Monday, December 30, 2013

Jammin'

In an effort to make at least a couple of my Christmas gifts this year, I found myself flipping through the pages of my Martha Stewart Living magazine, looking for a new project. When I landed on something called "Bacon Jam" I knew it was something that needed to be made, like, right now.
There does seem to be a national obsession with bacon as of late - donuts sprinkled with bacon bits, bacon flavored chocolate bars and enough bacon covered items in the novelty gift shops to take over your whole house (I'm looking at you bandages, toothpaste and bacon-scented fake mustache!)
photo source
I got in on the bacon action by frying up a pound and a half to create a few sets of this jam to give as gifts.
First the time consuming part: dicing up and cooking all of that bacon!
After the bacon was browned and set aside, I removed most of the bacon grease from the pan and added the shallots and garlic until tenderized. Chili powder, ginger and dry mustard was added to the pan. Maple syrup and bourbon was thrown in and brought to a boil, followed by the vinegar and brown sugar. I didn't have sherry vinegar, so settled for red wine vinegar.
Once the bacon was added to the liquidy brown sugar mixture the smell started to be a bit amazing. This kept simmering until the liquid thickened up. Then I transferred everything to the food processor to chunk it up a bit further. The jam has a great smoky taste with just a kick from the bourbon and chili powder spices.

Full recipe can be found on Martha's site here.
Beyond the recipe itself, I followed Martha's suggestions for presenting the jam as gifts, including picking up a set of airtight glass jars from The Container Store. 
A gift tag, package of crostini and sharp white cheddar accompanied each jam jar. No real room on the tag for the whole explanation of how to make the jam, so I left it at the ingredient list for now, knowing my blog would be featuring the recipe very shortly!
Treat bags from Michaels housed the set and I kept them in the fridge until present time. Why yes, this photo of the finished product was taken in the car on the way to Christmas festivities! 
So what's the verdict, is our bacon-obsessed culture here to stay? What will be the next hot food item of 2014? 

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