CHEESY CHICK-FLICK POPCORN

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“MR. DARCY, THE CLOSETED FETISH OF MODERN FEMINISTS”

OK… OK so I lied.  I didn’t go outside last week…  As a matter of fact, I didn’t go outside for the entire three consecutive blue-sky-days…  I’ve been home.  I’ve been home all this time, alone by myself with Jason on a business trip… helplessly, drowning in a bloodbath of some of the ultimate, eternal cinematic achievements known to women.  One.  Classic.  Hit.  After.  Another….  Twelve Years Of Slaves?…  Neeuuu….

Ladies, bust out your most shameless, worthless, dirtiest secret stash… it’s home-alone chick-flicks extravaganza night.

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But steady now, girls, we wouldn’t want to appear too eager.  Before we get into the serious business of film-critiquing… we need something to munch on the red carpet, don’t we?  And I happen to have the cheesiest thing you can fathom to go with.  So here’s the thing…

I’ve been somewhat involved with homemade popcorns recently, and boy, did I stumble.  I mean let’s be frank here girls, there are heartless, uncommitted, lying-sack-of-cheats recipes out there… even the seemingly-promising could mislead, and to save you from some heartbreaks, here’s what you need to know.  If the recipe involves a wet finish = he’s an asshole.  Popped-corns should just swear off any of these false hopes – sort of how Iris did with Jasper in The Holidays - because moisture just makes them downright soggy (sirracha, don’t call me again, ever)!  Yes, NOT even melted butter, because maybe… just maybe you’ll get a couple airy survivors in the beginning if you acted quickly, but I guarantee you that before Channing could give us a full back-frontal in The Vow… fuck, SOGGY popcorns, which is a word that shouldn’t come within a mile in association with that dreamboat.  To introduce butter to your popcorn, and you should by all means, is to do it sensibly right in the beginning.  The browned/clarified butter will coat every kernel with nutty aroma, prompt them for long-term commitment, and then?  Then they await to be coated in some Magic-Mike flavour-dusts.

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Now this, this I discovered like Serendipity.  Homemade cheese powder.

We’ve all wondered, why can’t I cheetos everything?  Semi-hard cheeses like cheddar or gouda don’t seem to “powderize” naturally with all their moistures, but we long for that punch in our snacks.  Given that there are commercial “cheese” powders you could buy nowadays, I assume you know why you shouldn’t.  So just when I was about to give up on the orange wonder-dust with color as bright as a flag on a lab-rat’s tumor-marker test, I found this.  A while ago, I mindlessly left a plate of grated cheddar cheese out on the counter overnight, and discovered the next day, perfectly dried-out cheddar in the same texture as really aged Parmigiano.  Well, I did nothing with it.  In fact, I Cluelessly deemed it as useless and threw it away like it was Josh, only to recall its existence a few days ago when I stood heartbroken in front of a bowl of flavourless popcorn realizing… omg, it’s JOSH!  I mean, cheese powder!  I ran back to the kitchen, we stood… we glanced (for like 12 hours)… then we slowly approached each other and I run my finger through its cornmeal-like crumbs in disbelief… and finally, we French kissed ferociously (music~~).

The cheesiest love story popcorns you will ever encounter with ingredients you can actually pronounce.  Now, if you can’t get pass a little suspense/heart-torment before a happy ending, you clearly can’t appreciate a good chick-flick.  Speaking of which…

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Ladies, tonight the nominees are….

  1. You’re Got Mail:  Oh, one of my absolute favourite… probably because it isn’t a romantic-comedy, but more like an Upper West Side-porn with a heart-stroking happy ending…
  2. The Vow:  If I woke up from a coma and people tell me Channing Tatum with all his dreamy beefcakes is my husband… I’d start going to church.
  3. The Holidays:  Real-life assholes make such addictive male-protagonists… and I’m not talking about Jack Black.
  4. About a Boy/Notting Hill:  Real-life assholes make such addictive male-protagonists…
  5. Pride And Prejudice:  Oh please, deny all you want.  Even if you can’t bring yourself to admit to the originals, if you didn’t like Bridget Jones’s Diary?  There’s no honesty in your heart.  Because Mr. Darcy is the closeted fetish of every modern feminists.
  6. Don’t even get me started on Disney’s classics…. Oh Eric, I think Max is gonna love some of these meatballs

What’s your list?  And now you have the cheesiest popcorns to go with, too.  Because once in awhile, a girl just needs to get lost in cheesiness.

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Serves: Two One person

The process may sound long but it takes absolutely no work at all.  You could choose any sharp, medium-hard cheese like aged cheddar and gouda to dry, and the drying time would depend on the moisture level in the cheese that you’ve chosen.  I’ve picked out a piece of smoked edam cheese with the texture of a good aged cheddar, and it took about overnight ~ 12 hours in the fridge to dry.  130 grams of grated cheese will scatter loosely over a small sheet-tray, but if you have a larger fridge, you can of course increase the amount.  Parmigiano in itself is already dry, which can be applied to the popcorns directly.

Ingredients:

  • To make the cheese powder:
    • 5.2 oz (130 grams) of smoked Edam cheese (or aged sharp cheddar, or smoked aged gouda), finely grated
  • To make the cheesy popcorn:
    • 5 tbsp of cheese powder
    • 4 tbsp (0.7 oz /20 grams) of Parmigiano cheese, finely grated
    • 3/4 tsp of hot paprika
    • 1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
    • Fine salt to taste (the finer it is the better it grabs onto the popcorns)
    • 1/3 cup of dried kernels
    • 3 tbsp (43 grams) of unsalted butter
    • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil

To make the cheese powder:  Grate the smoked Edam cheese (or aged sharp cheddar, or smoked aged gouda) as finely as you can, then scatter it over a sheet-tray and air-dry in the fridge, uncovered, for at least overnight to a day (depends on the moisture level of your cheese).  Use your hands to “fluff” it around once in a while to help even-drying.  Once the grated cheese feels dry and crumbly, like the texture of grated Parmigiano, pulse it in small batches in a spice-grinder or food-processor (it’s important not to keep the machine running to prevent clumping) until it resembles fine cornmeals.  The drier the cheese is, the finer your grind can be.  Transfer to a container and keep refrigerated until needed.

To make the cheesy popcorn (technique adapted from simplyrecipes.com):  Heat 3 tbsp of unsalted butter in a small pot over medium heat until nutty and browned, then let sit for 2 min for the browned milk solids to settle to the bottom of the pot.  Mix together 5 tbsp of the cheese powder you made, plus 4 tbsp of grated Parmigiano cheese, hot paprika, freshly ground black pepper and a good pinch of salt to taste (depends on the cheese you’re using).  Set aside.

In a large cast-iron pot, add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil and 2 dried kernels (just 2!).  Cover the pot and set over medium-high heat, and wait for the first sound of the kernels popping (this’ll take a few min).  Once you hear the first pop, turn off the heat completely.  Then add 1/3 cup of dried kernels, and pour the browned butter in but leave most of the browned milk solid behind.  Cover the pot and give it a swirl while counting 30 seconds.  This period allows the kernels to heat/pop evenly.  After 30 seconds, turn the heat back on medium-high.  The kernels will start to pop soon, and once they do, shake the pot every few seconds and wait until the popping sound slows down to 2 seconds between each pop (during this time, you can keep a tiny opening on the lid for the steam to escape but I found that the corn pops perfectly either way).  Now turn off the heat completely, and transfer to popcorn to a large bowl.

Add the cheese-mixture to the popcorns while tossing them in the bowl.  Season with more salt if needed.

Put that DVD in the player, open that diet coke, kick back and enjoy.

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18 Comments

  • Story says:

    This my top my recent new favorite popcorn with ancho chili and lime. Cheese and browned butter can’t go wrong.

  • Yep, this popcorn and me are about to have a date. Yum!

  • drew says:

    All that girl stuff is great, but I am going to hit this up when I watch True Detective tomorrow night! It is only fair that dudes should be allowed to take advantage of this as well…

    • Tess says:

      Oh, wow, I’ve just found your website and to say that I’m in love with your recipes, photography and writing (you’re very funny!) would be an understatement!

      I’m not a fan of chick flicks (or even the term “chick flick”), I have to say. And I’m a girl, but I prefer shows like “True Detective” — to the guy who commented above… ;)

      That being said, I’ll have to try some of this popcorn, perfect for binge-watching House of Cards or Game of Thrones!

  • Stephanie says:

    This sounds positively excellent! When my husband (Jason as well!) leaves for work I find myself curled in front of the telly watching all the movies I love, which include but are not limited to: Sex & the City (of course!), Bridget Jones’ Diary, Twilight, and There’s Something About Mary. I’ve seen cheese powders available but never got near them because of the icky stuff they contain. It’s really great to know you can make it yourself at home with really little work at all! So awesome.

  • i’m not a popcorn kind of girl, but smother it with some caramel and my ass doesn’t fit into my skinny jeans any more.

    i always always always stop to watch He’s Just Not That Into You and Step Up when on tv, both filmed here in Baltimore, both incredibly awful.

  • cheri says:

    Wow! You have definitely elevated this dish, dried cheese crumbles. Oh Yeah!

  • Sophie says:

    BRAVO, homemade cheese powder! I could kiss you myself. I so rarely give myself time to watch a full movie but I recently fell in love with a recent version of Jane Eyre (the one with Michael Fassbener — hello, darling!). You’ve Got Mail is one of my favorites too, though. Meg and Tom were always great together! Thanks for another fabulous recipe and technique!

  • I’ve been wanting to have my ladies over to watch “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” with me…now I know the perfect snack!

  • Ambar says:

    I LOVE this post:)

  • cynthia says:

    It just figures that someone who somehow just knows my deepest craziest food cravings would also just know my cheesiest chick flick picks. LOVE this collection!!! Hahaha. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched that remake of Pride & Prejudice … not even sorry. And um, homemade cheese powder?! Girl. You just win.

  • Erika says:

    OH GET OUT. GET OUT. My boyfriend and I have the deeeeeeeepest obsession with white cheddar popcorn…like no joke when they stopped carrying our favorite brand at our local Kroger, he walked to Walgreens and bought 3 bags (resisted the urge to buy 2 more). I tried making stovetop popcorn a few weeks ago and sprinkled it with butter + parmesan but you’re right–the sog from the melted butter is just not good. I cannot wait to try this!!!!!!!!!!! I have a feeling this will seal the deal with the bf ;) If he proposes, it’s your fault.

    I love that you love the Vow! I have a personal soft spot for Bend It Like Beckham. The Princess Diaries. She’s the Man. I have such trashy taste in movies. And of course allllll the Disney movies except for Pinocchio.

  • Lynna says:

    Popcorn is one of my ultimate weaknesses!! I must try this!

    You`ve Got Mail is definitely one of my favorite chick flicks. She`s the Main, 17 Again, and Bridgemaids are some of my favorites, too. Hehe.

  • Lisa Z says:

    The Sure Thing, Crossing Delancey, and Room with a View!

  • Jack Guard says:

    I don’t know WHO you are or from what planet you came from…..but you are FREAKING BRILLIANT—-I have been so happy to find your site and your recipes are so finely worded and exquisite that anyone can make these wonderful dishes….I too have a ‘popcorn” recipe that ROCKS the house but am afraid to share it for fear some (*&)(^%$$ will make a billion 人民币 off my idea… :) Cheers to YOU..

  • june2 says:

    The Proposal (sandra bullock)
    Emma (gwyneth)

  • Deanna says:

    So I was craving cheesy popcorn, but was out of dried powder. Which made me sad until I decided I’d try to speed up the drying process by putting all the cheese a sheet tray and baking it like I was making fricos. Then I crumbled it. Cheese popcorn in 20 minutes flat.

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