red Thai curried popcorn

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*Three quart Magnalite pot
* splash screen

* one half cup popcorn kernels
* one tablespoon vegetable oil
* two tablespoons unsalted butter
* small pile grated Parmigiano Reggiano or some other hard cheese
* teaspoon red Thai curry
* 1/2 teaspoon coriander
* 1/4 teaspoon sea salt.

McGee page 480.

As the temperature inside the corn kernel reaches and passes the boiling point, the protein matrix and starch granules soften, and moisture in the granules turns into steam. The steam softens the starch even more, and the many thousands of little steam pockets exert a growing pressure against the hull. The softening of starch and protein continues until the internal pressure approaches seven times the external pressure of the atmosphere, at which point the hull breaks open. The sudden pressure drop inside the kernal causes the pockets of steam to expand, and with them expands the soft protein-starch mixture, which puffs up and then stiffens as it cools off, becoming light and crisp. (If the popping is done in a tightly covered pan that offers no escape for the water vapor, the endosperm will retain it and be tough and chewy; the pan lid should be left slightly ajar.)


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