The nights are getting cooler and Halloween is just around the corner! We’re celebrating our favorite fall month with a recipe from Karen Covey, author of The Coastal Table: Recipes Inspired by the Farmlands and Seaside of Southern New England. This beautiful cookbook highlights the epicurean heritage of Southern New England with a fresh, simple twist on traditional fare. Taking cues from local culinary history and agriculture, The Coastal Table features recipes for cool nights in, sophisticated outdoor entertaining, and simple, everyday meals.
Nothing rewards apple pickers, leaf rakers, and pumpkin choosers better than a warm grilled cheese sandwich oozing melted cheese, tomatoes….and bacon jam. You heard me – bacon jam, one of the most popular dishes in Karen’s book. This savory spread can be used just about anywhere, not just grilled cheese sandwiches. Egg dishes sing with a dollop of jam, toasted baguettes beg for a smear when paired with a light salad, and juicy burgers rise to new levels when topped with this jam. Feel free to lick the spoon afterwards – we won’t tell!
8 strips thick-cut Applewood smoked bacon, roughly chopped
½ small onion, diced Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup apple cider
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup brewed coffee, cooled
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1. In a medium saucepan, add bacon and cook over medium heat, stirring as needed, until nicely browned. Remove with a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.
2. Pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon of grease from pan.
3. Add onions to remaining bacon grease and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Carefully add apple cider and balsamic vinegar to deglaze pan, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan. Add coffee, brown sugar, maple syrup, and mustard and stir to combine.
4. Add bacon back to pan. Cook over medium heat until mixture has thickened and reaches consistency of a jam, about 10-15 minutes (cook a bit longer if necessary). Set aside to cool to room temperature.
cook’s note: For a more spreadable consistency, transfer cooked mixture to a food processor and pulse until smooth or slightly chunky.