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This homemade popcorn tossed with garlic butter, Parmesan, oregano, and red pepper flakes is adapted from Crazy Good Italian: Big Flavors, Small Plates by D.C. Chef and Top Chef All-Stars runner up Mike Isabella. It’s insanely addictive (yes, crazy good) and exemplifies Isabella’s self-described cooking style: one part old-world Italian, one part old-school Jersey, one part modern Mediterranean — all parts delicious. You have to try it!
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Crazy Good Spicy Italian Popcorn
- 2½ tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup popcorn kernels
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Heat the vegetable oil in a very large pan over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn, then cover with a tight fitting lid (alternatively, cover tightly with foil). Wait for the popcorn to start popping, then shake the pan gently every now and again to keep the kernels moving. When the popping slows to 2-3 seconds apart, remove the pan from the heat.
- Melt the butter in the microwave (be sure the bowl is big enough so that it won't bubble over). Add the garlic and microwave for 1 minute more. Pour the garlic butter through a fine meshed strainer into a small bowl; discard the garlic.
- In a mini food processor or spice grinder, grind the Parmigiano-Reggiano, red pepper flakes, oregano and salt until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Transfer the popcorn to a serving bowl. Pour the garlic butter over the popcorn and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the cheese mixture and toss again until the popcorn is evenly coated.
Gluten-Free Adaptable Note
To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.