Admit it. As good as you might try to be, eating three square meals a day, there are times, usually around four o’clock on a lazy weekend afternoon, when your stomach starts a-churning. (At least if you’re anything like me it does.) You get that hollow, hungry feeling, and you know that a bag of carrot sticks, healthy though they may be, will just not answer the rumbling. It’s time for a proper snack, one that is salty, crunchy, and more than a bit decadent.
Popcorn is just the thing. And when popped in an air popper (didn’t everyone have one of those in college?) it can really be almost healthy…and definitely boring. But this is Nosheteria, not some ascetic kitchen, and I’ve been out of college for quite some time, so leave it to me to bring popcorn from the healthy to the sublime. And what is the fastest way to do that? By adding bacon of course…everything’s better with bacon.
First things’s first, crisp that bacon in a large saucepan, or dutch oven. When the bacon is sizzling hot, and crisp to your heart’s content, remove the bacon from the pan, and add popcorn kernels to the grease. Cover the pot, you wouldn’t want your popcorn to bounce everywhere. Appalling though it might seem, this is really no different than adding oil to pan of popcorn kernels. It’s just in this case the oil tastes like bacon! Then listen for the pop. There has always been something so exciting, so transformative, about a kettle of kernels turning into a pot of fresh-from-the-stove popcorn.
When the corn is finished popping, season with pepper and a bit of salt, and the crumbled pieces of bacon. Then the only thing left to do, is snack away. The flavor of the corn with the bacon is salty and splendid, the texture is light and crunchy. I definitely had trouble keeping the snacking to a minimum this weekend. But then, who really cares, a little snacking, with a whole lotta bacon, can’t be all bad?