The Friday Football Foodie – Homemade Bacon Bourbon Popcorn
Last day of the NFL preseason. College football kicks off in a matter of hours. Are you ready?
Oh, you have some beer in the fridge leftover from the BBQ you had with the Sandersons the other weekend and maybe if you have time you were going to head to Trader Joe’s and get some Pirate’s Booty to snack on while you finished your fantasy football draft?
No, I mean are you ready for real football to start?
I’ve been giving the same lecture at the start of every football season for going on four (!!!) seasons now.
Well do you think you, the football fan, are any different? Are you ready for at least one – if not two – days spent entirely on your sofa? After a summer’s harvest of nothing but the freshest fruits and vegetables are you ready to settle in and allow yourself the unhealthy snack foods that are best enjoyed with copious amounts of booze and yelling? Can you whip-up something besides the number for Domino’s, (GOD HELP ME DO NOT TELL ME YOU ORDER DOMINO’S), that will feed you and your crew?
I doubt it.
If you go into September without at least one or two practice runs, you’re going to find yourself sad and lonely with just your box of Bugles and six-pack of Natty Light come kick-off.
But before we begin, you’ll notice a few changes to the Friday Football Foodie this season. Obviously the biggest change is the move to video away from step-by-step still photos. This is for two reasons; I couldn’t face a fourth (!!!) season of the same format without some sort of refresher on the concept, and step-by-step photos are actually more time consuming to build into a post than editing together some snippets of video. There are still some kinks that need to be worked out with the video blogging, namely, why does WordPress refuse to embed a larger video, even though my CSS page allows for video to be 640 pixels across the post WORK ALREADY THE VIDEO LARGER IT LOOKS FINE ON MY BETA SITE AND ON TUMBLR WHAT MORE YOU DO WANT OUT OF ME WORDPRESS WORK WORK WORK WORK YOU SILLY OPEN ENTRY FIELD I AM MY OWN IT TEAM AND I SAY YOU SHOULD WORK.
Switching to video also helps with the next change; more posts and more content during the week, so “Friday” might actually mean Tuesday or Thursday Football Foodie. As of right now, there are 30+ recipes lined up for this season, not including drink recipes and the run-up to the Super Bowl.
There will be a few more tweaks and additions as the season progresses, but today, video.
Homemade Bacon Bourbon Popcorn
Oh sure, you can spend $32 on prepared popcorn. I’ve tried it and it’s plenty good, but still. $32 for two pounds. (My local gourmet market sells 4 ounces of it for $9!)
You know what else costs a lot of money this time of year? Re-upping your College Gameday and NFL Sunday Ticket subscriptions. So just because you’ve blown your allowance or rent on premium sports packages, doesn’t mean you have to suffer through sub-par snacking on game day. For less than $10, you can have enough bacon bourbon popcorn for your whole crew.
You will need:
5 quarts of plain popped corn (Freshly air-popped or oil-popped corn is recommended.)
1/2 to 1 pound of thick cut bacon, chopped and fried to just about crispy, well-drained
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 ounces of bourbon (Any old bourbon will do here, so don’t feel like you have to break out your best reserve for the dish.)
Preheat your oven to 250º.
Melt 1 cup of butter over medium heat. Mix in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt and then stir until boiling at the edges. Lower the heat slightly and let boil until the caramel is 250º or until a spoon dipped into the caramel comes out, well, looking like there is caramel on it. Remove from heat and add the baking soda and bourbon. Once fully incorporated, stir in the bacon.
Now, if you want to use just a little bacon, 1/2 a pound will do. I used a full pound in the video above. Could I have used more bacon? Absolutely. You could probably go as much as a pound and a half of bacon on this much popcorn. Would I advise it? No, not really. It’s a long football season and having a heart attack in Week 3 would be a major bummer and means you wouldn’t be available to confirm trades in your fantasy league. But if you are HARDCORE BACONLOVER 4LIFE and you decide you want to use more than a pound of bacon, then be sure to use air-popped corn or you’ll have a greasy mess on your hands.
If you don’t eat bacon, mix in 1 cup of chopped pecans. Pecans and bourbon are always awesome together.
Divide the popcorn into either two very lightly greased roasting pans or whatever else it fits into and coat with the caramel. Mix well — don’t worry if the caramel starts to cool on you here, it will warm back up in a second — and then put the popcorn into your oven for about 45 minutes to an hour, mixing every 10-15 minutes so every last kernel of corn is coated in bourbon bacon bliss.
Once done, pour onto either parchment paper or wax paper to cool and break into pieces.
If whatever reason you don’t eat all of the bacon bourbon popcorn in one sitting (doubtful), refrigerate it for up to a week. I actually think it tastes better when made the night before and has had a chance rest in the fridge overnight.
Ta-da! You’re done. No wait! You’re not done. You still have to sign up for the Friday Football Foodie NFL & NCAA Pick’em Leagues. Then you’re done.
Dare I say homemade bacon bourbon popcorn is better than store bought? I do! Check these unpaid (other than they’re my friends) TV and internet celebrity endorsements
Ignore the part about the Steelers sucking, of course.