We be jammin’ Savory Style!

Published 1:52pm Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Jammin’ — for some it means getting a bunch of different musicians together, stirring it up and creating some completely new music. To me, it sounds like a recipe for savory jams and jellies! These preserves are more than just a “one note samba” on toast, and they can take more exciting roles in the life of your kitchen. Filled with robust flavors: salty, sweet, briny, and herbaceous, all of these jams make quick, tasty appetizers when served over melted Brie cheese, goat cheese, or cream cheese and play a host of “other tunes” as well. Start your own “jam session” right now!

 

Bacon jam IMG_2352

Bacon Jam

Bacon? Jam? Who knew? Anywhere you would use bacon, this jam can step up the tempo of your meals. Try spreading it on a toasted English Muffin and topping it with a scrambled egg or add it to your potato salad dressing, hot or cold.

1-1/2 # bacon

2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee

1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice

2 dried bay leaves

Salt/pepper to taste

Optional: 1-2 chipotles peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

Slice the bacon into 1” slices and cook in a large skillet until well browned. Drain the fat and reserve the bacon. Place the cooked bacon and all the other ingredients into a 2 quart or larger crock pot. Cover and cook over high heat for 3-4 hours.

Remove the cooked jam from the crock pot, fish out the bay leaves, and transfer to a food processor or blender. Pulse until the consistency is to your liking, a soft spreadable jam. You may leave the bacon in larger bits or pulse until very small, your choice.

If the jam is too liquid for your taste, transfer to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the liquid has evaporated and the jam is thick and syrupy. Adjust the seasoning and serve warm.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to three weeks or freeze. Warm, slightly, in the microwave before serving, about 10 seconds.

 

rosemary jellyIMG_2359

Rosemary White Wine Jelly

Besides a great “intro,” as part of an appetizer, this player can add some grace notes to a meal as a beautiful glaze for chicken and fish or as a substitute for the sweetness in fruit dip or fruit salad dressing.

4-1/2 cups white wine (box wine is great for this recipe, but nothing too sweet)

1/2 cup fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1 box (2 pouches) liquid pectin (Certo™)

4-1/2 cups sugar

Combine wine and rosemary in saucepan, bring to a boil then simmer until reduced to about 3-1/2 cups wine. Strain out the rosemary. Add sugar, return to heat, stirring until dissolved. Add lemon juice and pectin and return to rolling boil. Boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam, if needed. Ladle into hot sterilized jelly jars, leaving 1/2 inch headroom. Tighten lids, process for 5 minutes in boiling water bath.

 

onion jamIMG_2343

Caramelized Onion Jam

Love onions on your burger? Modulate to a new key by serving this jam, hot or cold, on any sandwich or as a flavorful side for steaks, burgers, or grilled chicken.

 

2 T. olive oil

2 T. butter

4 cups thinly sliced onions

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (opt.)

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

In a large saucepan, heat oil and butter over medium heat until butter melts. Add onions and cook until softened. Stir in sugars, salt, peppers, and bay leaves and cook, stirring frequently until the sugars dissolve, about 20 minutes. Add vinegar and stir well to mix. Simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture combines and thickens. Remove bay leaves and cool completely. Store in tightly sealed containers in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze.

 

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