created at: 2013-12-26
I always have high hopes for my December vacation days. I make extended to-do lists, intend to clean out the junk drawer, and make plans with friends. But every year, most of my plans get trumped by the rare opportunity to laze around in my pajamas and watch movies. Last year, I made bagels to ward off the guilt of laziness. This year, I’m making popcorn.

If you don’t often make your own popcorn, you may be surprised to hear that it’s almost as easy as pushing a button on your microwave. The key is to let the kernels tell you when they’re done popping: Once the popping slows to just one or two every several seconds, the popcorn is ready to dress up.

Nutritional yeast may sound more clinical than culinary, but it’s actually a flaky powder that’s often used in vegan dishes to add cheesy, nutty flavor. Here, it acts as the cheesy complement for fresh dill and a slew of other seasonings. It’s reminiscent of Little Lad’s Herb Popcorn, which you can pick up in most supermarkets. Both the store-bought stuff and this imitation are great for snacking on during movie nights at home, or sneaking into theaters. But why get out of your pajamas if you don’t have to?

Herb Popcorn

You can find nutritional yeast in the bulk section of Whole Foods Market.

Makes about 10 cups

2½ tablespoons canola oil
½ cup popcorn kernels
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1½ tablespoons minced fresh dill
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. In Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 1½ tablespoons canola oil over medium-high heat. Add a few popcorn kernels. When they start sizzling, add rest of kernels. Cover pot, remove from heat, and shake pot vigorously side to side so each kernel is covered with oil. Let sit for 30 seconds.

2. Slide pot back onto heat and cook until popping stops, about 2 minutes, shaking pot gently every 15 seconds.

3. Carefully transfer popcorn to large bowl. Add nutritional yeast, dill, salt and chili powder. Toss to evenly distribute.