Here's a flavor-packed play on popcorn that will charm blue cheese lovers right out of their ballgame snack rut. When we discovered there was no microwave in this round's Test Kitchen — what a twist! — I simply tore open the bag into a pot (it has its own oil built-in so you don't need to add any extra), placed the lid on tightly and gave it a few shakes when the kernels started popping.
The key to proper cheese distribution with a crumbly cheese like blue that doesn't take well to being grated is a quick freeze. Once frozen hard, you can grip the hunk and grate the cheese into fine shreds that cling, melt evenly and hold ground black pepper, rather than crumbles which fall to the bottom of the bowl, along with all the black pepper.
- 1 bag microwave popcorn, or about 1/2 cup popping kernels
- 1 tablespoon canola oil, (if popping on the stove)
- 1 3-ounce chunk blue cheese, which has been in the freezer (unwrapped) for an hour
- 1 heaped tablespoon fresh coarsely ground black pepper
- kosher salt, to taste
- Remove the cheese from the freezer and grate over a Microplane into a bowl, then transfer the bowl to the fridge.
- Microwave the popcorn, or if using kernels, heat canola oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat until shimmering, then add the kernels, cover tightly and wait for popping.
- Shake the pot from side to side to help the kernels pop, and when most of the corn is popped and there's 3-4 seconds in between pops, remove from heat and keep the lid on until you don't hear any more popping. When you take off the lid, a couple of pieces might fly out, but they're harmless.
- While it's still hot, toss popcorn with cheese and pepper in a large mixing bowl, mix a little with your hands to help the cheese and pepper adhere, and serve immediately.
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