Spicy Chili Cheese Popcorn
To make popcorn:
- 1 cup popcorn kernels
- 6 Tbsp. vegetable oil with a high smoke point (light olive oil is perfect)
- 3 Tbsp. Cheddar Cheese Powder
- 2 tsp. ground ancho chile
- 1 tsp. smoked sweet Spanish paprika
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt, finely ground
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 1/2 tsp. Mediterranean thyme
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Popping the corn: In a heavy bottomed pot (8 quart or more), combine the popcorn kernels and the vegetable oil. Spread the kernels into a single layer and apply over medium heat. Popping will take 5-10 minutes depending on the pot. Remove the heat as soon as the popping kernels slow (about 2-3 seconds between pops). If you are using a cast iron pot, be careful to not overheat as this will scorch the popped corn.
Combined seasoning: Combine the cheddar cheese seasoning, ancho chili powder, smoked Spanish paprika, granulated garlic, black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper in a small mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. As soon as the corn is finished popping, sprinkle the combined seasoning onto the popcorn a little at a time, tossing after each application to ensure a good distribution of the seasoning.
Separate seasoning: Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the popcorn about 1 tbsp. at a time and then toss after each application to ensure an even coating of the spices and olive oil. Finally, sprinkle the thyme leaves onto the popcorn and toss once more.