We’re gonna cut right to the chase: Orange is the New Black is coming back on Netflix on June 17, and this is some serious popcorn-eating material. And we’re not talking boring old microwave popcorn; we’re talking Hatch Chile-Coriander Popcorn. That’s right, friends, it’s a new world at Litchfield and it’s time to turn everything up a notch.
When we last left the women’s minimum security prison, a hole in the fence had suddenly provided the inmates with an unexpected taste of freedom with a swim in a nearby lake. But when they return, in Season 4, they’re in literally and figuratively a tighter spot. Turning the prison into a for-profit enterprise means it’s suddenly way crowded, the guards are on high alert, and the tension is running high. No spoilers here, but let’s just say you’re going to be on the edge of your seat waiting to find out how some new alliances shake out: who’s on top, and who’s (maybe literally) underground.
Dying with anticipation? Now’s the time to reach for the popcorn. This spicy and fragrant popcorn hits a citrus-y high note with lime juice and then the Hatch chile powder from Melissa’s Produce and fresh-ground coriander fill in the complex layers.
By the way, coriander seeds are amazing to cook with. To amp up the flavor, toast them lightly in a hot dry pan for two to three minutes (watch the seeds turn ever so slightly darker). Then immediately grind them (we use a mortar and pestle) into a coarse powder. You’ll sense the fragrance almost immediately – it’s earthy but fresh, like the cilantro plant. (In the U.S., the seed of this plant is called coriander while the plant itself is called cilantro).
- 2 T. vegetable oil
- ½ cup popping corn
- 2 tsp. coriander seeds
- 2 T. butter, melted
- Juice of two small limes
- ¼ to ½ tsp. Hatch chile powder, depending on preference
- ½ tsp. salt
- Pop the popcorn: Place the oil and 2 to 3 kernels of corn in a large saucepan and heat it over medium-high heat until the kernels pop. Add the remaining popcorn, cover the pot with a lid, and shake the pot so that the corn is evenly coated with oil. Continue shaking the covered pot occasionally, for approximately 3 minutes until the popcorn pops. Listen closely until the popping starts to slow down; then remove the pot from heat.
- Meanwhile, toast the coriander seeds: Place the seeds in a small frying pan and heat over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring or shaking the seeds repeatedly. Remove the seeds from the heat and place immediately in a bowl for grinding (a mortar and pestle works very well for this).
- Pour the popped popcorn into a large bowl. Drizzle the popcorn with the melted butter and lime juice. Then sprinkle on the Hatch chile powder, salt, and ground coriander seeds. Stir or shake so the spices are evenly distributed. Serve immediately.
Want to eat it with your kids? You don’t need to add too much Hatch chile powder to get just a little bit of smokiness without too much heat. We tried it with just 1/4 teaspoon of Hatch chile powder, and we got a nice “orange” color and smoky flavor without spiciness.
Also, this popcorn is best enjoyed right away, so plan to make it and serve it immediately. Although, come to think of it, we probably don’t even need to say that, because once you get a whiff of it, you’ll want to be munching it down. Oh, and you might have to make a few test rounds of this popcorn before the Orange is the New Black season start; just sayin’.
Blogger disclosure: I am a member of Netflix’s Stream Team. Netflix gave me a free membership in exchange for monthly posts. All opinions expressed are my own.