Pork Rind Peanut Brittle is a must for 2013.
We’re declaring 2013 to be the year of the pork rind. Thanks to flourishing Mexican chicharrones and every American chef out there sporting a pig tattoo, the humble pork rind has been gaining respect and popularity over the past few years. Even the New York Times has noticed and put pork rinds on the top 10 food trends list for 2013. So, it’s official.
Get in the game by visiting your favorite Mexican market for homemade chicharrones or simply buy a bag (regular or hot and spicy) at the supermarket. You’ll find them in the chip aisle. We had our first homemade pork rinds at the pork rind stand on the Lynchburg town square at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue years ago and have been hooked ever since. A heaping bowl is perfect for snacking with cocktails and beer. The experienced party host prefers appetizers that encourage conversation. Pork rinds sure will. Forget bacon wrapped-everything; it was so 2012.
Now for a foodie trend homerun, combine pork rinds in a salty sweet dessert — pork rind peanut brittle. It’s a favorite recipe from the new Jack Daniel’s Cookbook, Stories and Kitchen Secrets from Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House. Lynne Tolley and I served the brittle at our book signings and got a big kick out of watching the reactions to it. There was surprise, there was full-on enthusiasm, there was apprehension. But, after one taste, everyone loved it. Go strictly with pork rinds or add a handful of peanuts.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 cups coarsely crushed pork rinds (regular or hot and spicy) or 1 cup peanuts and 2 cups crushed pork rinds
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly coat the foil with cooking spray.
- Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil on medium-high heat without stirring until the mixture turns a golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the butter, salt, and baking soda. Stir rapidly to blend well.
- Stir in the pork rinds and the optional peanuts.
- Quickly pour the mixture onto the foiled baking sheet and spread it evenly with a greased spatula. Cool completely. Break the brittle into pieces.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature.