Mar. 31st
2011
written by scott

 DSC_0368
Popcorn can be boring.  As much as I love butter and salt, and I do love butter and salt, shoveling greasy handfuls of soggy popcorn into my facehole gets old within a few bites.  Luckily, we don’t have to rely on Orville and Redenbacher for the flavors we crave.  Using tapioca maltodextrin, a modified starch with an amazing talent for dehydrating fats, we can create flavored powders from a wide variety of foods.  In this recipe, we’re powdering duck fat to get all the flavor without the oily mess.  If you’re a popcorn fan, don’t just stop here – you can use the same basic technique for blue cheese and hot sauce, smoked salmon and cream cheese, barbeque, white chocolate, or any number of other bold toppings.

Makes: enough to season one bag of microwave popcorn, amply
Total kitchen time: 15 minutes

Shopping list:

  • 40g rendered duck fat
  • 25g tapioca maltodextrin
  • 1.5g cornstarch
  • 5g sea salt, or ultrafine salt
  • 1 bag microwaveable popcorn – unsalted
  • neutral oil in a spritzer, or 1 tsp. extra rendered duck fat

 

  1. Heat 40g duck fat in a skillet until it is completely liquid.  Transfer to a medium bowl.
  2. Add 20g of the tapioca maltodextrin (reserving 5g) and stir to combine with a fork.  Add the cornstarch and continue stirring.  The cornstarch will help prevent clumping.  The mixture should turn to a very light powder.  If it is still a thick paste, add the remaining 5g of maltodextrin and continue stirring.
  3. If using sea salt, add 5g to a clean coffee grinder.  Grind 30 seconds, or until the salt is very finely ground.  Set aside.
  4. Pop the popcorn, following the directions on your microwave and transfer to a large bowl.  If using an oil-free popcorn, spritz the popcorn with just enough oil to make it slightly sticky.  If you don’t have a spritzer, drizzle over 1 tsp. of melted duck fat to barely moisten the popcorn.
  5. Add the duck fat powder and toss to coat.  Add half the finely ground salt, then adjust the rest to taste.

This technique works best when powdering pure fats like duck fat or olive oil.  For powdering other fatty substances like cheeses, you will need to increase your ratio of maltodextrin and combine with the other ingredients in a blender.  It will turn into a thick, sticky goop, which you can spread thinly onto parchment and dehydrate in a low oven for a few hours.  When it’s brittle, drop it into a clean coffee grinder and pulse until you’ve got powder!  For an example, see the powdered cheese I made for my Most Pretentious Mac & Cheese Ever.

John Masley Arrest

7 Comments

  1. Justin
    31/03/2011

    Why not just pop kernels in rendered fat and then sprinkle salt on top? What you’ve come up with seems unnecessarily complicated.

  2. 31/03/2011

    @Justin – You certainly could do that, and I’m sure it would be delicious. What I wanted, though, was popcorn that was still dry to the touch, but had the flavor of duck fat. Also, there’s something special about the way the powdered fat rehydrates on your tongue – I’d bet it’s the same reason that Cheetos and Pirate’s Booty (popcorn) are so compelling!

  3. Sam
    31/03/2011

    Now, figure out a way to turn pickle juice into powder.

    Also, My favorite homemade popcorn salt now is using ‘truelime’..a crystallized lime product that’s widely available. (google it).

    Powder the salt in the coffee grinder, Mix with the lime powder, a touch of white pepper, paprika, garlic powder.

    (and here’s a bonus hint–clean the coffee grinder with a tablespoon of rice and touch of baking soda, and rinse)

  4. Justin
    01/04/2011

    @Scott – Pop 1/3 cup of kernels in 2Tbs of oil of any kind. You won’t find that it’s oily. Try it, compare, and report back!

  5. 17/04/2012

    Ok here is my “secret” to great popcorn:

    Flavor it with butter BUT clarify the butter! This makes it so the popcorn has the great butter taste BUT doesn’t get soggy or loose its crispness!

    Here is how to clarify buter:
    1) Melt two sticks butter in a clear microwave proof bowl or measuring cup.

    2) Skim off the froth on the top.

    3) The next section, the clearer section is what you want to keep for flavoring the popcorn. Carefully pour that off and set aside.

    3) discard the cloudy rest of the butter.

    Now use the clarified butter you set aside on the popcorn! It will have the great butter taste without making the popcorn soggy!

    Cool trick huh?

    Mark

  6. Replica Oakley Jawbone

    Powdered-Duck-Fat Popcorn Seasoning | Seattle Food Geek

  7. 10/08/2013

    tRRNnrzj

    Powdered-Duck-Fat Popcorn Seasoning | Seattle Food Geek

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