Saturday, August 28, 2010

That's Just Poppycock!

Every once in awhile, I’ll come across a recipe that looks so delicious, I can’t wait to try it. In this case, I wanted to try it immediately, but dragged my feet a little because I knew it would be a little bit of a pain in the butt. I was right, but it was so worth it!

The September issue of Bon Appetit magazine contains a recipe from Colt & Gray restaurant in Denver. Why couldn’t Colt & Gray have opened when I still lived there? I would’ve been there every night for their bacon and cashew caramel corn. Alas, they were not, and I was left to make it myself.

Bacon and cashew caramel corn? I saw the recipe title and my heart skipped a beat. I read it to LA, and I think his may have skipped a beat, too. Everyone loves caramel corn and everyone loves bacon (except you silly vegetarians who are missing out on the “meat candy”), so how could we not love bacon caramel corn? As far as I’m concerned, the cashews are just filler. The bacon and caramel are the real stars.

I bought all of the necessary ingredients, a bit horrified at the thought of actually having to cook popcorn in a pan. I grew up in the era of microwave popcorn. Now that I don’t have a microwave, I have to go old school. I was justly pleased with myself when the popcorn came out unburned and fully popped. The patron saint of popcorn popping must have been watching over me.

I’ve made caramel enough that it doesn’t even phase me, but there’s still a small voice at the back of my head that says “It’s going to crystallize and you’re going to have a bit pot of rock candy.” Take that, little voice in my head—my caramel was perfect!

The hardest part was waiting for the popcorn to cool enough so it wouldn’t burn off my fingerprints. Once it cooled, I couldn’t tear myself away from it. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s spicy, it’s the best caramel corn ever. I would describe it as Cracker Jack for adults, but that would be selling the bacon caramel corn short. Even though it will take 3-4 pans, the task of making caramel, and having on the oven in the middle of summer, I still recommend making this popcorn. You’ll never eat Fiddle Faddle again.

For the recipe, click here.

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