The popcorn I made for the 2011 Bacon & Bourbon event at Astor Center on Valentine’s Day has gotten a little buzz, so I’m sharing the recipe with you so that you can make this snack at home. I’m going to warn you though, that the best feedback I got at the event was from a group of people, all standing around, chowing down on their greasy bags of the stuff. All were saying ‘this is so good, yum, wow!’ Then, one insightful person said, “It is good, but someone is going to die tonight!”
Luckily no one died, but please please don’t give you cardiologist my name. Just in case.
Recipe: Bacon & Aleppo Popcorn
Servings: 1, multiply as necessary
- 3 strips excellent quality bacon
- 1 T vegetable oil
- 3 T popcorn kernels
- 1 T butter, melted
- 1 T Aleppo pepper (a sweet, mildly heated smoked Syrian pepper available in the spice aisle at good markets)
- 1 T sea salt
- Place the bacon in a cold pan. Cut the bacon if you have to so that it all lays flat in the bottom. Turn the heat on low and slowly, I mean slowly, cook the bacon, melting out the fat leaving behind the web of protein to crisp up. That is the proper bacon-makin’ technique if you are taking notes.
- When the Bacon is brown and crisp, remove from the pan to a paper towel lined plate. Immediately pour the rendered bacon fat into a heat-proof bowl or cup like Pyrex or a coffee mug. Chop up the bacon when its cool enough to handle into small bits. Reserve both the fat and the bacon bits.
- In a saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat and pour in the popcorn kernels. Give the pan a little shake to coat all the kernels in oil, then cover the pot with either a lid set a bit askew, or a piece of aluminum foil with a few holes poked through to let the steam out. I prefer the latter method. No pan shaking necessary, just let the popcorn pop away until the popping slows down.
- Then, turn the heat off the pan and let it sit another minute or two to let the last kernels pop.
- Pour the popcorn into a large bowl and pour over the butter, aleppo, salt, reserved bacon bits and 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. Toss for about 30 seconds to coat popcorn evenly, then enjoy. Preferably next to a defibrillator, just in case.