Pop + Fizz: A Popcorn Recipe & Wine Pairing Perfect for a Night of Scandal

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Where my Scandal lovers at?!

In just a couple of days we will once again be captivated by the magic that is #TGIT–Thank God It’s Thursday–with one of the most anticipated lineups on television: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder. Loyal viewers have been been waiting

This post, however, is really focused on Scandal as I’ve looonnnggng been a devotee of the show. In fact over the past few years I’ve written a blog post on how to host a red-wine fueled Scandal watch party as well as an article for another publication prior to the show becoming a phenom where I showcased original, Scandal character-inspired cocktails I created.

Yes, I was so enamored with the show that I created cocktails based on the characters’ personalities.

Did I mention I love Scandal?

But even casual watchers of the show are aware of this highly evidenced fact: Olivia Pope has a serious penchant for fab red wine, and she loves to pair it with popcorn. This combo has become so synonymous with the show in fact that it was included in this season’s #TGIT lineup promo:

Since I clearly love all things Olivia, it’s no surprise that I’ve created my own #BubbleistaApproved popcorn recipe and apropos red wine pairing that would make Liv proud: Duck Fat & Truffle Popcorn paired with Sparkling Shiraz!

I wanted the perfect indulgent recipe to couple with an equally “guilty pleasure” 3-hour-block night of television watching, and what’s more decadent than the richness of truffles and unctuous duck fat? To top it off, it’s got fab layers of flavors with the addition of two kinds of salt, pepper, and herbs.

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This recipe calls for popping your own corn. The taste and texture of freshly popped, real popcorn far surpasses that of microwaved popcorn, and any Bubbleista knows that quality is everything {wink}. Besides popping your own corn is so easy and fun. After a quick  “pop” over  to the market for a few ingredients you’ll be Scandal-night in less time than it takes for Olivia and the Gladiators to rattle off one of their infamous rapid fire monologues.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2/3 cup popcorn kernels, unpopped
  • 3 Tablespoons rendered duck fat, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon truffle oil
  • 4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) truffle butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon truffle salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground specialty salt (I used black Lava salt but pink Himalayan would work great)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat 2 Tablespoons of duck fat and the truffle oil in a pot over medium high heat until the duck fat is melted, about 30 seconds.

  2. Pour the 2/3 cup of kernels into the oil and shake into an even layer. Place the lid on the pot.

  3. Let the heat and steam work its magic! The kernels will pop slowly at first then will begin popping very rapidly. Occasionally shake the pot but DO NOT REMOVE THE LID. When the popping slows down to 1 second between pops remove the pot from the heat entirely.

  4. Remove the lid and place popcorn in a large bowl;

  5. Add the duck fat in the still warm popcorn pot and let it melt, then pour the melted butter into the duck fat. Drizzle the glistening, fragrant, decadent butter mix over the popcorn then toss to coat.

  6. Lastly sprinkle the both salts, pepper and herbes over the buttered popcorn and toss again to coat. Devour.

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Rendered duck fat. Tis a thing of beauty.

Rendered duck fat. Tis a thing of beauty.

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Gently pour the popcorn kernels into the warm oil.

Delicious melted truffle butter. I just want to bathe in it.

Delicious melted truffle butter. I just want to bathe in it.

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Now it’s time for what to pair this delish snack with: of course Ms. Pope loves fermented juice of a darker hued variety, but why not take things up a notch and pair the popcorn with a red wine that has some sparkle? If you have yet to take a foray into the word of sparkling red wines you are missing out on some fun fizz–you get all the bold flavors of red wine but with the lightness of effervescent bubbly. My option du jour? Sparkling Shiraz.

The lush, dark berry fruitiness of Shiraz is the perfect foil for the rich duck fat and truffle flavors. It’s such a decadent combination that you may find yourself noshing and sipping on it even when Liv isn’t gracing your television screen.

I love, love, love The Chook Sparkling Shiraz–it’s one of my fave red bubbles. It’s ripe and juicy, but it still has some good structure to it due to the wine being aged in old French oak barrels. It got bright red cherry, blueberry, and plum on the nose and palate with a hint of baking spice.

Another sparkling Shiraz I love is Paringa and it would pair beautifully with the popcorn as well.

And just like that you’re now officially snack ready for a night of “Scandal-ous” television watching, compliments of The Bubbleista. Cheers to popcorn, red wine, and white hats, Olivia Pope style!

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