7 slices of bacon (about 1/2 pound)
1 or 2 or 3 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed*
1/2 green bell pepper
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup strong coffee (brewed, not grounds)
Heat cast-iron skillet on medium and fry bacon until cooked but not too dark or crispy.
While bacon is cooking , put jalapeno, onion, and bell pepper in food processor and pulse until minced, about 10 one-second pulses.
Remove bacon from pan and set aside. Pour off all but 1 T. bacon fat and saute jalapeno, pepper, and onion mixture until onions are golden. Set pan aside.
Dice bacon into 1/4-inch pieces.
To pan, add bacon, sugar, brown sugar, vinegar, syrup and salt. Over medium heat, stir constantly until mixture begins to bubble. Add coffee and stir again.
Simmer jam until it thickens and has syrupy consistency, about 20 minutes. It will stiffen more as it cools, and even more in the refrigerator.
Let cool about 20 minutes and transfer to a food processor. Pulse until bacon pieces are smaller and jam is smoother and melds together, about 5 one-second pulses. It should be spreadable.
Use immediately or store in fridge. (If jam is too thick to spread, heat in microwave.)
* The first time I made this recipe — which calls for 3 jalapenos — I used only one since I wasn’t sure how hot one would be. Not quite hot enough, so the second time I used two. Some nice heat that certainly doesn’t overwhelm, but I think I’ll try 2-1/2 or 3 the next time. After all, this jam is loaded with three types of sugar.
Yield: about 1-1/2 cups
Source: Mariko Jackson’s “The Little Foodie,” Honolulu Star Advertiser, 8/28/13
Jackson also included this with the recipe: “If your jar makes it past three days, let me know and I’ll come finish it for you.” Is it that good? Just ask Mike.
Background: This jam, like Windex in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, may be the cure for everything. Well, at least it seems to go with everything — from a spread on a sandwich pictured here (nice crusty bread with the jam, arugula, and a fried egg — Pearl’s concoction and her photo), with cream cheese on crackers, a condiment on baked sweet potatoes or a not-too-delicate protein (steak, yes, but chicken or fish, no), topping for vanilla ice cream, a spread on a tuna salad sandwich. The list will likely go on.