A love for all things bacon has been an ongoing foodie trend these past few years. From my Southern point of view, the popularity of bacon is amusing, because for folks in the South, bacon isn’t a trend – it’s a way of life. We eat it pan-fried with our biscuits in the morning, use it to flavor beans and greens, and save its rendered fat for any number of nefarious Southern-fried uses (mix a little bacon grease with butter and use it to make a grilled cheese and you’ll see what I mean). It’s versatile stuff, and I’d like to share today how bacon can go from side dish or flavor enhancer to becoming an actual condiment. I’ve seen these bacon salt recipes kicking around for awhile, most recently in the Food Network Magazine, and I finally decided to make a batch – and it was tasty!
Lay bacon flat on a cookie sheet and cook at 350 until the bacon is extremely crisp and starting to blacken – you want it more done than you would like if you were just going to eat the bacon. When the bacon cools, blot the remaining grease with paper towels. Pulse the bacon in a food processor until it is pulverized – you’ll probably have to scrape the resulting bacon paste from the sides of the bowl. Add the sea salt and pepper and blend until the salt breaks down and mixes with the bacon and pepper. Make a batch of popcorn and taste the magic!