“I needed an oil to pop some corn, and I decided bacon grease would work,” writes the chef Kevin Belton in his new cookbook, Kevin Belton’s New Orleans Kitchen. “The bacon flavor really popped through and layered flavors exceptionally well. When we finished the popcorn with seasoning, the triple flavor profile made this the best popcorn I’ve ever tasted.”
Bacon Popcorn Drizzled with Creole-Spiced Butter
Move over, movie-theater-style
photo: Eugenia Uhl
Creole-Spiced Popcorn Seasoning
¼ cup clarified butter*
1 ½ tbsp. sweet paprika
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. thyme
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 tsp. salt
¼ cup bacon grease or rendered bacon fat
2/3 cup popcorn kernels
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, or salt of choice
Creole-Spiced Popcorn Seasoning (recipe above)
*To make clarified butter, melt 1 pound unsalted butter in a large saucepan on medium-high heat, and allow to boil. Continue boiling until it forms a foamy white surface then eventually clears and stops bubbling. Remove from heat and strain through a cheesecloth or coffee filter into a glass jar. Clarified butter can be stored in an airtight container for 3–4 weeks, or in the refrigerator for several months.
For Creole-Spiced Popcorn Seasoning:
Heat clarified butter over medium heat until bubbling. Add spices and stir. Continue to heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat and keep warm.
In a heavy-bottom pan, heat grease on medium-high. Heat with 3 kernels of corn until the kernels pop, about 4 minutes. Remove popped kernels.
Pour in popcorn and stir with a wooden spoon to coat kernels. Place lid on pot and continue to heat until kernels begin to pop. Turn off heat. With lid tightly secured, shake pot to ensure that all kernels pop. Continue to agitate until the popping slows, 1–2 minutes.
Remove from heat and immediately transfer to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with salt and Creole-Spiced Popcorn Seasoning.
Adapted from Kevin Belton’s New Orleans Kitchen by Kevin Belton, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.
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