Jamming With Bacon

I just had dinner at Tupelo Honey Café in Washington, D.C. this past weekend. They specialize in Southern cuisine. Ribs, fried chicken and a salmon fillet with an oh so yummy, sticky BBQ sauce. Let’s not forget about their famous biscuits that hold up when you dip them into a gravy.

The best thing on the menu was a vegetable platter with pickled cauliflower, carrots, green beans, okra and pickles. The best thing about this platter was the bacon jam that came with it. I dipped EVERYTHING into the bacon jam, and the great thing about it is you only need a small amount of it to give an incredible flavor boost to any food.

I never experienced this type of jam before. Savory and sweet at the same time. A quick rundown on how to make it goes something like this:

Bacon is finely chopped and cooked until crispy and the fat has been rendered. After straining the fat away from the bacon, the bacon is put aside.

A small amount of the fat is put into a saucepan and onions are sautéed until caramelized and soft. Brown sugar is then added along with some balsamic or sherry vinegar. The bacon is added back in and the mixture is then cooked low and slow until it has reduced a bit. Some heat can be added, if desired, in the form of cayenne or red pepper flakes.

Bacon jam would be amazing drizzled on top of a grilled pizza or on a sandwich, as a spread, or as an appetizer spread onto puff pastry squares or in between phyllo sheets. How about on top of a baked sweet potato… As a glaze on doughnuts or served with corn bread… The ideas on how you could use this stuff never end…

Try it and if you have a unique way of using it, please let me know by writing back.

Happy Baking!

Chef Gail