Bacon Jam & Brie Crostini
There's a food cart (and now diner) here in Seattle you might have heard us rave about in the past called Skillet that serves up upscale versions of breakfast diner foods as well as fancy chicken sandwiches and burgers. Plus it was through Skillet's street cart that we were first introduced to poutine and have subsequently made it ourselves from their cookbook.
Another of the things Skillet is famous for is their bacon jam spread they place on their burgers (or you can purchase it by the jar and slather it on your sandwiches at home). I have to say I was a little disappointed when I bought Skillet's cookbook and there was no recipe for bacon jam, but rather a few paragraphs talking about how popular it is and how it is really only a few simple ingredients— bacon, onions caramelized with balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Then it goes on to tell you how you can order their bacon jam online. Lame. I bought this cookbook to be able to copy your food, not order components from your online store. Whatever.
When I searched online for the ratios of these simple ingredients, it seems as though Skillet might be trying to protect a trade secret by not giving out their recipe and possibly leaving a few ingredients out of their list. Who knows what's true and what's not true, but I found several other recipes for bacon jam that also incorporated coffee and maple syrup which seemed like nice hearty and sweet additions to the savory, salty bacon, so I chose to add them in.
Bacon Jam & Brie Crostini
based off a recipe by Martha Stewart; makes approximately 2 1/2 cups
- 1 pound thick sliced bacon, diced
- 2 shallots, thinly diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, thinly diced
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (the good stuff)
- 3/4 cup brewed coffee
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 pound brie, sliced
- handful of arugula
- 1 baguette, sliced and toasted with olive oil
- Cook the bacon in a large frying pan in its own juice until throughly cooked and as crisp as it will get.
- Remove the cooked bacon from the pan and allow to cool, reserving the bacon grease in the pan.
- Sautee the shallots and the garlic in the frying pan over medium heat until soft.
- Add in the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and coffee. Bring to a simmer.
- Add the bacon back in.
- Allow the ingredients to simmer on the stove for 45 minutes or until the water has mostly evaporated and your bacon is covered is a thick, syrupy sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
- Use an immersion blender to break down the bacon (it will not look very appealing at this point, but it tastes delicious).
- Place a slice of brie on a slice of baguette, add a bit of arugula, and top with bacon jam. Place in the toaster oven (or regular oven) at 300° for around 5 minutes to allow the brie to melt.
- Serve immediately or the bacon jam will get hard and lose it's soft jam-like texture. If jam begins to harden, just reheat in the oven toaster oven again.
This recipe did not keep well for me in the fridge, so I'd recommend eating it all right away. I'm not sure how Skillet manages to package theirs, but kuddos to them for being able to do so.
When you tell people you are serving them bacon jam, they will look at you and raise their eyebrows (jam is a funny word to come after bacon), but will dig right in followed by many "oh my Gods" and telling you how fabulous it is. Guys especially love bacon jam. One told me, he'd have to learn how to make this himself. There's no higher compliment!