Bacon Caramel Popcorn
by Chef Matthew Gaudet
Planning a holiday party? ‘Tis the season for entertaining friends and family, after all. Give your guests something to snack on while they sip cocktails and make small talk. This party-perfect recipe from chef Matthew Gaudet takes the classic popcorn snack and gives it a sweet and salty twist with the addition of bacon and caramel.
- 1/2 pound bacon, diced
- 1/3 cup organic popcorn kernels
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
- Fry diced bacon in a medium sauce pan until crisp. Remove bacon and let drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.
- Heat the bacon fat in a large pot with a cover. Add 3 popcorn kernels to the hot oil, cover and listen for all 3 kernels to pop. Add the rest of the kernels after all three of the kernels have popped.
- Cover and shake so that the popcorn does not burn, until popping stops.
- Put popped corn in a non-stick roasting pan, making sure to remove the un-popped kernels.
- Heat butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a large saucepan over medium high heat until a candy thermometer reads 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove from heat, stir in baking soda and bacon and pour this caramel mixture over the popcorn (do this quickly so caramel does not cool and harden).
- Stir the mixture with a couple of wooden spoons and place in the oven for an hour rearranging the popcorn to evenly distribute the caramel and bacon, about every 15 minutes.
- When cooking time is up, taste the popcorn and add more salt if necessary. Cool and break into bite-sized pieces.