Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Popcorn and Olive Oil?

It was over 100 degrees each day last weekend. That usually means we will have loads of friends over to eat, hang out..and just chill in the pool...and this weekend was no exception.. sometimes our friends phone first..sometimes they just show up.  In any case, I usually plan ahead to have enough food to feed a crowd. This is easy if the pantry is full of really good quality ingredients and if the kitchen has plenty of fresh, organic...straight from the farmer's market...produce and bread. I made a ton of food..but, as usual..one of the favorites was easily the simplest..popcorn!! However, my popcorn is different because..instead of butter..i always use extra virgin olive oil.

The popcorn and olive oil thing have been a staple in my family for as long as I can remember, so I always forget it is unusual. But every time I make it for someone new they rave! I even made this recipe (if you can call it that) for Wine Auction last year...representing a local company. The event featured some of the finest chefs in the Napa Valley preparing tastes of their signature dishes, yet the popcorn was one of the big hits of the day.

The key is the ingredients. The ingredients you chose will always make or break your dish so use the best quality products you can find. It is so worth it. Now on to the popcorn. Here is the "recipe":

organic popcorn
extra virgin olive oil
grey sea salt

That is it. Here is what you do for the complete version. Pop the corn in olive oil..you do not need an expensive version for this just make sure it is high quality and fresh. As soon as the corn is popped, drizzle with a really good, high-quality extra virgin olive oil. (I recommend the Prato Lungo from Long Meadow Ranch in the Napa Valley) and a really good grey sea salt.  I use the grey salt from Napa Style.  How simple is that? The taste is amazing..try it and let me know what you think..you can say it is an old family recipe too!
Here is a bit about long meadow ranch from their website:

"LONG MEADOW RANCH. Welcome to our 650-acre historic ranch nestled high atop the Mayacamas Mountains above the Napa Valley. Here we produce award-winning wines and handcrafted extra virgin olive oils - as well as grass-fed beef, eggs, and heirloom fruits and vegetables. Our extraordinary food products have been featured by America's top chefs.Our family - Ted, Laddie, and Christopher Hall - has re-established vineyards first planted on our ranch in the 1870s and we have resumed producing estate-bottled wine from the ranch's distinctive mountain "terrior."

Our vision is to make wines as food - to create world class wines that truly complement a meal - using sustainable, organic farming methods.However, our integrated organic farming system is built not only aroundwine making, but also includes world class estate-produced olive oil, a substantial herd of grass-fed Highland cattle, an organic vegetable garden, and an egg-producing poultry flock. We even breed and work our own Appaloosa and POA horses.
Taken together, we are creating a modern, commercially successful, version of the family farm - one that is widely acknowledged as a purveyor of fine food. All of our crops are organically produced and are certified by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). Our wines, oils, beef, and vegetables have been featured by America's top chefs.
Our award-winning, earth-formed, wine and olive oils facility and the adjacent moist, cool caves allow us to produce handcrafted wines and olive oils entirely on our own estate under carefully controlled conditions. Led by winemaker, Ashley Heisey, our staff is committed to pioneering modern approaches to their centuries-old crafts.

Their property is beautiful. I highly recommend a visit on your next trip to Napa.. and enjoy your popcorn! Oh..and here is a tip..if you do not have time to pop your own corn try using the paul newman organic microwave popcorn Pretty close!!
napa farmhouse 1885
"live a green life of style"


Anonymous said...

This sounds really good. I think I will make the popcorn for my 4th of July party.
Thank you

Anonymous said...

Yummy! I can't wait to try this. Healthy with the olive oil and delicious tasting.

Anonymous said...

We are having a group of friends over this afternoon for cocktails. Your popcorn recipe will be the featured appetizer. Thank you for the tip.

(from Seattle)

Anonymous said...

YUM!!!! I do something similar. We have a couple here in our town that is cold pressing grape seed oil - using grape seeds from wine varieties... So I used the merlot, grey sea salt to pop the corn... YUMMMM!... Love your BLOG!


Anonymous said...

Appetizers for the Fourth of July? Problem solved! Popcorn with olive oil.

Anonymous said...

hey there,
I have been making popcorn in olive oil for ages and i love it!! however, i was a little concerned when i heard information which claimed that one shouldnt 'fry' in olive oil. It seems that is exactly what we do when we make popcorn with olive oil, so I sought to discover its smoke point.
It seems its around 210 C (or 410 F), but there is some debate about this.
So I am just wondering if you think we should be careful about how high we turn the element up to, or if we should abandon our beloved snack.
I dont know if this uncertainty could cause a placebo, but i just ate a bowl and feel a bit of a headache. could it be a carbonized olive oil headache?
anyone with thoughts?? let me know.
Vancouver, B.C.
r (.) mathiesen (at) gmail (.) com

Linnycakes said...

Visiting from the SITS Spring Fling! I am a popcorn fanatic - yum! I always pop my popcorn with olive oil instead of butter, but never thought to drizzle oil over the popcorn!