Pork Rind Peanut Brittle

by R.B. Quinn and Min Merrell

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 a 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.  

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