It came as a big surprise when I found out that many people don’t know about Ranch popcorn. Last year, a client had a marketing campaign going for Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (dry spice packs and bottled). Even here in Texas, the beautiful Lone Star State that adores Ranch on just about everything, folks didn’t know the simple way to make a Ranch popcorn recipe.
I began using Ranch on popcorn years ago. Too many years ago to really even know when the thought occurred to me that by using a Ranch dry seasoning packet, I could have Ranch popcorn any time I wanted. Before this revelation, I’d have to wait until Christmas time when the large tins of flavored popcorn are sold at the grocer’s.
A few tips about making Ranch popcorn:
Start with a little and work your way up. If you butter and Ranchify your popcorn with a heavy hand, there’s no turning back. The popcorn is wasted and thrown into the trash. Or strewn about the yard for the birds to eat. Save yourself the trouble and build slowly. Some people – believe it or not – don’t like Ranch on their popcorn. Others will enjoy the taste, but a little goes a long way (with both the butter and Ranch seasoning).
I like it light. I’ve been eating popcorn for as long as I can remember. My mom, like all the moms of the 60s and 70s, enjoyed popping batches of popcorn for family and friends. She’d make so much we’d have leftover popcorn (which is quite good if it’s stored properly). I’ve eaten popcorn everywhere from at home to the theater, and I’ve developed a simplistic taste for the treat. I will not eat popcorn laden with butter – so much that it’s dripping and soft – nor will I tolerate flavoring on my popcorn that’s over the top. A little goes a long, long way in my world.
You can add more. Most people probably can go with more butter and/or Ranch. Feel free to make this recipe yours; that’s the fun of working in the kitchen. You can design your Ranch popcorn according to your tastes.
Ingredients matter. I used to purchase Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning packets for this recipe. HEB’s version is cheaper and just as tasty. You don’t have to spend big bucks to make this recipe taste good. I also use white popcorn but that’s simply a matter of preference. I like that taste and look of white popcorn more than I do the yellow kernels. Last, please use butter in this recipe. Margarine, fake butter, etc., ain’t gonna cut it.
For those of you who are uninitiated in the ways of Ranch, as we lovingly call Hidden Valley Ranch dressing in these here parts, here’s my highly coveted recipe.
1/2 cup of popcorn kernels
1-2 T butter
2-3 tsp Ranch seasonings mix
Pop the corn. While it’s cooking, melt one to two teaspoons of butter in the microwave.
Drizzle the melted butter over the warm popcorn. Keep stirring with a large spoon so the butter is distributed evenly. Add the Ranch seasonings mix and continue stirring until the seasoning is mixed in.