God forgive me for this admission but ... I really love tequila. I love it straight, I love it in margaritas and now, apparently, it's really good on popcorn. I found this on Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks site and she reprinted this (with permission) from Popcorn by Patrick Evans-Hylton. (Sasquatch Books 2008). **And now I'm confused ... what's the protocol here? I've cited Heidi's site and the book itself. Am I still being a blog bastard? If I offend anyone by reprinting this recipe, my sincere apologies - I'm just still drunk on tequila. Or ignorance.
Will anyone believe me when I say I did not intend for these pictures to be blurry? No, I wasn't sampling the tequila! Just cooked with it!**
Word to the wise: Don't overbake this which is easy to do if you're trying to make two different recipes at the same time.
Chili Lime Tequila Popcorn
4 quarts freshly popped popcorn
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon tequila
1/2 small jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Preheat the oven to 300F degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat (hs note: or unbleached parchment paper). Set aside.
Put the popcorn in a large, clean paper bag or a washable muslin bag. In a medium-size bowl whisk together the butter, lime juice and zest, and tequila. Add the jalapeno. In a small bowl combine the black pepper, salt, red pepper, and cumin.
Drizzle half of the butter mixture over the popcorn, fold over the top of the bag, and shake until the popcorn is coated and moist. Taste. Add more of the butter mixture if you like, and give a second shake. Sprinkle (most of) the pepper mixture over the popcorn, fold over the top of the bag, and shake a few times to coat. Taste, and if you'd like more pepper flavor add the rest of it.
Spread the popcorn evenly over the baking sheet and bake until the popcorn is dry, five to seven minutes.
Make 4 quarts of popcorn.
**Another note - I'd cut back on the butter and add more tequila - but that's just me. I'd also add more lime zest. I love lime zest.
**Yet another comment on the photos above - A) I suck at taking pictures, truly and B) that bottle of tequila? Yeah - I have no clue what the vintage of this was, but my beloved late Grandma Boots loved margaritas and when she moved out of her home, Ryan and I inherited her liquor cabinet. This was one of our "treasures." Smells like tequila, but I'll be honest - it will be a cold day in hell before I take a shot out of that. I'm scared it's gonna kill me.