Friends Drift Inn Farm Recipes
Click to read Sorghum Happens! Appalachain News Express feature
Sorghum Popcorn and Bacon – Share the Giggles!
I had it all planned. I prepped for days. By the morning of our film shoot, all I was supposed to have to do was trowel on some make-up, smile and right on cue say “Hey I’m Joyce; Welcome to Friends Drift Inn your source for the farm-to-table movement in eastern Kentucky. Today we are talking about sorghum.”
My plan was to bake sorghum cookies, whip up some bourbon sorghum caramels, suggest serving sorghum drizzled on sheep cheese for an appetizer, and finish up with sorghum drenched cocktail, toasting my guest, Matt Jamie of Louisville’s Bourbon Barrel Foods, who is nationally known as a champion of the sorghum revival.
So I am leisurely sipping a cup of tea waiting for Matt to arrive when I get a “ding” from Facebook. It’s Matt. “Let’s do Chef Linton Hopkins recipe for Sorghum Popcorn” he suggested. So much for my plans.
With less than three hours until the film crew arrived, I flew into the kitchen gathering ingredients. Y’all realize that when you “shoot” there is one dish finished and the set is prepped to make a second batch on air. If you make a mess prepping, you dang sure had better have the kitchen all clean before the film crew knocks on the door.
Deanna, Keeper of the Lipstick, frantically fried up two packages of bacon. It smelled so good!
We popped up bowls full of popcorn. POP PoP pOp! We mixed up the first batch and shoved the sweet concoction in the oven for it’s hour of magic.
We scrambled to get the ingredients measured for their TV close-ups.
By the time Matt arrived, I was chopping up the second batch of bacon. Ha! A man with knife skills! I handed the task of mincing bacon over to him. He just laughed.
Fact is we laughed a lot that day!
When the bright lights turned on, the sound test was run, the cameras were rolling and Deanna reminded me to put on some lipstick – I was ready. “Hey I’m Joyce and welcome to Friends Drift Inn.”
Pass the sorghum popcorn and share the giggles!
Sorghum Caramel Corn with Bacon Recipe
Inspired by Chef Linton Hopkins as seen in Southern Living
Dessert Recipe, Snack Recipe, Sorghum Recipe, Tailgating, Cocktail Party
- Pop 8 ounces of popcorn kernels
- 1 1/12 cups of crisp bacon, minced (I used a hickory smoked bacon)
- 1 cup of roasted peanuts unsalted (Works well with pecans too!)
- 1 cup of unsalted butter, organic preferred plus 2 Tablespoons for greasing
- 2 cups of light brown sugar, packed firm
- 1/2 cup of sorghum syrup (I used Bourbon Barrel Foods sorghum)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of a finely grained salt
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract (I used Bourbon Barrel Foods Vanilla)
1. Preheat oven to 250.
2. Grease a tall sided bowl with butter. Add in popcorn, nuts, and bacon.
3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease well with butter.
4. In a heavy tall sided saucepan melt butter. Add sugar, sorghum and salt bring to a boil 4-5 minutes. If using a candy thermometer get mix to 240 degrees. The mixture will start to bubble around edges. Do not stir.
5. Now for the magic! Remove from burner, add baking soda and vanilla. The mix will foam up…so cool!
6. Pour over popcorn, mix well. The liquid is hot, but I still like to use my hands…as does Matt Jamie who claims his hands are made of asbestos!
7. Spread on baking sheet, using a wooden spoon to press down the mixture.
8. Bake for 1 hour. You can stir this occassionaly to keep down clumps…or not. I don’t. Remove from pan and let cool about 45 minutes on a flat surface.
Cooking Notes and Observations
I have made this recipe three times. For the show, we baked at 200 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes and increased the baking soda content to 1 1/2 teaspoons, which produces more of an airy brittle product, rather than a traditional sweet caramel corn. For this variation, I pulled the entire alumimun foil lining from the pan, let cool, then snapped into small pieces.
When measuring sorghum or honey, I suggest greasing the measuring cup with butter. The product will slide out easily and makes for faster cleanup.
If the weather is high in humidity, this will be a little bit sticky – but do we really care? It is so good with a apple bourbon cocktail it just doesn’t matter! Giggles
Disclaimer: I have received samples and swag, and have purchased Bourbon Barrel Foods products. Matt Jamie has received a few jars of my jams and jellies in return. It’s what friends do.
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