Saturday, May 28, 2011


A little while back, I made bacon jam. Highly enjoyable when freshly made, very bad for you, awesome on fresh bread. So when I saw this recipe for roasted garlic, bacon and onion marmalade floating around, I decided to see how it compared. It has similar components: bacon, onions, garlic, vinegar, but the focus on this one, is definitely more on the garlic and onions than on the bacon, although the bacon does add a nice salty smoky flavor.

The only thing is, I refuse to call it marmalade. It just doesn't provide the right picture in my head. Debating between jam and relish.... going for... relish.

Roasted Garlic, Bacon and Onion Relish
recipe source: hungry foodies pharmacy

2 heads of garlic
3 slices bacon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 large yellow onions, sliced
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the top of the garlic bulbs using a knife, leaving the tops of the individual garlic cloves exposed. Place garlic bulb on top of a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to wrap the whole garlic bulb. Drizzle with two teaspoons of olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt, and wrap foil tightly. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until the feel soft when pressed.

Allow the garlic to cool enough so you can touch it without burning yourself. Use a fork or your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins. For large roasted garlic cloves, chop coarsely.

In a large, nonstick skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the bacon slices and cook until the fat has been rendered, and the bacon is crispy. Remove bacon and place onto a paper towel-lined plate. Once cool to handle, crumble the bacon into coarse crumbles.

In the same skillet with the bacon fat, add the onions and saute until the onions are tender, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to just medium to medium-low, add water, cover with a lid and cook until the onions turn an amber golden brown. You will need to stir occasionally, until done, about 45 minutes.

Add the crumbled bacon, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, thyme, roasted garlic cloves, salt and pepper, and deglaze the pan and cook until most of the moisture is gone. Once cooled, pour into a container and keep refrigerated. Will keep for about 5 days.

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

It's a savory spread for sure, with a hit of sweet. Good flavor. The only thing about it, you kinda have to serve it fresh, because if it sits, even at room temperature, it kinda congeals, and looks unappetizing. (Not that it's a beautiful condiment to start with...) I mean, it's made with bacon. That's what bacon fat does, right? Serve it fresh. If you make it ahead of time, try reheating it before serving it. 

To eat with this relish, I really wanted to make these cheesy potato sticks, but I just couldn't find the flour called for in the recipe. I was going to try to find another recipe for potato bread sticks, but when I picked up an issue of Ricardo so I could read it before giving it back to my mom, I saw the fougasse and knew that it was going to be a winner. I say read, but I really didn't. Ricardo is a nice magazine and all, but the articles are super specific and super long. I mean, six pages devoted to radishes? Really? So I skimmed it. And the fougasse! 

It's basically just pizza dough, shaped like, well, a fougasse, and topped with aromatics and oil.

recipe adapted from Ricardo

1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
2 3/4 cups all purpose unbleached flour
2 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp fresh thyme
freshly cracked black pepper
fleur de sel

In a glass measuring cup, combine the water, oil and honey. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, yeast and salt. Add the wet ingredients and using the bread hook, mix until the dough comes together. Let the stand mixer do its thing for 3 minutes.

Shape the dough into a ball, and put it in a clean, lightly oiled bowl covered with a damp tea towel to let rise in a warm spot  for about 1 hour, until doubled in size.

In a small bowl, mix the oil with the herbs and season with salt and pepper.

If you have a pizza stone, set it on the lowest rack of your oven. Heat the oven to 475.

When the dough had double, divide it in two portions and stretch it into a rough circle on a piece of parchment. Using kitchen shears, cut 6 holes in the dough and stretch it out slightly. Brush the dough with oil and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Bake for 15 minutes until golden.

This was wonderful bread! I'm used to making the no knead artisan bread in 5 minutes a day bread, but this isn't much more work, and I like that you can use it after only an hour. It was fluffy, and chewy in a good way, and very flavorful. 

I was a bit worried because the dough seemed really wet, but I let it rise anyway. I only had 3/4 tsp instant/quick yeast, so I used traditional yeast as well without ill effects. It rose up fine, and was easy to shape. Fougasse is pretty forgiving anyway. It's meant to look rustic.

Oh and the original recipe calls for rosemary instead of thyme and a minced garlic clove in the oil. I guess any combination can work! 

My husband declared that this was the best pizza dough yet, and that he expects pizza more often since the dough is so easy to make. Guess I'll have to oblige!

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