Smoky Bacon Popcorn with Burnt Sugar and Sea Salt.
I can’t even.
This popcorn is… addicting.
And you know? I’ve always claimed I was never a huge popcorn person, but lately it’s been all I’ve wanted. I think it started with those popcorn crunch brownies. Oomph.
This is my second recipe to pair with Pavan – and this time around we it’s going with the signature Mediterranean cocktail. I mentioned last week that Pavan is made with grapes – it’s actually like a white wine liqueur that makes you want to set up home on the french riviera (they actually have a contest going on right now to win a trip there!… ugh, I’m so in); so this cocktail is made with a little vodka and lemon juice. It’s so simple but just perfect! I always love (and need) some extra flavor in my vodka and this is just to die for. As a side note: last night my uncle deglazed a pan of chorizo + jalapeño littleneck clams with Pavan. Uh huh. No words.
The popcorn is (…wait for it) popped in bacon grease and tossed with a few smoky spices and a burnt sugar glaze. It’s the perfect combo of salty and sweet.
Yeah. See? Can’t even.
Smoky Bacon Popcorn with Burnt Sugar and Sea Salt
6 slices thick-cut bacon
1/3 cup corn kernals
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and fry bacon until crispy. Once crispy and fat is rendered, remove bacon and let drain on paper towels. Remove bacon grease from the skillet, except for about 2-3 tablespoons. Continue to heat over medium-low heat and add popcorn kernals. Stir or shake the pan until the corn begins popping, cover it once it does. Continue to shake the pan until all the kernels are popped. Turn off heat and add popcorn to a large bowl. Season with salt, cumin and smoked paprika, then crumble bacon over top and toss.
To make the burnt sugar glaze, add sugar to a (different) large skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir for about 6-8 minutes, until the sugar becomes golden, then add in boiling water and whisk until the sugar is disclosed. If a few pieces crystalize, it's fine. Simple strain the sugar/water immediately to get all the liquid, then pour it oven the popcorn. Toss constantly for a minute or two until the bacon and glaze are evenly dispersed. Serve!