When a summer storm rolls through leaving me trapped at home, there are few things I love more than curling up on the couch to watch a movie or binge-watch my favorite TV show (again). It’s a guilt-free way to spend a summer evening inside without sacrificing time in the precious sun. It also means there will be popcorn. And it better be buttery!
Before you pour melted butter over your freshly popped popcorn, stop! Consider clarifying that butter. Clarified butter is an easy, quick way to get that theater-butter flavor without getting soggy popcorn. I see you - step away from the microwave. If you try this in your space oven you will be disappointed.
Begin by melting butter in a sauce pot on the stove.
Clarified butter can keep in the fridge for a month or so, so don’t be afraid to make more than you think you need. Notice as the butter melts it leaves behind a cloudy, milky liquid.
Once the butter is melted, bring to a boil. Stir often to keep the butter from burning. See how the butter becomes frothy.
Once it begins to smell nutty, remove it from the burner and wait for the bubbles to subside. You should see the butter separate from the milk solids and become a clear, yellow liquid. Depending on how much butter you are making, you may need to continue simmering to be sure the butter is clarified.
Once clarified, the milk solids should be very distinguishable from the golden liquid.
Now, strain the butter to be sure none of the milk solids make it into your popcorn. You can use cheesecloth or a coffee filter.
It may take a few minutes to completely strain, so feel free to use a chip clip to hold it in place over a container while you browse your Netflix queue.
When you come back to your butter, take a peak at the coffee filter and the sauce pot to see what milk solids are left behind. Those milk solids are the reason you may have had soggy buttered popcorn in the past.
Once you pour your clarified butter over your popcorn with salt and seasoning of your choice you can watch that next episode of The Golden Girls. Even Sophia Petrillo would be impressed with your gourmet popcorn!
Turning your movie night into a party? Try pairing your buttered popcorn with a Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon. My favorites are the Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay and the Sidekick Cabernet. Both of these are available at The Chopping Block. You can learn more about pairing food and wine at our upcoming How to Pair Food and Wine class.
Looking for some ideas for your leftover clarified butter? Try Potatoes Anna Redux or using it as a sauce for seafood, especially grilled shrimp.
Our Owner/Chef Shelley Young demonstrates the process of clarifying butter in this video.
Want more how to cook videos? Check out our online video library.