The time-honored French lemon-and-brown-butter sauce known as beurre meunière often dresses steamed vegetables and sautéed fish. At San Diego's Saltbox Dining & Drinking, chef Simon Dolinky uses it to transform the cinema-house favorite: popcorn. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and herb-laden finish of thyme and parsley to offset the rich sauce. Have the popcorn star in an upcoming movie marathon, award-show screening or sports final.
Recipe adapted from Simon Dolinky, Saltbox Dining & Drinking, San Diego, CA
Yield: 18 to 20 cups
Cook Time: 20 minutes
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme, divided
1½ tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup popcorn kernels
¼ cup thinly sliced chives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. In a medium saucepot set over medium heat, add the butter and cook until it turns golden brown and smells toasted, about 8 minutes. Add 1½ tablespoons of the thyme and the parsley and cook for 10 seconds. Slowly add the lemon juice and set aside.
2. In a large stockpot set over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and the popcorn kernels. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Once the corn starts to pop (about 5 minutes), shake the pot constantly until the popcorn has finished popping (5 to 7 minutes more). Remove the pot from the heat, carefully remove the cover and toss the popcorn with the chives, the remaining ½ tablespoon of thyme and the reserved brown-butter sauce. Season with salt and pepper and serve.