First, dry your habaneros by slicing them down the middle and putting them in the oven at 200F. Keep an eye on them and if they start browning, drop the temperature so they keep their orange color. Continue cooking until they are rather shrunken and dried out but not completely crisp, approximately 2 hours. Remove from the oven and let cool (where they will harden).
When the peppers are dried, pulse them in a food processor or spice grinder to make a powder.
Cook the popcorn as per package directions, or as follows: Add the oil to a large, 3 quart or larger pot over medium heat. Add the popcorn kernels and cover, with the lid ajar.
Shake the pot back and forth every few minutes. Remove from the heat when the popping has slowed and most kernels are popped, approximately 7 minutes. Set aside.
While the popcorn is cooking, mix the habanero powder with the garlic powder and salt.
When ready to serve, lightly drizzle the popcorn with approximately 1 teaspoon of oil. Just enough to wet the popcorn without it getting greasy or soggy. Stir to coat. Immediately sprinkle the seasoning on the popcorn and stir again to coat. Serve immediately.
You can also use dried ground red pepper (cayenne) or any other pepper in place of the habanero.Be very careful of the fumes and breathing in any pepper powder both when drying and grinding the peppers.The amount of time it takes for your peppers to dry can vary greatly based on your oven heat and the moisture of the peppers themselves.It is best to use a neutral oil with no flavor like vegetable or canola oil.Make a large batch of the seasoning to have on hand!Get popcorn kernels here!