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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pink Peppercorn, Cherry and Bacon Compote

       Yes, I've made bacon jam before.
   Yes, I do realize these are supposed to be the dog days of detox.
Yes, I anticipate reinventing bacon jam at least one more time. Maybe two.

In this version of bacon compote (or jam), the pink peppercorns reign supreme while the bacon gives that subtle, smokey pork thing that gives depth and makes us temporarily lose our wits enough to spout drunken marriage proposals to stubby legged animals. Fresh cherries are stewed into a luscious, rich sauce binding it all together.

Serve with a tangy goat cheese for an amazing bacon jam bruschetta, add to sandwiches, top burgers, dollop on roasted chicken, mix into meatloaf and chili or inhale with a spoon... just get this in your belly!

In small doses, bacon compote will give you a little reprieve from your New Years diet and the fat and happy strength to carry on.

Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: I served this with both crostini and crackers; the crostini allows the flavors to come through cleaner, but go with what you prefer.

Pink Peppercorn, Cherry and Bacon Compote 
Layered with Goat Cheese

4 slices bacon (medium thickness)
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup water
3 Tbls maple syrup
1/2 heaping cup chopped fresh cherries
2 Tbls raisins, dried cherries or craisins
1/2 tsp pink peppercorns
good pinch of cumin

4 ounces goat cheese

Chopped the bacon into small, 1/2 inch pieces. Cook in a medium sauce pan, removing the bacon before the it becomes crispy. Pour any extra grease out of the pan, leaving just a few drippings behind.

Deglaze the pan with the red wine and add in the remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the cover, add in the bacon and simmer for 5-10 more minutes. The mixture will thicken, but don't let it get too dry.

Remove from heat, cool slightly. Place in a small Cuisinart and pulse a number of times until the mixture resembles a thick jam or compote. You want to make sure the peppercorns have been pulverized.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Can store in the fridge for up to a few weeks (it won't last that long though.) Layer in a bowl with the goat cheese, serve with toasted bread.

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