Bacon Jam: The Best Christmas Gift Ever

Bacon Jam 1I feel like I should start this post with an apology.

After all of the Thanksgiving festivities I should be posting something healthy – like a lentil soup or something. The last thing you probably want to be tempted with after Thanksgiving is this Bacon Jam..but I just couldn’t help myself.

You see, as a food blogger, I spend lots of time scouring the internets looking at all of the wonderful things other awesome food bloggers are posting about. And every once and a while I run across something that I simply can’t stop obsessing about. The last time it was homemade butter mints. This time it was bacon jam.

The first time I saw it I didn’t really dwell on it. I just thought “hmm…weird” and kept on moving. But then it just kind stuck in my brain. What on earth would bacon jam taste like? How would it work? And then I kept going back and staring the ingredients…

-bacon (obvi)

– coffee

-brown sugar

– garlic

– caramelized onions

….hoo boy. Those are some of my favorite things. And they get all cooked together till they get all jammy and stuff. Then spread on a fresh baguette? Who can blame me for obsessing a little.

So I started rationalizing. After all, this really would make the perfect Christmas gift! And it would be massively irresponsible of me to give said Christmas gift without testing it first to see if it was actually good….right? RIGHT??

Bacon Jame 2

So I threw caution to the wind, embraced the impending threat of thunder thighs, and spent yesterday afternoon standing over my dutch oven watching bacon, onions, coffee, and brown sugar caramelize into rich, jammy goodness.

And….wow…just wow.

I spread it on the aforementioned baguette and proceeded to have my mind blown.

It. was. amazing.

Bacon Jam 3

This bacon jam could be the answer to everything. Troubles at work? Bacon jam. Final exams? Bacon jam. Spouse that continues to leave his socks right NEXT to the hamper??? (ahem..) Yep. Bacon jam.

It is THE perfect gift to give to someone special in your life. Unless they are a vegan. Or are on any type of diet that isn’t Atkins.

I should warn you…..

“With great power comes great responsibility”. This jar of bacon jam should not be opened unless you are being supervised by friends. Because you will eat the whole jar. By yourself. Please consume bacon jam responsibly.

Bacon Jam 4

Bacon Jam

adapted from Martha Stewart

1 lb. bacon

2 onions, thinly sliced

4 Tbs. garlic

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cups very strong coffee

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp. black pepper

1. Cut the bacon into 1 inch pieces. Add to a dutch oven over medium high heat and cook until the bacon pieces are browned. Remove the bacon and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Drain all but 1 Tbsp. of the bacon grease and discard. (I always save some in the refrigerator for cooking with. That stuff is like gold!)

2. Add the onions and garlic to the 1 Tbsp. of bacon grease left in the dutch oven and turn the heat dow to medium. Cook until the onions are tender.

3. Add the coffee, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and black pepper to the onions and garlic. Bring the heat back up to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil. Let it boil for about two minutes and then turn the heat down to medium low. Add your bacon back to the pot.

4. Let the whole mixture simmer gently until the liquids are syrup and the onions are nice and carmelized. It should be very thick. If it looks like it’s starting to burn you can add in some water to keep it going.

5. When it looks about done, remove from heat and let it cool a tiny bit. When it’s just warm, place the mixture in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple times until the bacon is VERY finely chopped. (Some recipes called for pulsing it longer..so it resembled more of a ‘spread’ but I like having it more rustic with nice chunks of bacon).

6. Spread on a baguette and try not to eat the whole batch…..

Enjoy!

Reuben Egg Rolls for St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

Steve and I kept it pretty mellow this year – after all St. Paddy’s is not a very pregnant lady-friendly holiday. I have to admit to experiencing a slight twinge of jealousy as I was reading about all of the PDX pub crawls that were happening around the city, but alas….not this year.

Instead, we spent the day hiking, thrifting, and making these adorable little reuben egg rolls, which we promptly inhaled while watching reruns of Fringe.

All in all……a pretty good Saturday, despite the lack of green beer.

Anyways….let’s chat about these egg rolls….because let’s face it, putting a traditional Irish sandwich in an egg roll may sound weird to some. But let me tell you, I just want to high-five the genius at Cuisine at Home who created this recipe. Now I can’t stop thinking about all the other things that I might want to stick in an egg roll…..this may become problematic.

Chase is just waiting for something to fall on the floor….

These would also be a great way to use up any leftovers if you were feasting on corned beef and cabbage today.

Reuben Egg Rolls

Recipe from Cuisine at Home

1 1/2 cups sauerkraut, drained

1 1/2 t. caraway seeds

Juice of 1/2 lemon

6 oz. corned beef, thinly sliced

4 oz. Swiss cheese, cut into strips

1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp. water

8 egg roll wrappers

2 Tbps. mustard (I used dijon)

1 cup vegetable oil

Thousand Island dressing – for dipping

1. In a large skillet, saute the sauerkraut over medium-high heat until the moisture has evaporated and it becomes slightly browned. Add the lemon juice and set aside.

2. Lay out an egg roll wrapper out in front of you with the corner facing you. Brush the edges with egg wash. Place a strip of cheese, strips of beef, about 3 Tbps. sauerkraut and a drizzle of mustard on the egg roll. Fold up the bottom of the egg roll over the filling. Fold over the sides and roll to close. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and fillings.

3. Heat the oil to 360 degrees. Fry the egg rolls on all sides until brown and crisp – 5-7 minutes total (I worked in groups of four). Drain on paper towels.

4. Serve with Thousand Island dressing for dipping and enjoy!