Abigail Cahill O'Brien

Make it at Home: Tom Block’s Smoked Tomato & Paprika Popcorn

In Food on March 15, 2010 at 8:09 am

If you love popcorn, you must make this.

On Saturday we reviewed the melee that was my first trip to Kalustyan’s.  The ostensible reason for the trip was tomato powder, an ingredient for Tom Block’s addictive Popcorn with Tomato and Parika.  Tom, formerly of Falai and Aquavit, is the new Executive Chef shaking things up at Allen & Delancey.  He serves this popcorn at the bar.

The combination of tomato and paprika creates tang and the slightest suggestion of heat. I personally polished off a serving while waiting for friends to arrive for dinner. It’d be killer with a refreshing basil-flavored cocktail.

Lucky us!  Here’s how to recreate his brilliance in your own kitchen.   When you’re in New York next, don’t miss his food, which is perfectly matched to the velvet-and-candlelight-swathed dining room.

Popcorn with Tomato and Paprika (10 servings)

  • 1 Tbsp Canola Oil
  • 1 Cup Unpopped Popcorn Kernels
  • 1/2 Lb Melted Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Tomato Powder
  • 1/3 Cup Smoked Sweet Paprika
  • 2 Tblsp Salt
  1. Cook popcorn in a covered pan with canola oil cook until popcorn stops popping, approximately 5 mins.
  2. While popcorn is popping, mix together  tomato powder, paprika, and salt.
  3. Once popcorn is cooked, toss with melted butter.  After popcorn is coated in butter toss in spice mixture to taste.
  4. Consume immediately or when cool place in an airtight container. It will last over 1 week if stored properly.

A couple notes: I used sweet paprika as opposed to hot.  If you reduce the butter, reduce the powder mixture by the same amount; otherwise you’ll find a lot of it wasted at the bottom of the bowl.  And finally, proper storage is key.  I stored some in takeout soup containers and it did turn stale (it’s also been extremely humid here).  Use Ziplock bags or really tight Tupperware.

  1. That is a serious butter-to-popcorn ratio. Neil would be impressed.

  2. i halved the butter . . . worked just fine

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