10 January 2013

Popcorn Salad, or A Yankee Riff on Frito Corn Salad

Dear Lissy,
****Updated January 2013****
This weird but wonderful salad is my sole claim to fame.  Taste of Home published this recipe back in the late 1990's.  Aunt Holly and I can still give ourselves a wicked case of the giggles because ToH attributed a quote to me that is so very not mine and added directions at the end of the recipe to spoon the recipe into a lettuce lined bowl.  Uhhhuh....that's not happening. Ever.  Thankfully they got my last name wrong in the Annual Recipe book, so I've been spared the embarrassment.
This salad is best mixed up about 10-15 minutes before serving which takes some of the crunch out of the popcorn.  If you combine the wet ingredients with the popcorn more than 30-40 minutes ahead, the popcorn gets decidedly soggy, which is how Dad likes it.

Popcorn Salad
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup diced celery
1-1/4 cups (5 oz) shredded sharp cheddar, divided
1 (8 oz) can sliced water chesnuts, well drained
3/4 cup crumbled, cooked bacon, divided
1/4 cup shredded carrots
2 Tbsp minced chives
6 cups popped popcorn (3/4 cup unpopped kernels) or 3-1/2 cups corn and one 10 oz bag Fritos, coarsely crushed

In a large bowl combine the mayo, celery, 1 cup cheese, water chesnuts, 1/2 cup bacon, carrots, and chives; mix well.  If using corn, fold into mixture now.  If using popcorn, wait to add until 10-15 minutes before serving; stir to coat. Just before serving, fold in Fritos if using corn & frito option. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with remaining bacon, cheese.  Garnish with extra chive or chive flowers if desired.

*****Update:  January 2013*****
A recipe by Paula Deen, Frito Corn Salad, recently caught my attention.  We loved the texture, but the Southwestern flavors weren't our favorite.  I immediately thought of this salad whose flavors we adore, but can be a bit tricky in the texture department.  Combining the two was a natural, and a star was born.

Hope I can pop by soon to give you a hug,

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