Popcorn with Browned Butter and Hickory Bacon Salt
Submitted By: J&D
January 28, 2013
Hickory Bacon Salt with browned butter gives popcorn an amazing flavor dimension that goes way beyond regular butter.
3 Tbsp canola, peanut, vegetable or grapeseed oil (high smoke point oil)
1/3 cup of high quality popcorn kernels
1 3-quart covered saucepan
1 cup of butter - some will be reserved for future popping
Hickory Bacon Salt to taste
You're going to make the browned butter first by doing the following:
1. Cut butter into tablespoon-sized pieces and place in a 2-quart sauce pan. Place the pan of butter on a burner on medium heat. Bring butter to a slow boil (about 5 minutes). Once the butter begins to boil, stir constantly to prevent residue from sticking to the bottom of the pan. As the butter cooks, it will start to foam and rise. Continue stirring, otherwise the butter foam could overflow (about 5 minutes).
2. Once the butter stops foaming and rising, cook until amber in color (about 1 to 2 minutes). It will have a pleasant caramel aroma.
3. Turn off the heat and remove pan from burner. Let the sediment settle to the bottom of the pan for a few minutes.
4. Pour the brown butter through a strainer or cheesecloth into a small bowl. Do not disturb the residue at the bottom of the pan. The brown butter can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated in a microwave as needed.
To make the popcorn:
1. Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan on medium high heat.
2. Put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil and cover the pan.
3. When the kernels pop, add the rest of the 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat and count 30 seconds. (Count out loud; it's fun to do with kids.) This method first heats the oil to the right temperature, then waiting 30 seconds brings all of the other kernels to a near-popping temperature so that when they are put back on the heat, they all pop at about the same time.
4. Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn should begin popping soon, and all at once. Once the popping starts in earnest, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner. Try to keep the lid slightly ajar to let the steam from the popcorn release (the popcorn will be drier and crisper). Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and dump the popcorn immediately into a wide bowl.
5. Pour browned butter to taste over popcorn.
6. Add Hickory Bacon Salt to taste. Shake popcorn until evenly coated.
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