Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jalapeno Bacon Jam

I completely ended up rewriting a recipe that sounded good, because when I taste tested it, I did not like it.  I’ll share the original and then a very, modified version with you.  The first is the original recipe I got off of FB.  The second is using the idea of bacon and jalapeno jam and changing it into a bacon, jalapeno and apple jam.  The first recipe calls for coffee and I do not drink coffee and have never learned to like the flavor of it so decided to change it to apple juice when I made the original.  When I made the second batch I used apple cranberry juice for both color and taste.  Since I was going with apple juice, I changed out the onion for an apple in the 2nd batch.

You have to like heat to like either of these jams.  If you serve it with cream cheese it cuts the heat.  I also added a little more sugar than the original recipe.  You pick which you want to try or try both.  You’ll see the changes.

Bacon, Jalapeno and Onion Jam

(cut and pasted from FB

9 slices of thick bacon, cut into 1/2 inch slices, cooked until brown (not crispy)
4 tablespoons of bacon grease, reserved from frying up bacon
1 large red onion, diced into 1/4 inch squares (yielded about 2.5 cups)
1 tablespoon mined garlic
dash of salt
1/4 cup diced jalapenos (this amount makes it spicy, use less if worried about the temperature)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (don't use imitation or artificial syrups)
3/4 cup brewed coffee (I used apple juice)

Note:  I did not cook my bacon until it was crispy. I wanted it to be brown and chewy.  This allows the liquids in the recipe a chance to flavor and marinate the bacon.

In a medium size sauté pan, add 2 Tablespoons of bacon grease.  Wait until it is hot enough to sauté and add the diced onion and garlic.  Cook until the onions are clear-8 minutes- on medium heat, stirring every once in a while.  If they start to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a bit more grease.

In a medium sauce pan, add the vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of bacon grease, coffee, jalapeno's and bacon.

When the onions and garlic are done, add these to the medium sauce pan too.

Bring the jam to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low--the jam should simmer for 45 minutes.  I would check the jam every 15 minutes and stir once.

My version is a big rewrite.  I really like mine and am saving it for future use.  This is a test to see just how daring you really are.

Bacon, Jalapeno and Apple Jam

9 slices of pre-cooked bacon cut up with kitchen scissors into small pieces
2 large apples, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch dices or grated (I grated the apple for quicker cooking)
Dash of salt
1/2 cup diced jalapenos (deseeded and chopped in small food processor)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or a good balsamic vinegar (I used a good balsamic)
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
½ cup maple syrup
¾  cup apple cranberry juice

Fry bacon and set aside or you can use the precooked bacon for convenience like I did.  I also did not use the bacon grease in this recipe.

In a medium sauce pan, cook your apples in the apple cranberry juice until tender.  Add the vinegar, sugars, maple syrup, salt, jalapeno's and bacon.

Bring the jam to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer for 60 minutes.  Stir the jam every 15 minutes.

If you do not like heat, you may wish to reduce the amount of peppers in half.  With the extra sugar I added to the recipe, I’m happy with the heat because I deseeded the pepper.  I really like the brown sugar and maple syrup flavor with the bacon.

To test you jam, put a half teaspoonful of the jelly on a chilled plate (put plate in the freezer). Allow the jelly to cool a few seconds; push it with your fingertip. If it wrinkles up, it's ready.  If not, then boil another 15 minutes and test again. 

Store the jam in the refrigerator.

Serve the jam on crackers with cream cheese or crusty French bread. 

I think it might be nice on meatballs for an appetizer or chicken wings or Little Smokies also.  Experiment with it and see what you come up with. 

I tried the meatballs and they were very good.  I just added a tiny bit of water to the jam and heated the meatballs in it.  You can do the same thing with baked chicken wings or the Little Smokies.

I'm taking some to my son Eddie and letting them be my guinea pigs.  I hope they like it and you too.

Going to be another frigid day here in Iowa.  This will heat things up a bit.  Have a great day, be happy and may God bless you and yours.   

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