
Keep in mind that popcorn kernels expand up to 40 times their original size. So 1 ounce, which is 1/8 cup or 2 tablespoons of un-popped kernels will make 4 cups (1 quart) of popped popcorn. Consider how large of a batch you might like to make, and take it from there.
Rosemary Parmigiano-Reggiano Popcorn
Makes 4 quarts
4 quarts popped popcorn
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons finely crushed rosemary (fresh or jarred)
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Regianno cheese (or Parmesan cheese)
1 teaspoon garlic salt (or sea salt)
1/8 teaspoon white pepper, optional
1. Place popcorn in a large serving bowl.
2. Mix butter, olive oil and rosemary together in a small bowl; microwave 20 seconds to melt butter.
3. Stir butter mixture and pour over popcorn; toss.
4. Sprinkle cheese, garlic salt and pepper over popcorn; toss again and serve.