You might be a Pats fan in a room full of Giants junkies, or vice versa, but come Super Bowl Sunday we’ve got one thing that everyone can agree on: Andrew Kirshcner’s spicy bacon popcorn. Kirschner, formerly of Wilshire restaurant, is now behind the stoves at Santa Monica’s Tar & Roses, which opened last week. With a giant list of bruschetta, charcuterie, and cheese hung above the bar, the restaurant is clearly pro-snacking. Here, Kirschner shares an off-menu crowd pleaser for the big game: organic popcorn mixed with a smoky and spicy mix of bacon, brown sugar and Aleppo pepper. Go, fight, win, crunch!
Popped corn, organic 4 quarts
Bacon strips 2 each
Bacon, med diced 2 cups
Aleppo pepper 1/3 cup
Salt to taste
Brown sugar 1 cup
Corn syrup, light ¼ cup
Salt ½ teaspoon
Butter 4 oz
Baking soda ½ teaspoon
Render fat from bacon strips over low heat in medium saucepot. Remove strips from fat and discard. Over medium heat pop the corn in bacon fat.
Once corn is fully popped remove from heat and place in mixing bowl. In a separate pot over medium high heat combine sugar, corn syrup, salt, and butter and stir constantly, allowing it to boil for two to three minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and stir thoroughly. Stir in bacon, Aleppo pepper, and salt.
Spread evenly on sheet pan and place in 250 degree oven until bacon is rendered (appx 35 minutes), rotating the pan and stirring throughout the cooking process. Remove from oven and once cooled, store in airtight container.