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Collectible Bacon January 11, 2011

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, random stuff.
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I know, how crazy is that, right?  I mean, who collects bacon?  (Besides crazy people, that is.)

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A long, long time ago (a little over a year, actually) (which, come on, in internet time, is simply ages!) I opened my Google Reader to find the Homesick Texan’s recipe for Bacon Jam.

Okay, so here’s the thing.

At one point, I went a little nuts with the online recipe thing.

I mean, if you wait long enough (and subscribe to enough cooking blogs!), you’re going to end up with, essentially, recipes for anything you could possibly ever want.

And then some.

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Add to that virtually unlimited printing and photocopying privileges at work.

And honestly?

Therein lies the problem.

I would see a recipe that looked Absolutely Fantastic! and I’d print it.

Another that looked interesting.  Printed.

It got to the point where we felt like we were living to cook New! and Exciting! things – because some stranger was a gifted photographer or a great descriptive writer.

There were not enough meals in the week.

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So when I came home one day and started to tell Peeps that I’d found the Most Incredible-Sounding Recipe for. . .

He put the brakes on.

He suggested that I maybe I should just take a step back.

It was getting out of hand.  I was printing recipes that I knew he’d never enjoy, recipes that called for such obscure ingredients that I’d probably never find them, let alone try them.  Recipes that would require so much “tweaking” that it wasn’t worth the effort.

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And he was right.

We both tend to collect things that interest us, and, unfortunately, food interests both of us, and we’ve both been collecting recipes for years.

YEARS and years.

And that was when I realized that, well, maybe I need to be a little more selective about what I collect.  I mean, sure, I’m sure that veal stock is divine with all the blanching and clarifying and using two stockpots.  But really?  Is it worth the effort?

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So I came home that day with this Most Amazing recipe for bacon jam, and Peeps, well he didn’t want to hear about it (not that I blame him).

And I made it the next weekend while he was at work.

And let me tell you – it was Mighty Darned Good!

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I followed the original recipe as written, and we were happy with it.

We enjoyed egg-and-bacon-jam sandwiches, and we enjoyed grilled cheese and bacon jam, and I’m going to admit this – I even enjoyed some PB & BJ – I do love me some peanut butter and bacon (jam).

And the great thing is that this jar of jam kept getting shoved to the back of the fridge, and even though we’d forget about it for weeks (months) at a time, whenever I’d dig it out, it would still be just as good as new.

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The bacon, which, let’s face it, is chock full of nitrates and other preservatives, is cooked and stored under refrigeration with plenty of vinegar.  And it keeps very well – so much so that I decided to double the amount of bacon and try some of my own tweaks – a little more onion, some additional spices, just more stylistic changes than anything else.

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And again, this bacon jam was a hit!  We enjoyed sneaking tastes of it while it was cooking (and cooling), and it made a fantastic breakfast the next day – spread on fresh, hot biscuits, both with a fried egg and without.  We’re looking forward to a dollop on a burger, and maybe a smear on grilled cheese.

And yes, I’ll eat it on a peanut butter sandwich – and so would you, if you gave it a chance.

Print it.

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Comments

1. Barb Cooper - January 11, 2011

When I was in my early 20’s (pre-internet! GASP!), I started photocopying and organizing an entire binder of Bon Appetit recipes. Then recipes from other sources. It’s been twenty-something years. Still have the binder. I never look at it now because everything is on-line but….can’t seem to get rid of it, either.

I have no desire to MAKE bacon jam, though. Maybe I’ll buy some…

I had a shoe-box full of yellowed clippings, photocopied cookbook pages, stuff torn out of magazines – and even painstakingly re-typed recipes (from when I was learning to type) (probably not the best idea). I’m still working my way through them.

And dude, really this stuff is DA BOMB!

2. kayatthekeyboard - January 11, 2011

Bacon jam is God. Your recipe is similar to mine, which uses more onion, doesn’t use the chiles, and adds maple syrup.

I feel you on the saved recipes. I was googling for a whole wheat bread recipe, found one from Gourmet, and then realized that recipe is likely in my new Gourmet Today cookbook I got last month and from which I have not yet cooked. Which put me to thinking, why do I have all these cookbooks????

Maple syrup? Hmmm . . . .

(Seriously, though, I’m thinking about playing around with smaller batches of bacon jam, maybe next fall, using some home-cured bacon instead of that sad commercial stuff.)

And I swear, I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying to sort through recipes (and yes, now that you mention it, cookbooks too). Maybe I should just let The Boy deal with it when I’m gone. 😉

3. Bee - January 11, 2011

Is the recipe posted the original one you found or the tweaked one? My family can’t eat anything HOT so all that chili powder and chipotle en adobo wouldn’t be possible. LOVE the concept, just would like a milder recipe, if possible. 🙂

Mine is the tweaked recipe – I’d just leave the chipotles out, and maybe even the chili powder, too, though it’s mild enough. . . after all, YOU are the cook. 🙂

4. Bee - January 11, 2011

Thanks, Toy Lady! That’s great news about leaving the HOT stuff out, but, if that had been the ORIGINAL recipe, I wouldn’t make it because I don’t think it’s fair to change a great recipe that radically; I’d just do a web search and find a milder version. Now I know I can just delete it. Can’t wait to try this out, but with only one pound of bacon to start with. 🙂

Good idea – then you can try it with Kay’s maple syrup sooner. . . 🙂 I’d say definitely start with less of all the spicy spices. I’ve learned to stop and think about where I want to end up BEFORE starting – your cinnamon + allspice + cocoa will give you a kind of mole-ish flavor – it’ll probably be sweeter without the “heat” – so you’re going to want to taste it for sure before adding any sweetness at the end. 😉

5. anne - January 11, 2011

I can’t see the recipe, but I think my sister’s friend would flip. For Christmas, my sister made chocolate chip cookies with bacon, just for Judy. And not only bacon, but CANDIED bacon. They were .. um .. OK. I like cc cookies, and I like bacon, but not in the same sentence. But I guess for a baconholic, this would be da bomb.

I’ve seen directions for candied bacon and been tempted to try them, but. . . I’m just not sure. Bacon has just gotten so. . . so trendy, hasn’t it? This jam isn’t sweet like one would expect “jam,” and it’s not really chocolate-y – I think it’s got more of a mole-type of vibe going on.

6. Bee - January 31, 2011

Just wanted to update you on what I did, ending up with 5-star results, for us. Our tummy’s can’t take heat so I knew I couldn’t make this version. And then my son begged me to NOT make an alternate recipe that had maple syrup in it because he said, “That’s just nasty!” So, I was stumped. Ultimately, what I did was fry up one pound of bacon until super crisp, allowing it to cool completely. During this cooling time, I kept thinking of WHAT we’d use Bacon Jam on. What I ended up doing is running the crumbled & cooled bacon through the food processor, until it was a coarse pate; and that’s IT! Stuck it into a plastic container and froze it. Now…we’re on my 3rd batch of the bacon pate and we are LOVING EVERY TASTY BIT OF IT!!! I use it as the base for mixing with a bit of butter when making grilled cheese sammies. Add it to peanut butter for a grilled peanut butter sammy or just room temp. Have scooped some out to add to warm German Potato Salad. Added some nice bits to a warm egg salad sandwich and placed a generous amount into some mayo for a BLT. I would NEVER have come up with this intense bacon pate without this post of yours, so THANK YOU SO MUCH!! No, it’s not specifically Bacon Jam, but it’s a bacon product created in a way that everyone in the family can use and how nice is that?

I am SO glad you figured out something your whole family loves – and that I helped you find the idea. 🙂 Though I must say, I disagree with your son – I think a little maple syrup might be kind of nice – after all, you’ve seen maple bacon, haven’t you? (Though I don’t think I’d put it on a grilled cheese or a PB sandwich.) And I love the idea of mixing it with mayo! That’s BRILLIANT! 😀


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