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Fancy Popcorn

I am having book club at my house tomorrow night and the book we read (Water for Elephants) is all about life in the circus. I have come up with some great "high end" circus foods; but i can't decide on the popcorn. I know Giada does a Parm and Pec Popcorn, and I have had Rosemary and Pine Nut Popcorn; however, i want to do something else! Please send me your ideas for the perfect popcorn spice. Please keep in mind that it is going to sit out all night; so i need it to stand up really well.

if you have any other fun carnival / circus treats that would also work; i'm all ears.

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  1. Any access to duck fat? There is nothing like duck fat-fried popcorn...

    1. Any kind of popcorn you let sit out all night won't do well. Unless you coat it with shellac.

      I've always liked garlic butter on my popcorn, with a little Worcestershire and Tabasco in the sauce. An alternative is dissolving some crumbled blue cheese in the butter. To get nice corn, though, you're going to have to prepare it just a few minutes before serving.

      1. How about some carmel corn with nuts in it. Definitely circus, can be made now, and will last for a week or so. Peanuts in the shell, little messy.

        1. MikeLM thank you for your thoughts; i know popcorns will heavy oils and cheeses won't stand up; which is why i specified it in my request that it is something that can sit for a while.

          I know there are a lot of spice combos i am not thinking of.

          1. soy sauce and 5 spice powder

            chili and lime

            garam masala and lime

            zataar

            sumac and crunchy salt (like a twist on salt and vinegar)

            3 Replies
            1. re: chocabot

              Or go to the japanese aisle in an asian grocery.. they have tons of little seasoning shakers that add killer spices & tastes to popcorn. I have a little orange topped bottle I've seen at oh so many japanese restuarants as the 'pepper' condiment - with orange rind, black sesame, and chilis.. Tasty + it's got texture so it looks neat.

              1. re: chocabot

                I think you are my kind of popcorn eater, Chocabot! Now I know what to do with all that sumac sitting in my cupboard.
                My current favorite is soy sauce mixed into the melted butter with Japanese seaweed/sesame seed sprinkle.

                1. re: Chowpatty

                  A query about where to find sumac in Minnesota has been split to the Midwest board: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/446800

              2. can't remember which famous chef makes this...maybe joel robuchon or jean georges?...but basically it's popcorn, probably popped in butter?...and then salted with black truffle salt. simple but obviously very gourmet. you just need to find a gourmet shop that carries black truffle salt - it's got very fine grains, like popcorn salt.

                1 Reply
                1. re: rcinsf

                  Popcorn sprinkled with truffle salt is my favorite way to make it now, either popped in duck fat or grapeseed oil or even Canola. With the truffle salt, I've never used butter.

                2. A take on Kettle Corn. maybe a little corn syrup lots of butter and salt. Or however they do it. But a sweet one would be nice.

                  1. This is not "fancy" popcorn, but it is "really really good" popcorn:

                    Caramel Popcorn
                    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Caramel-...

                    I've made it for many get togethers and everyone loves it. It keeps well and reminds me of the caramel popcorn you can get in downtown Chicago.

                    1. How about a popcorn 'bar'? You can make a giant bowl of buttered popcorn then have a selection of spices and salts in little dishes with spoons for you guests to spinkle on their own bowl of popcorn.

                      I like lavendar salt on mine.

                      P

                      1. Pamela - that is an awesome idea. i ended up just using fresh parm and black pepper, however, we throw a Superbowl party every year, and that will be perfect.

                        1. salt, red pepper, black pepper

                          salt, cinnamon, sugar

                          1. Add some truffle oil to your popcorn. Yum!! How about small bags of candied nuts and Saltwater taffy? Seems appropos of the time the book was set in.

                            (I just finished that book for my book club too. Really enjoyed it! I'm trying to remember any food references they made while discussing the midway but cannot.)