Thursday, July 26, 2012

It's a bacon kind of day

I had a dream last night about popcorn, I tried to get some at a concert and they wouldn't let me have any.  I woke up this morning craving popcorn.    The triple digit heat finally broke today, so I think I'm going to make some.  A new recipe, I found it on another food blog, but I wanted to tweek it, for better flavors!  I'm ready to get in the kitchen and start making some magic!  Bring on the Spicy Caramel BACON Popcorn!

In the original blog post the blogger noted that this tends to be a quick recipe, and taking pictures needs to be done at her suggestion, and keeping with my tradition, I got all my ingredients out and ready to go!
Once everything was in place the first order of business is to get the bacon cooking. 
The original recipe has you do the bacon in the oven, but I wanted to use the bacon renderings to pop the popcorn, and to add that little bit of extra bacon flavor.  Cook the bacon over Medium heat.  Once the bacon is nice and brown, let it drain on a plate with paper towels, then chop it up into little bits.

Turn the heat up on the drippings to Medium-High
Add one or two kernels, and wait for them to pop
Add the remaining kernels, 
Pop the lid on, and shake it constantly until almost all the popcorn has popped.  
You can tell because you won't hear much popping.  Takes 2-4 minutes.  Pull it off the heat and let it finish popping.
Mix up the baking soda and time I'm going to add a bit less (original recipe called for 3/4 teaspoon...but I'm a sissy and only added 1/2 teaspoon, and that was almost too much.)
Then in a large saucepan throw in the butter, sugar, and water along with the salt.  I used The Spice Agent's Vanilla Bean Salt...because I can, and because it makes it that much better.
Put it on the stove on high heat, and let it do it's thing...seriously, put the spoon down and let it just boil and brown on it's on...
While that is browning (takes about 8-10 minutes) I put my huge silpat baking mat on the counter, non stick, and easier to clean up than a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non stick spray...

Once it's nice and brown dump in the baking soda mix, followed by the bacon.  The dump it all over the popcorn.  Use a spatula to stir the mix as best you can and spread it out on the baking mat.
Let it cool, otherwise you will end up with chewy bits of the caramel stuck in your teeth...I am speaking from experience.  After it's cool break it up into smaller chunks and share with friends. Regardless, make sure it's in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.