sweet and spicy palomitas de maiz2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP butter
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
2 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup popcorn kernels (nothing fancy, just the stuff in the generic-looking bag)
Add all of the ingredients to a big, heavy-bottomed pot with a well-fitting lid (you want some steam to escape, but you also want the lid to stay on while you're jiggling). Shake everything around so that the corn is coated, put the lid on, and turn the heat to med-high.
Begin moving the pot back and forth on the burner when you hear the first pop. To make sure the lid doesn't fly off, I stretch a tea towel over the lid, grabbing it on each side at the pot handles and using it as pot holders.
Shake, shake, shake until the pops slow down - when there's a one or two second lull between pops, remove the pot from the heat but don't take the lid off. You'll hear a few more pops, and that means it's time to dump the corn into a big-ass bowl.
A cool thing that happens when you add sugar to the mix is that while the corn is popping, the sugar melts and glues all the spices to the corn.
I use a Revere Ware 8-qt stockpot, and this recipe fills it to the top (sometimes lifts the top off just like Orville Redenbacher's).