We all know that summer was meant for indulging our appetite for snacks. This season, whether for your backyard barbecue or movie night with family and friends, up the ante on flavor with Bacon Popcorn a surprising “Food Is Art” spin for your snack bowl. This devilish recipe comes your way from Executive Chef Peter Laufer of ARA Restaurant at the Royal Sonesta Houston, where his menu is receiving raves from Houstonites for its innovative approach to fine dining.

Bacon popcorn Sonesta Houston

Chef Peter Laufer’s Bacon Popcorn

3 tablespoons bacon fat
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
Butter and bacon salt* to taste

* For the Homemade Bacon Salt:
6 slices of bacon
1/2 cup coarse sea salt
3/4 teaspoon ground peppercorn

  1. Pour the bacon fat into a 3-quart saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Test the temperature of the oil by placing a few kernels into the pan and covering it. When those pop, add the rest of the kernels and cover the pan, swirling it so the popcorn is evenly covered with oil.
  2. Shake the pan when the kernels begin to pop so they won’t burn. Lift the lid slightly to let the steam escape to make crispier popcorn. Remove the pan from the stove when you can count to three after hearing a kernel pop.
  3. After pouring the popcorn into a bowl, place the butter in the hot pan to melt it.
  4. Sprinkle bacon salt** on the popcorn to taste.

** For the Homemade Bacon Salt:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lay bacon in single strips over a wire cookie rack and put that in a baking tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the bacon is crisp and starting to blacken (It should look overcooked rather than how you’d normally eat bacon).
  3. Remove from oven. Once the bacon has cooled, use a paper towel to press out any excess oil.
  4. Transfer the bacon to a food processor and process until there are only small chunks and a paste begins to form. Add sea salt and ground pepper (Note: whole peppercorns will not break up in the food processor) and continue to process until the salt breaks up into smaller pieces and mixes with the bacon.
  5. Transfer to an airtight jar and keep in the refrigerator when not using.