Bacon Jam and Goat Cheese Crostini

This year I've started sharing dishes that are the go-to recipes in my repertoire. These are dishes that I've made more than once that not only pass my own tests but those of friends and family.

Several years ago I found a recipe for Bacon Jam on Not Quite Nigella. The jam is smokey, sweet, tangy, and an altogether luscious condiment. I've made my own adjustments, namely increasing the heat. A simple Google search will show you that many have taken the original recipe and made it their own.

My favorite way to serve it is with a soft creamy goat cheese on crisp slices of baguette.

I changed the instructions a bit but the main change I made was to add more heat to the overall recipe. I chose to forgo the Tabasco sauce - it's not my favorite hot sauce. Instead I added crushed red pepper and cayenne pepper. I reduce the amount of heat when I make this for others - I want them to enjoy a bit of the spiciness without killing their taste buds.

In the final step when processing the jam, I only pulse it a few times until the bacon resembles little pearls maybe slightly larger than tobiko.

Process the jam to form little bacon "caviar"

The nice thing about this appetizer is everything can be made in advance. Before serving I let the cheese sit out a bit so it's easily spreadable and I heat up the bacon jam just slightly. I don't want it hot but I don't want it cold straight from the refrigerator.

Prep the toasts the night before and store in
an airtight container when cool

Bacon jam is also a delicious addition to a sandwich or a topping for a burger. I've also read that people enjoy it on scrambled eggs for breakfast. However you enjoy it, it is worth the time invested and the smell of bacon lingering in your home for days.