Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bacon-bourbon jam

Oh. My. God.

But first: a little story.

My weekends, like everyone else's, are typically devoted to those projects I don't have time for during the week. (Or am too lazy to tackle during the week.) Gardening lately, but also cooking--preparing stuff for the week ahead, working on things for the upcoming week's blog posts, cooking more complicated things that I don't have time/energy for after work.

What I cook during the weekend is selected based on the following criteria, in order:
1. Something needs to be used up.
2. It sounds interesting.
3. I feel like it.

I read several different food blogs, and subscribe to a few food/wine/cooking magazines. I also have a hefty collection of cookbooks. Whenever I run across a recipe that sounds particularly interesting, I print it out/mark it/copy it and add it to my "make this at some point" pile. That pile of paper is running about eight inches tall. Every couple of weeks, I go through the pile, pulling out things that I'll want to make in the near future (based on what I have on hand; if I don't have one or more of the ingredients already, it goes back on the pile).

Last week I was going through the pile, and I happened upon this recipe for bacon-bourbon jam I'd printed out several weeks ago.

I remembered I had a big new package of applewood-smoked bacon from Whole Foods. I scanned the recipe and realized I had all of the ingredients on hand.

Out it came.

And that became one of this weekend's cooking projects.

Of everything I made (a pizza, a couscous salad, a pasta salad, a batch of ice cream), this was the clear winner.

Go make some now.

The flavor complexity is out of this world. My next project will be figuring out how to can this so I can give it to people as gifts.

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