Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bacon Jam and a new Grilled Cheese with a Twist II

I will say it again, you just can't go wrong with a recipe with bacon in it, especially local bacon! So when this recipe for bacon jam popped up I thought I had died and gone to heaven!  Since our family now includes only two people anytime we cook up bacon we have so much left over that we usually freeze it for later use. Well, this recipe gives us a reason not to do that! Now we can eat this jam on a slice of toast in the morning, make a grilled cheese with it and pear or apple slices an some arugula, throw it in potato leek soup or use it mixed up in some of your cooked squash. We did all of these over the course of a few weeks and liked it no matter what we did with it! I think it would even be great with scrambled eggs.  My mother loves it on toast in the morning, especially a thick slice of crusty Crumb Brothers bread (which she now buys at our local Whole Foods). Make up your own uses for the bacon jam and I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we did. Any local bacon is delicious, but Julie Clifford's bacon and Christian Christiansen's bacon are definitely our favorites. We will be having it tonight on grilled cheese sandwiches with asian pears (Utah Farms CSA), Beehive Cheese, and some braising greens! 

Bacon Jam:

1 pound bacon
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic,  crushed and minced
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
1/4 cup honey or cider vinegar (Slide Ridge Honey Vinegar)
1/4 cup honey
2 tbls. brown sugar

1. Cook bacon in large, heavy weight skillet until just beginning to brown. Remove bacon from pan and place on paper-towel lined plate.  Save 1 tablespoonful of bacon grease, drain off the rest and clean out pan with paper towel. Once bacon is cool, break up slices into small pieces.

2. Add one tablespoonful of bacon grease back to pan. Over medium heat, add onions and garlic and sauté, stirring often, until onions are translucent. Add the next 4 ingredients to pan and heat to boiling. Add bacon and turn down heat to low.

3. Simmer on the stovetop for 1-1 & 1/2 hours, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is absorbed and remaining liquid is of a syrupy consistency. Turn off heat and let cool in the pan.

4. Add to food processor and pulse 5-10 times until the "jam" is a chunky consistency.

5. Store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks or you can freeze it (which we did) and then defrost and add to any dish you like.