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This blockbuster season, add a gourmet touch to your favorite snack

By Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Content Agency on

For the popcorn:

1/4 cup (60 mL) canola oil

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unpopped popcorn kernels


1/4 cup (60 mL) evaporated milk powder or buttermilk powder

1/4 cup (60 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


1/8 teaspoon citric acid powder

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

For the popcorn, put the oil in a heavy-bottomed 1 1/2- or 2-quart saucepan. Add 3 or 4 kernels of the popcorn and place the pan over medium-high heat. When these test kernels pop, immediately add the remaining popcorn in a single layer, taking care to keep your hands, face and hair safely clear of the hot oil.

Cover the pan, and remove it from the heat for about 30 seconds. Then, return the covered pan to the heat and, as soon as you hear the kernels beginning to pop, gently shake the pan back and forth on the burner.

When the popping finally slows to 4 or 5 seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, carefully remove the lid to avoid the steam that will rise from the pot, and immediately empty the popcorn into a wide bowl.

While the corn is popping, prepare the spicy ranch powder: Put the evaporated milk powder, Parmesan, onion powder, garlic powder, citric acid powder and red pepper flakes into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Close the lid and shake the jar briefly but vigorously to combine the ingredients. Alternatively, pull all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir them together thoroughly.

As soon as the corn has finished popping and you've emptied it into a bowl, sprinkle the seasoning powder evenly over the hot popcorn and use a large spoon to toss it well, evenly coating all the kernels. Serve the popcorn immediately, dividing it among individual bowls or movie theater-style boxes or bags.



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