About eight years ago I tried the Atkins Diet. I lasted for almost a year, but I knew early on that I was doomed to fail (the result of all diets that can’t be be described as “eat less, exercise more”) when I failed to embrace the snack consumed by all hardcore Atkins-ites: the pork rind.
Pork rinds are low-carb and protein-rich â€” the perfect Atkins food, fat content be damned. They’re not nearly as popular in New England as they are in other parts of the US, which meant that a bag purchased at a supermarket was inevitably full of almost-stale rinds. And once you’ve tasted the greatest crispy pig skin ever cooked, you’re loath to lower yourself to buying bags with the word “Bubba” on them.
I tried making my own with skin left over from my homemade char siu pork, but they were an abject failure. I didn’t discover this recipe until I had resigned myself to living a rind-deprived life, mocked by more competent chefs.
A few days ago, while watching the “Bacon!” episode of Unwrapped on the Food Network, I saw a segment about Lowrey’s Microwave Pork Rinds (pictured above). From what I saw, the product behaved exactly like microwave popcorn: toss the bag in, zap it for a minute or two, open the bag (avoiding the faceful of steam), and chow down on hot, fresh pork rinds.
I tracked down a bag (OK, a few bags) and tried it for myself. Much to my surprise, it worked exactly as advertised: fresh, hot, (and very salty) pork rinds in less than two minutes.
Since they weren’t fried, the fat content was only 2 grams per serving. In fact, the nutritional information proved this snack was rather benign: only 60 calories, 1 gram of carbs, 9 grams of protein, and 350 milligrams of sodium per serving.
Fortunately, I won’t be eating more than a bag on any given day. Even though my brain knows I’ve consumed relatively little, my stomach and taste buds still tell me “Dude, you just ate a bag of pork rinds.” I’m conditioned to know that a little rind goes a long way.
Besides, now that I have a working recipe, you know I’ll return to the fryolator to snatch victory from the jowls of defeat.
Yeah… I did Atkins for four f&^%in years! – and chiccharonnes were a staple snack for me… but I only really liked the spicy ones… and then they had to be a particular brand (I forget which)… some were hard as a rock and threatened to break my teeth… another food based on a dare?!
Yes, a dare: I dare you to cook pigskin properly. It can be done.
Like microwaved popcorn, not all of the pork rinds puffed up completely, so some of them were still hard bits of uncooked skin.