Recipe of the Week: Bacon, Truffle, and Mole Popcorn

Modern-SW-coverTry this innovative, tempting twist on popcorn from Modern Southwest Cooking by Chef Ryan Clark.

Bacon + Truffle + Mole Popcorn

Oh, yeah! These are a few of my favorite things. Salty bacon, earthy truffles, and sweet ‘n’ spicy mole will turn your popcorn-eating world upside down. The fun here is turning bacon fat and truffle oil into powder. Yes, powder. Tapioca maltodextrin, a natural food starch, actually absorbs the fat and encapsulates it into a powder form. Once water molecules from the moisture in your mouth touch the powder, it transforms back into its natural state and flavors the heck out of that popcorn. You’ll be sneaking this one into the movies!

Makes 6 cups

2 tablespoons bacon fat
2 tablespoons truffle oil
1 1/2 cups tapioca maltodextrin, or as needed*
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon red chile powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or jalapeño powder
1 tablespoon Dutch cocoa powder
2 tablespoons pepitas, toasted and crushed into a powder**
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Salt to taste

Make the bacon and truffle powders by placing the bacon fat and the truffle oil into two separate small bowls. Slowly whisk in the tapioca maltodextrin, adding in small amounts just until the fats transform into powders, about 3/4 cup per bowl.

Make mole powder by blending the ancho chile powder, red chile powder, cayenne, cocoa, and pepitas in a spice grinder until smooth.

Heat a wide skillet to medium high heat. Add the vegetable oil. once the oil shimmers, add the corn kernels and cover. Shake the pan every few seconds and wait for a popping sound. Continue shaking until the popping subsides to 1 kernel every 4 to 5 seconds. Remove from the heat and season with melted butter and salt to taste. Divide the popped corn into three equal batches and season separately with the bacon powder, truffle powder, and mole powder to desired taste.

*Tapioca maltodextrin is available online and can be used to turn any fat-based food into powder. Try peanut butter, Nutella, yogurt, olive oil—get crazy and experiment!

**Pepitas are hulled pumpkin seeds, and you can find them roasted in most grocery stores, or you can do your own with a little olive oil in a skillet.

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