maple bacon popcorn
Oh. Boy. I am pumped about this recipe. A while ago this idea popped into my head while eating a basket of popcorn at one of my favorite pubs. Maybe it was the popcorn, probably it was the beer, but all of a sudden I had the idea to cook popcorn in bacon fat. But that could be a little boring, so I thought maybe I should add a little maple syrup into the mix to jazz it up. Whooo, boy. This is the stuff happiness is made of.
You start this whole escapade by pouring some maple syrup over a few strips of bacon (I actually used pork jowls, but bacon would work just the same) and then cook it up. Pretty soon the bacon will start releasing fat and the maple syrup will begin to solidify and coat the bacon. When the bacon is cooked, you’ll place it on a plate and pour the fat into a large pot where you’ll pop the popcorn. The popcorn comes out with this subtle bacony flavor. Next you’ll chop up that bacon into little bits and toss it with the popped popcorn along with a little salt.
Let’s just say you stopped there. The popcorn is good. Good in the way you take a bite and then all of a sudden you look down and whoops, half the bowl is gone. As I was eating away, I brainstormed with Aaron if there was a way to take it up a notch by say, adding a little maple syrup and butter mixture over top. Oh yeah! The popcorn, with it’s hint of bacon, topped with sweet maple syrup and salt is so good, and the you get a piece of bacon and it just kind of rocks your world. This is certainly a once-a-year treat due to the amount of bacon, bacon fat and butter involved, but hey, you might as well live it up, right?
maple bacon popcorn
makes about 5 cups
5 strips of bacon
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup popcorn
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
pour maple syrup over bacon to coat.
cook over medium heat until fat is released and bacon is crisp, about 7-10 minutes. Watch closely to make sure maple syrup doesn’t burn.
Remove bacon to a clean plate, do not place on a paper towel as it will stick, and pour bacon fat into a jar or bowl.
Measure 3 Tablespoons bacon fat and pour into a large pot. Place 3 popcorn kernals in the pot and cook over medium heat.
When the 3 kernals pop, pour the rest of the popcorn in the pot, shake it around to coat all the kernals and put a cover on the pot. Cook until the popping slows down, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop the bacon into small pieces, about 1/4 inch wide.
Pour the popcorn into a large bowl, add the bacon and salt and mix well.
If you’d like to add the topping, melt 1 Tablespoon butter with 1 Tablespoon maple syrup and pour over the popcorn.