22 April, 2016

Kelly's Smoky Bacon Jam

Photo: Kelly Rich via USA Today Network 

Smoky Bacon Jam ingredients (11)
Makes about 12-oz (1.5 cups)
For the jam
1-lb pepper bacon
Freshly cracked black pepper, divided use
1 large yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp Sriracha, plus more to taste
1 cup brewed coffee
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, plus more to taste
1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup
1 tsp ground chipotle powder
1 tsp salt

For serving
One (8-oz) brie round and crackers or toasted crostini or
One (8-oz) pkg Neufchâtel or Greek cream cheese, 2-3 green onions and crackers or
Sandwiches of choice

Smoky Bacon Jam Directions
Get ready
Assemble the ingredients and equipment.

Cook bacon
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or cast-iron skillet over Medium-High heat, cook the bacon in batches until browned and just starting to crisp. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. (If not using pepper bacon, sprinkle with 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper.)

Sauté aromatics
Add the onion and garlic, and cook over medium heat until soft and translucent,ten to twelve (10-12) minutes. 

While the onions cook, cut bacon into one-inch pieces.

To the skillet, add the brown sugar, and continue cooking until it melts into the onions and garlic Then, add the salt, cracked pepper and chipotle pepper; stir well, taste and adjust according to personal preference. 

Stir in the Sriracha, coffee, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup. Taste and adjust seasonings, Gently incorporate the bacon pieces into the mixture. Bring mixture to a boil before reducing to a simmer.

Simmer and reduce
Stirring regularly to prevent sticking, simmer mixture over Low heat until it achieves a thick, jam-like consistency and deep, rich brown color, about three to four (3-4) hours. Alternately, cook uncovered on Low setting in a Crock-Pot. 

Once the desired consistency and color are achieved, remove from heat (or turn off Crock-Pot) and cool mixture for twenty (20) minutes..

Chop, jar and store
Transfer Smoky Bacon Jam to a food processor. Pulse several times to finely chop and blend the jam. Taste and season with additional vinegar, Sriracha and salt, according to personal preference. 

Transfer Smoky Bacon Jam to clean and dry sterilized glass jar with tight-fitting cap. Wipe any spills, then cap the bottle. Label and date the bottle before storing in the refrigerator for up to three (3) weeks.

Smoky Bacon Jam Serving Suggestions
Serve warm with brie
Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Remove the rind from brie and place the brie round in the center of oven-safe serving dish. Spoon Smoky Bacon Jam over the top and around the sides of the brie. Bake in preheated 350ºF oven until the jam is bubbly and the brie has begun to melt. Remove from oven and serve appetizer warm with crackers or toasted crostini.

Serve with Neufchâtel or Greek cream cheese
Use a dinner knife to stab the cream cheese. Spoon over the Smoky Bacon Jam, and if desired, thinly-sliced green onions. Cover loosely and set aside to bring to room temperature, about thirty (30) minutes. Serve appetizer with choice of crackers. 

Serve as condiment
Spread Smoky Bacon Jam on hamburgers, sandwiches or breakfast biscuits.

Rich, Kelley. "Smokey Bacon Jam with Brie." The Arizona Republic, part of USA Today Network. Gannett Company, 27 Jan. 2015. n. pag. Web 22 Apr. 2016. <http://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/dining/recipes/2015/01/27/smokey-bacon-jam-brie/22406557/.>.

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