Monday, August 27, 2012

bacon jam {and brie!}

The other day, it really hit me hard that summer was coming to a rapid, unwelcome end. I realized that yet another season had passed me by, and I had tried about 0.03% of the seasonally-appropriate recipes I have saved hoarded on my laptop. I vowed to spend these last few days of summer making only fresh, summery treats full of fruit and veg. And then I made bacon jam.

This fabulous little invention combines many of the most amazing (though seemingly a little incongruous) flavors and smells out there, and cooks them all down into a little jar of spreadable heaven. It was incredibly easy to make, and if I hadn't accidentally left it out of the fridge the very same night I made it (and then cursed violently at myself for about ten minutes), I would have put it on everything then licked the jar clean. Maybe I jumped ahead of the summer season a bit, but no one is complaining.

For a sinfully good appetizer, cut a baguette into 1/4" slices, top with a slice of Brie and a dollop of bacon jam, and broil until the Brie is melted and gooey.

Bacon Jam
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1.5 lbs sliced bacon
1.5 medium yellow onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/2 c. maple syrup
3/4 c. brewed coffee (I used mocha flavored, because why not throw some chocolate in the mix, too?)

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook approximately 15 minutes, until fat is rendered and bacon is browned. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain fat, allow to cool, and then crumble into smaller pieces. Reserve approximately 1 T. of the bacon fat, drain the remainder.

Add the onions and garlic to the pan, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the maple syrup, brown sugar, vinegar, and coffee. Bring to a boil, deglazing the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the cooked bacon back into the pan.

Transfer to a slow cooker, and cook on high (uncovered) approximately 4 hours. Eat several spoonfuls while hot (because you can), then allow to cool. Bacon jam can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

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