By Request

Betty Shimabukuro

At-home recipe for
tinted corn proves elusive

Today's topic is popcorn, as evidenced by the article at right. It seemed a good time to once again tackle Terry Gruber's request for colored, sweetened popcorn.

Gruber is after a make-it-at-home recipe for the sort of rainbow-toned popcorn sold in snack shops, not the sticky type that goes into popcorn balls. Her request drew several responses, mostly from others hungry for the same snack; a few with recipe suggestions.

Unfortunately, none of them worked. They included a couple that involved making a syrup and pouring it over popped kernels and one that involved Jell-O powder, which doesn't seem right at all.

The recipe that follows is not perfect. I consider this a recipe-in-progress, a sort of interactive cooking challenge for loyal readers. It is adapted from one sent in by Sandi Wong of Moanalua, who makes it in a Whirley Pop, a stovetop popper with a hand crank. The directions are modified here for a regular skillet.

It produces a very nice, sweet treat, worth trying in it's own right -- but the sugar coating is not quite as deep and even as Gruber's after.

So here's the challenge: If you know how to make this sweet treat, teach me how. There's a free cookbook in it for you, from our extensive collection.

It would be great to accomplish this by Halloween.

In the meantime, those who'd like to try this version, it's a light, tasty treat. Wong makes hers with a bit of salt, which you could try if you like the sweet-salty idea.

The only trick is to carefully monitor the popping so the corn doesn't burn. Keep the heat moderate and shake the pan often.

Sugared Corn

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup unpopped popcorn
3 to 4 tablespoons sugar
Food coloring, optional

Place oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 or 3 kernels of corn. Cover skillet. When corn pops, oil is ready. Remove popped kernels and add remaining popcorn. Sprinkle with sugar and a few drops of food coloring (be careful, the coloring can make the oil pop). Stir to mix oil, corn and sugar (don't be afraid; it won't start popping right away). Cover. Open the vent if your cover has one, or leave slightly ajar.

Corn will start popping slowly, then faster. Shake pan occasionally and remove from heat when the popping slows again. Spoon popcorn into a large bowl and toss to cool.

Nutritional information unavailable.

Tahitian Lanai, revisited

In my request pile are several that reflect nostalgia for the old Tahitian Lanai. If you have any of these recipes, get in touch (contact information is listed below). Again, a free cookbook goes to anyone who comes up with a recipe that tests well.

>> Tom Nuss, Jenny Hong and Dianna Lewis all want to make the Moa Ta Haari Chicken, which Lewis describes as a chicken-in-a-coconut that had spinach and a light brown creamy, curry sauce.

>> Diane Aerts is after the mahimahi dish served for breakfast at the restaurant. "It was cooked in an egg batter served with eggs," she recalls.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Send queries along with name and phone number to:
"By Request," Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
500 Ala Moana, No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813.
Or send e-mail to bshimabukuro@starbulletin.com

Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.

Do It Electric!



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