June 9, 2010

None of these ingredients are new, not one is exotic and I’ll bet all of them are in your kitchen right now. It was simply a series of steps (with said  average ingredients) that lead me to an extraordinary result… I re-created the taste of good old-fashioned, super crappy, weird, bad-for-you MOVIE POPCORN BUTTER. You know, the translucent yellow stuff they pump onto your popcorn at the movie theater, or if your really lucky, trustingly let you to self-serve, like at the Angelika.

Except this version was none of those derogatory things. I happened upon this discovery while working on the seasoning for some mashed potatoes. I was kind of making some roasted garlic/garlic oil which is a very flavorful/useful trick to know. The garlic becomes very sweet and spreadable when slow cooked and it flavors the oil with its goodness at the same time. In this case, I didn’t put in perfect, whole cloves as done before. Instead, I gave each clove of garlic a quick bash with the flat side of my knife to break it apart. When cooked, instead of becoming soft and roasty, crushing them first makes them golden and crispy. Pureed  with the oil, some butter and a little salt created a smooth, pale sauce, the taste reminiscent of the addictive, salty, buttery dreamy stuff I knew as a kid. Sadly, the original recipe for movie popcorn butter probably does’t have a single one of those ingredients in it, but I am much happier when I am eating something I can recognize and anyway, I’m a little older now.

The last time I went to Angelika, I got a ton of popcorn but could not bring myself to put a even a squirt of that stuff on it. But the revamp… is like liquid gold. It was fantastic mashed up with whole boiled potatoes and I can imagine it being superior drizzled over some bread (then used for lobster roll!), as the base for some fresh herbs on pasta, certainly on homemade popcorn or anyplace you can imagine garlic and butter being really delicious. Ha!


10 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup softened butter

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

  • Separate cloves from the head of garlic and, using the heel of your hand, carefully bash each one with the flat side of the knife, the root should stay mostly in tact. This will also loosen the papery skin. Remove skin and discard.
  • Place the garlic cloves and the oil in a small saucepan.
  • Cook at the lowest heat possible, stirring occasionally until cloves are a light golden brown and crisp around the edges. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes or until bubbling stops.
  • Carefully pour the garlic and oil into a blender or food processor along with the butter and the salt.
  • Puree until you have a smooth, pale yellow liquid. Check for seasoning. Add water for desired consistency.
  • Use to flavor just about anything; mashed potatoes, grilled fish or vegetables, for garlic bread, dip for shellfish….etc.

One comment

  1. It sounds yummy. This is perfect for our friday night movie time. Thanks for sharing.

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