A trip to Seattle always stirs up memories of living, working, and eating there. Mmmmm. Eating there...
Sometimes, at about 11:25 on a Thursday, I'd get an email from Adam containing just a single, magical word. Skillet. Not a question, not a command, an affirmation. At the sight of that word my stomach would begin to growl in anticipation, scarcely able to wait the agonizing half hour until I could bolt out of the office, speed down the hill to Fremont, and join Adam and a crowd of similarly jonesing Seattleites in the line for Skillet Street Food. Skillet hasn't yet parked their gleaming airstream trailer on the streets of Berkeley, and we haven't yet found a local hamburger to rival their mouthwatering combination of grass-fed beef, arugula, cambozola, brioche, and bacon jam. Luckily, we can open up a jar of Bacon Jam anytime we're craving a taste of home.
Bacon Jam is potent stuff. The aroma alone is enough to tempt vegetarians back to the dark side. Packed with Niman Ranch bacon, onions, and a sweet zing of balsamic vinegar, Bacon Jam is usually the loudest taste on your plate. I wondered how it would do in a more understated role as an ingredient.
My Bacon Jam Shortbread is an elaboration on my basic Savory Shortbread recipe. The essential ingredients are the same: 1/4 cup of grated parmesan, 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt, 1 3/4 cups of flour, and 2 sticks of cubed unsalted butter. I rounded out the recipe with flavors that wouldn't take no nonsense from bossy Bacon Jam.
This shortbread is the condensed version of the ultimate sandwich. A teaspoon each of onion powder, caraway seed, and black pepper with a tablespoon or so of chopped fresh dill replicates the taste of rye bread. Every sandwich needs a slice of cheese, so I used 1/4 cup of finely diced swiss. If you're a mustard fan, why not add a teaspoon of mustard seed? And, of course, you'll need 2 tablespoons of Bacon Jam.
The amount of butter in this recipe is variable due to the oil in the jam, so watch your dough carefully as you're mixing. From there, proceed with my Savory Shortbread directions: roll, chill, chop, bake at 350º for about 15 minutes. Are you wondering why I have no cutely styled final product picture? They didn't last that long.