Congratulations, you made it to the weekend! If you’re absolutely nothing like me, maybe you went out yesterday for St. Patrick’s day and drank too much at a bar packed with too many people. I’m much older in my heart than my true age, so my idea of a good time is a relaxed cocktail hour with close friends or family, and of course good snacks.
This popcorn is a perfect drinking snack. It’s crunchy and salty, with a great mix of textures and flavors. If I were you I would put the whole batch in one big bowl for everyone to share.
I used Kerrygold butter here because I was lucky enough to talk to a self-proclaimed Butter Connoisseur who described the flavor as ‘popcorny’, which really set me off on a mission to see if it was true. I mean, who doesn’t want to improve their homemade popcorn with a butter that adds onto the flavor! In this recipe there are so many other flavors competing that you can’t necessarily discern the nuances of the butter from everything else, so feel free to use any type of butter you like.
Because this popcorn has a mexican flavor profile I think it would pair especially well with a cold beer or margarita. A warm spring evening enjoyed on the patio is optional, but if you’re lucky to have both of those please enjoy your drinks and snacks there.
- 1 T vegetable oil
- 3/4 c. popcorn kernels
- 4 T butter, melted
- 2 t. lime juice (from 1 lime)
- 1 t. aleppo pepper flakes
- 2-3 T cotija cheese
- 2 T chopped cilantro (optional)
- salt to taste
- In a large pot with a lid or a Whirly Pop, add the oil and popcorn kernels over medium high heat. Cover, shaking intermittently, until all kernels are popped. Remove popcorn to a large bowl.
- Melt the butter in the microwave in a small bowl and add lime juice and 3/4 t. salt. Drizzle over popcorn and toss to coat. Add the crumbled cotija and aleppo pepper and toss again. Taste and add more salt if needed. Garnish with cilantro.
- If you want to make this popcorn ahead of time, bake on a large rimmed baking sheet at 300° for about 5-7 minutes to dry it out.