There are some days I question my commitment. This, my friends, is not one of those days.
I’m quite sure that I am not the first person on Earth to think about cooking up bacon and then using the ensuing pan drippings to pop up a batch of popcorn. Many people fantasize about bacon.
I get to live the dream.
And actually, now that the stuff has cooled down, it tastes pretty good. You DO taste the bacon, but it’s the faintest hint. There is a slight hint of rich savory and smoke, but nothing overpowering.
And here is a confession. Until this evening, I have never cooked popcorn on the stove before. But it’s a fairly common method given in several cookbooks – heavy stainless steel bowl, oil, salt, kernels, cover with foil, bowl over high heat, moving constantly with tongs.
I got a kick out of doing it. I smiled when I heard the bacon grease sizzle (as i am wont to do) inside the bowl… and a few seconds later I actually heard popping!
And what was most fun about it is that you have to gauge doneness by smell and by ear. You can’t really see the inside of the bowl, naturally, so you use your nose. You should smell “popcorn” but not “burned popcorn” AND the popping should have reached just beyond the point where its popping really urgently.
Anyway, let’s review.
Three strips of bacon. ”Reserve” the “pan drippings”
1/3 cup popcorn in a heavy-bottomed stainless steel bowl, along with a heavy drizzling of fine salt (not kosher) and the bacon grease.
Cover with aluminium foil. Say “al -u- MIN- i – um” in a fake British accent like I always do. Jab a few holes.
Medium High heat. Use a pair of tongs and keep the bowl moving! You will hear the oil bubble and then hear your first pop in about one minute.
An idea just occurred to me for next time. The next time I dry-cure pork, I am going to dry that salt and use it! Or maybe not. We’ll see.