So I’ve had a lot of bacon posts lately, but there’s a good reason for that. You see, I had a dear friend tell me I didn’t have enough bacon recipes on the blog. He’s one of my oldest friends so what could I do? You have my friend Ed to thank for Bacon Week.
We started off on Monday with Bacon Brownies. Tapas Tuesday featured Bacon Wrapped Dates. We had Bacon Cheddar Potato Cakes with Homemade Ketchup on Wednesday and Thursday’s dinner was Spaghetti Carbonara (and Friday’s breakfast, too! hahaha).
The final offering for Bacon Week is another sweet, salty, savory treat: Bacon Caramel Popcorn.
Really, I thought I was very clever and original when I thought of bacon and popcorn. There are many, many clever and original people on the internet because you can find all kinds of recipes which use those two ingredients. In the end, I settled on caramel corn with bacon and chopped pecans. I liked the milk caramel found in this recipe from Our Homemade Life because it didn’t use corn syrup but instead used cream, which I happened to have. (She added candy, pretzels and marshmallows to her popcorn. Feel free to add them if you want).
When I was a wee lass (back in Mad Men days), my mother would regularly burn make popcorn on the stove. She bought one of those old dome style poppers and the days of cooking popcorn on the stove ended. We’ve come full circle in Lydia’s Flexitarian Kitchen. I stopped buying microwave popcorn and no one here likes air popped corn so I’ve had to learn how to cook popcorn on the stove. (Check out this post from We Got Real which tells you how to do it).
I cooked the bacon first, then drained the bits on paper towel while I cooked the popcorn in the bacon grease. You are under no obligation to do this of course. The popcorn went into a large stainless steel bowl while I made the caramel. Then bacon, chopped pecans, popcorn and caramel were all mixed together. We started eating it as soon as the caramel cooled down.
Every time I walked by the bowl I grabbed a handful. There was just enough caramel to coat all the popcorn and make it sticky. The bacon and pecans added some saltiness. Let me tell you, bacon caramel popcorn rocks!
Is it junk food if you make it yourself? Yes. Sorry to tell you. BUT the upside is you know exactly what went into making it and because you had to go to the trouble to make it yourself you’re probably not going to eat it everyday. This is one of Michael Pollan’s Food Rules by the way(affiliate link) . The full text is “Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself”…makes sense to me plus there’s bacon.
- 1/2 pound bacon, diced and cooked
- 6 – 8 cups popped corn (about 1/3 cup popcorn cooked in 3 tablespoons oil or as directed on the container)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (0ptional)
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Cook the bacon and popcorn and set aside.
- In a small heavy saucepan, heat the sugar, water, salt and vanilla until the sugar is melted and the contents of the pot get foamy and thick. You should be able to draw a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan and see the path. The caramel will also turn a nice amber color.
- Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the cream. Stir constantly until the foaming subsides and the caramel smooths out.
- Mix the bacon, pecans and popcorn and pour the caramel over. Mix well.