Peace, Love and Caramel Corn

August 28th, 2011 · No Comments · Recipes

While the title may be a bit flighty for you, there’s real sentiment beneath my popcorn mantra. This weekend was a blue-sky bell ringer on the Central Coast. Carmel’s 14th Street beach was waiting patiently for dozens of hopeful revelers to descend on its white sands. My friends up to the task, packed up beach blankets, bags and booze to join up with a party already in swing. But, due to anaphylactic shock, the party host was rushed away to the ER (he ended up being fine btw). The hopeful group became disjointed couples, unsure whether to pack it in or stay and make due. “We have four bottles of wine and five beers.” “We have two bags of chips and some salsa.” “Oh!  A Mexican Coke!” And, so it went…until a larger party, a picnic feast, a roaring bonfire and new friends were made. Vanilla-Curry Caramel Corn was one of my contributions to the stone soup fete. It was a big hit, and now reminds me of the fun.

Vanilla-Curry Caramel Corn*

8 T butter
1 c light brown sugar
1/4 c agave nectar
2 t mild curry powder
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 t baking soda
10 c popped popcorn

-Line 2 large sheet trays with waxed paper; set aside. Melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar, agave, curry powder, and salt; bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Continue to boil, without stirring, 4 minutes; remove pot from heat and carefully stir in vanilla and baking soda until well combined.

-Place popcorn in a large bowl. Working quickly, pour hot caramel over popcorn and use a spoon to coat evenly. Transfer to reserved sheet trays and spread out in an even layer. Set aside to cool completely, then serve.

-Makes about 10 cups.

-The recipe calls for mild curry powder, but my friends and I agreed that the curry flavor is so mild that if you like spice it would be fine to increase the curry or add a stronger variety.

*While I do not bow at the altar of Oprah Winfrey, I do often like the magazine’s recipes. This recipe by Cat Cora appeared in the September 2001 issue.

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