To get cheese to stick to popcorn, you need melted butter. The problem is, the melted butter makes the popcorn soggy. To solve this, we drizzle popcorn with some spicy butter, coat it with lots of finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese, then bake it in the oven for half an hour. The cheese melts and the popcorn gets crispy again. Serve this savory snack for happy hour with a mezcal–apple cider cocktail to wash it down.
Game plan: If you’re popping your popcorn on the stovetop, place 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a large pot with a tightfitting lid over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add 1/2 cup popcorn kernels, cover, and shake to evenly distribute. Once the kernels start popping, gently shake the pot until the popping subsides, about 2 to 3 minutes.