Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Pop Open The Champagne!

I was planning to serve champagne to some family friends before we went out to dinner and I decided to search around for the perfect snacks to go with it. 

I found the usual foie gras and anything with truffles, but I wanted something more fun. Anything with cheese was a common suggestion, so I made some smoked gouda choux puffs. (See note below.) 

Then I kept coming across another suggestion which really surprised me – POPCORN! I had never even THOUGHT of popcorn with champagne before. I studied up on various seasonings and I ended up making Rosemary and Thyme Buttered Popcorn and I have to say, although it was good on its own, it was REALLY wonderful with the champagne. 

As I looked around more, I decided I was the last person on earth to know that Champagne and popcorn belong together. Last year at Oscar time, this liquor store site posted a perfect explanation of why this is.
I agree! What THEY said!

Anyhoo, here’s my recipe using Paul Newman’s finest microwave popcorn. Obviously, you can use “real” popcorn and it will be even better…


Rosemary and Thyme Buttered Popcorn

½ tsp. Kosher salt
5 sprigs of rosemary, stripped
6 sprigs of thyme, stripped
4 tbls. unsalted butter

1 3.5 oz. bag Paul Newman Natural Microwave Popcorn

More thyme sprigs for garnish

Place salt in a mini food processor (or big one) with rosemary and thyme. Process until chopped finely.

Place butter in small saucepan. Place on low heat to melt and stir in salt and herb mixture. Leave pan on low until butter is completely melted. Cook for 2 minutes on low. Remove from heat until ready to use.

Pop popcorn according to package instructions.  Reheat herb butter for a minute or so. Pour popcorn into large bowl. Pour over butter. Stir with metal slotted spoon. (A salad serving spoon works well.) Pour into serving bowl. Garnish with fresh sprigs of thyme. Eat…now. Serve with champagne.

NOTE: I used this recipe for the choux puffs with the following additions:
  • I used grated smoked gouda cheese.
  • Add the flour OFF the heat and then stir the mixture vigorously on the heat.
  • The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the choux puffs. After turning down the heat, start checking them after 15 minutes. They should be well-browned.


The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

If you're willing to take a long-handed route, I learned a trick from Emeril years ago. You put a spring of rosemary in the popper when you're popping the corn. The flavor infuses perfectly. I use a Whirly Pop and I love it. Sometimes I add a bit of bacon fat or duck fat in with the oil too. Too bad the hubs doesn't like rosemary in his popcorn. He wouldn't eat gouda puffs either, but I see that as a "more for me" type of situation. (He would eat the popcorn, but he would complain)

I do see how champagne and popcorn would be good together. It's like having soda and popcorn at the movies. Bubbles and popcorn just work together.

Sue said...

Hi Rach!
I LOVE that idea! I wonder if I could jam that rosemary sprig in the bag of microwave popcorn somehow. That's probably asking for trouble...Bacon fat? Yeah!!!!!!!

Vanda Calmeyer said...

Looks yummy.

Sue said...

Hi Vanda,
I may have that popcorn (and champagne!) available next time you visit. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue,

While I think people should always eat and drink as they like, I have to say I don't like popcorn with champagne. And rosemary is a difficult herb with both reds and whites unless you cook it a long time. So I'll pass this time!


Sue said...

Hi Tom,
I don't disagree with you about rosemary. It's dreadful with wine. It's funny...I thought about that as I looked around for seasoned popcorn and champagne write ups. No one raised a red flag, so I did add rosemary to my herb mix and it didn't bother me at all with the champagne. (I won't mention that I also like potato chips with champagne...)