Yum, Bacon Maple Popcorn at 370 Common

Three Seventy Common Kitchen + Drink opened last month in Laguna Beach, taking over the spot where the Sorrento Grille reigned for 23 years. Ryan Adams, a Laguna Niguel native and former Sorrento Grille executive chef, purchased the venue in 2011.

As chef-proprietor, he offers his inspired take on farm-to-table fare in the newly revamped restaurant, a space designed to be a gathering place for locally sourced updated American cuisine and camaraderie.

Adams gifts his guests with a bowl of savory Bacon Maple Popcorn. Smoky and bacon-y, this irresistible prelude to the meal has just a whisper of sweetness yielded from a judicious amount of pure maple syrup.

Feeling jolly with a game of toss and gobble.

Super-aromatic alderwood smoked sea salt, used in the popcorn, is a feast for nose and palate.

70 Common’s Bacon Maple Popcorn
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
1/3 cup bacon fat, or canola oil, or a combination of both
3/4 cup raw popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon smoked sea salt, smoked alderwood sea salt preferred, see cooks’ notes
1/4 cup finely chopped crisp bacon, see cook’s notes
Cook’s notes: Adams says that alderwood smoked sea salt that is uses is available at Bristol Farms markets. He prefers the nitrate-free bacon sold at Whole Foods markets.
1. Heat bacon fat (or canola oil, or a combination of bacon fat and canola oil) in large, deep pan with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. When fat is shimmering, add corn kernels; cover and shake to evenly distribute the kernels.
2. Once kernels begin to pop, gently shake covered pot and continue to cook until the popping decreases, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and drizzle with maple syrup; toss. Transfer to bowl and sprinkle with smoked sea salt and bacon bits; toss and serve.
Source: Executive Chef/Owner Ryan Adams, Three Seventy Common Kitchen + Drink, 370 Glenneyre, Laguna Beach 949-494-8686

The bottom o’ the bowl.

So sad.

Think I’ll throw it on a mixed green salad!

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