This is, unquestionably, my favorite popcorn of all time. Besides being a ridiculously delicious nibble for a rainy night home alone, it is a perfect snack for movie night when you want your friends to feel special. It uses black truffle butter, which is a quick and easy way to elevate the good to the best. The aromatic, woodsy depth of the truffle permeates the fluffy kernels and creates a sublime foundation for salty Manchego cheese and cracked pepper. This is a truly sophisticated treat, and one that you will make again and again.
If you can’t find truffle butter at your local market, you can go to my favorite meat purveyor and buy it online at D’Artagnan here. Besides popcorn, this butter is a special addition to a seared steak, roasted fingerling potatoes, or your favorite pasta shape.
One caveat: If you are sneaking this popcorn into the movie theater, as I have been known to do, wrap it up good. Truffles have a noticeable aroma, and may induce looks of envy/disapproval all around you. Remember this also, any time you use a potent cheese, butter or the like, you need less of it. This makes it considerably better for you than devilishly beloved movie theater popcorn.
Being ostracized by fellow patrons is a tiny price to pay for the pleasure of this popcorn, BELIEVE me.
Black Truffle Butter Popcorn with Shaved Manchego
½ cup popcorn kernels, popped
2 tablespoons black truffle butter, melted
1 cup freshly grated manchego cheese
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place hot popcorn in a large bowl, add melted truffle butter and manchego, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
*My Two Cents: If you only find white truffle butter, it will make a fine substitute.
I use the Spanish manchego cheese here, but any hard and salty cheese will do. Parmesan is most traditional in this popcorn.
If you want to add a splash of color, some fresh chopped parsley can be folded in for an herbal touch.