Diary of a Foodie

Caramelized Pork Rinds

Diary of a Foodie: Season One: Anatomy of a Meal with José Andrés

MakesAbout 4 cups
  • Active Time:5 min
  • Start to Finish:15 min
January 2007
Lowbrow meets highbrow: In this everyday snack food, pork rinds provide the crunch, cayenne provides the heat, and maple syrup creates a fun, almost candylike shell.
  • 1/2 cup dark amber pure maple syrup
  • 1 (5-oz) package fried pork rinds with skin (also called chicharrones)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Heat syrup (syrup will barely cover bottom of pot) in a 4- to 6-quart wide heavy pot over moderate heat until large bubbles cover bottom of pot, about 2 minutes. Gently stir in pork rinds with a wooden spoon until coated, then cook, stirring constantly, until rinds are caramelized and a shade darker, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle rinds with cayenne and salt, then stir until combined well. Transfer to a large shallow baking pan, spreading out to cool.
Cooks' note: Caramelized pork rinds are best when freshly made but will keep in an airtight container 3 days. Recrisp in a 350°F oven, then cool.
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