I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Mint Julep Vinaigrette

Mint Julep Vinaigrette

Every once in awhile, you absolutely stumble over an idea that makes you feel like a real culinary wizard. This is one of those for me. I was having some friends over to grill burgers. I made a few dishes and I’d picked up some amazing produce at the farmers market, including some beautiful butter lettuces. I had a master plan, but at the last minute, I realized I needed a light dressing for those lovely leaves. I took stock of what I had on hand and inventoried the ingredients in the other dishes I had prepared so I didn’t overlap too much. I had a lot of fresh mint (I always have a lot of fresh mint), so I started there. Literally standing at my kitchen counter with that mint and those lettuces, I spied the bottle of bourbon on the bar and the light bulb switched on “mint julep!” This last minute creation was huge hit.

I love this in the simplest of salads, just beautiful fresh lettuces lightly tossed with the dressing, but it can add a lot of flavor to a salad with toasted pecans and salty goat cheese. I really want to try this drizzled over a salad topped with some grilled chicken or shrimp.

Mint Julep Vinaigrette
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  1. ½ cup densely packed mint leaves
  2. 3 Tablespoons bourbon
  3. 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  4. 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
  6. ½ cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Place the mint, bourbon, vinegar, sugar and salt in a blender and blend to finely chop the mint and dissolve the sugar. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until combined. Store in the fridge in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake well before serving
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Chicken Tinga

Chicken Tinga

When I was a kid, taco night mean hard shells, ground beef cooked with a packet of seasoning and shredded cheese. It was fun, because you got to “make” your own dinner, putting as much meat and cheese on as you wanted (though mom probably insisted that I put a little lettuce on it too). And eating with your hands! But my, how times have changed and only for the better. Tacos much closer to traditional Mexican food are readily available, and those kit tacos from my youth seem bland and boring now. That’s not Mexican food anymore, that’s drive-thru fast food now.

But one thing does remain, the fun of building your own dinner. I have often mentioned how much I love an interactive meal – everyone gets involved and talking and laughing and everybody has a meal they love. Chicken Tinga, which is a wonderful name for a dish, is chicken slow-cooked to melting tenderness in a flavor-packed onion and chipotle sauce. It is pretty simple to make for the reward it produces, and incredibly versatile. Use the juicy chicken to fill tortillas for tacos, or spread it over a crispy tostada. Stuff it into bread to make a torta, or use it to top an colorful taco salad. It is wonderful over rice, or serve it on its own, or rolled into burritos. The leftovers can be used for several days, and you can even freeze it.

I love to pull out a full array of colorful toppings to add crunch and creaminess and counterpoints to the smoky chipotle flavor. Simply pickled red onions are traditional and the vinegar tang complements to rich meat perfectly and this creamy avocado sauce cools everything down. Make this for family taco night or invite friends over for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. I think this would also make a great book club meal.

Chicken Tinga
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 onion, diced
  3. 1 green bell pepper, diced
  4. 1 red bell pepper, diced
  5. 1 tomatillo, diced
  6. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (2 if you want), diced
  8. 2 Tablespoons adobo sauce from the chipotles
  9. 1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (fire-roasted adds a little smokiness)
  10. 2 teaspoons oregano (preferably Mexican)
  11. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  12. 6 chicken breasts
Topping ideas
  1. Creamy Avocado Sauce
  2. Quick Pickled Red Onions
  3. Crumbled cotija cheese
  4. Shredded lettuce or cabbage
  5. Shredded radishes
  6. Pico de gallo
  7. Salsa
  8. Limes wedges to squeeze over the top
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot, then add the onion and bell peppers. Saute over medium heat until the vegetables star to soften, then lower the heat a little, add the garlic and cover the pan. Cook until soft and browning a little, about 10 minutes, stirring a few times. Add a little water to the pan and scrape up any browned bits form the bottom of the pan, then let the water cook off. Browning the vegetables a little adds some depth of flavor and richness. Add the tomatillo, chipotles, adobo sauce, tomatoes, oregano and cumin and stir well. Cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes. When the sauce has cooled a bit, transfer it to a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Pour the sauce back into the pot and add the chicken breasts, stirring to cover each breast with sauce. Bring the pot to a bubble over medium high heat, then turn the heat to low, cover the pot and leave to simmer until the chicken is very tender, about 1 ½ hours. Remove the chicken breasts to a plate one at a time and use two forks to pull the chicken into shreds, then return the shreds to the sauce in the pot. Continue to simmer uncovered until the sauce reduces and thickens, about 30 minutes.
Notes
  1. You can place the chicken and sauce in a slow cooker and cook over low heat for 4 hours, then shred the meat as above.
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Quick Pickled Red Onions
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Ingredients
  1. 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  2. 1 cup water
  3. ½ cup cider vinegar
  4. 1 Tablespoon sugar
  5. 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  6. ½ teaspoon pickling spice
Instructions
  1. Layer the onions in a pint jar or glass bowl. Bring the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and spices to a boil in a small pan and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the brine over the onions and leave to cool, then seal and keep in the refrigerator for a least an hour, but the onions will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.
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Creamy Avocado Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 1 avocado
  2. 3 tomatillos
  3. juice of one lime
  4. 2 garlic cloves
  5. ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  6. salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Scoop the flesh out of the avocado and place it in a blender. Chop the tomatillos roughly and add to the blender with the garlic, cilantro and salt. Blend until smooth and scoop into a bowl or jar. Cover and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
The Runaway Spoon http://therunawayspoon.com/blog/

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Sweet Citrus Sauce for Fruit

Sweet Citrus Sauce for Fruit

Serving fruit to a group of guests can present a challenge. We’ve all seen that desultory grocery store platter of chunked fruit languishing away at the lonely end of the buffet table. There’s always the carved watermelon basket with balls of melon, but that is way to much work for me. I have never been a fan of savory dressing for fruit salads – those mustard and poppy seed versions – and old-fashioned congelead salads get some funny looks these days. So I developed this recipe for a purely sweet, citrusy dressing that that works spring through summer and is versatile to boot. You can vary the citrus to taste, using whatever is available, but all lemon is a bit too tangy.

The lovely, sunshiny yellow color of this dip looks beautiful on a platter with vibrantly colored fruit. Serve this as a dip with juicy strawberries, dolloped over a platter of sliced fruits, or gently stirred through a bowl of mixed, chopped fruit and berries.

Sweet Citrus Sauce for Fruit
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Ingredients
  1. 1 orange
  2. 1 lemon
  3. 1 lime
  4. 1/3 cup sugar
  5. 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  6. 1 Tablespoon butter
Instructions
  1. Zest the orange, lemon and lime, then juice them. Measure ½ cup of juice into a jug, then add water to make ¾ cups liquid.
  2. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together in a saucepan and add the liquid. Whisk over medium heat until the sauce is thick and glossy, about the consistency of thick maple syrup. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Whisk in 1 Tablespoon of the combined citrus zest. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter a small piece at a time until melted and smooth. Transfer the sauce to a bowl, cool, cover and refrigerate up to 12 hours. Let the sauce come to room temperature before serving with fruit.
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Potted Ham

Potted Ham

Potted ham is some truly old fashioned cooking. Potting was a method for preserving meat and seafood and even cheese in English kitchens before the advent of refrigeration. It is basically sealing finely chopped meat under a layer of clarified butter. The butter solidifies and shields the meat form unwanted visitors. It was the precursor to canned meats and I think that is probably why it’s reputation suffered and it went largely out of fashion. I’ve made potted shrimp and potted stilton for English themed tea parties and they’ve always been very popular, but I had never thought of potting ham until I found this recipe in Noel McMeel’s book Irish Pantry at the precise moment I had a surfeit of leftover ham in my refrigerator.

I find this dish charmingly old-fashioned, but it somehow seems to have a modern resonance and stylishness to it. It seems so homemade and self-sufficient. Make this in elegant little ramekins and serve as a first course with toasted crusty bread and a pretty little spreading knife, or make a larger ramekin (no more than a 2-cup size) and serve on a cheese platter with crackers. And it makes great sandwiches – even as a layer in a bahn-mi.

I would not trust this method as its original purpose as a long-term storage solution for meat, but it will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. And it freezes well too. Pack it into freezable jars, cover with butter, refrigerate until cold, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw completely in the fridge before serving. I particularly like it in these European-style jars. I have simplified the original recipe a bit.

Potted Ham
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Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces of high-quality butter (like Kerrygold)
  2. 1 pound cooked ham, torn onto pieces
  3. 1 Tablespoon parley
  4. 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
  5. ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  6. ¼ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  7. ¼ teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  8. ¼ teaspoon salt
  9. lots of ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut the butter into quarters and place in a 4-cup microwave safe measuring jug. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Leave the butter to sit for one minute, then skim off any white foam from the surface. Slowly and carefully pour the clarified butter into a smaller measuring jug leaving the white solids behind. Set aside.
  2. Place the ham in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse several times to break the meat up into rough crumbs. Add the parsley, vinegar, cloves, mustard seeds salt, pepper and about 2/3 of the clarified butter. Pulse until you have a thick, rough paste that sticks together, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed and making sure everything is well combined.
  3. Use a spoon to transfer the ham to ramekins or jars. Pack the ham down lightly into the containers making sure there are no large gaps. Smooth the top of the ham to an even layer. Pour the remaining clarified butter equally over the top of each container. The surface needs to be completely covered with a generous layer of butter. No ham should be sticking up through the butter. Leave the ramekins on the counter so the butter settles and begins to solidify, then carefully transfer to the fridge. When the butter has solidified completely, cover with jar lids or plastic wrap. Let come to room temperature before serving.
  4. The potted ham will keep in the fridge for a week or the freezer for up to three months.
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Cranberry Tangerine Relish

Cranberry Tangerine Relish

I am pretty traditional about the cranberries on the Thanksgiving table. I have to have my traditional cooked cranberry sauce. But I like to mix things up sometimes and have a second version as well. But I am not from the jiggly can of cranberry sauce camp, so it’s a chance to get creative.

This raw relish is sweet and tangy and a definite twist. Usually made with oranges, I find the sweetness of tangerines a special touch, and add a little kick of bourbon. You can use small tangerines, larger honey tangerines or even clementines. Serve this with the big meal, and there will still be lots left to go beside leftover sandwiches.

Cranberry Tangerine Relish
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Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces whole tangerines
  2. 8 ounces fresh cranberries
  3. ½ cup pecan halves
  4. 1 cup sugar
  5. 2 Tablespoons bourbon
Instructions
  1. Cut the tangerines into pieces – skins and all - and place in the food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse six to seven times to break up the tangerines. Add the whole cranberries, sugar, pecans and bourbon and pulse until you have a rough relish. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times and make sure everything is well combined. Scoop the relish into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for several hours or up to a week. If lots of liquid accumulates in the bowl, you can drain the relish.
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Asian Inspired Chicken Salad with Sesame Mayonnaise

Asian Inspired Chicken Salad with Sesame Mayonnaise

I do love a good chicken salad, and I am always working on new and different versions. This Asian inspired iteration relies on the wonderful sesame mayonnaise, a recipe I used for years when I first started entertaining, as a dip for asparagus spears or snap peas. I started making it when Asian ingredients like sesame oil and rice vinegar weren’t as readily available as they are now, so it always struck a note of the exotic. I’ve kept that recipe on one of those personalized recipe cards that used to be such popular hostess gifts. I returned to the mayonnaise recipe recently and realized how incredibly versatile it is. I whipped up a little cold chicken supper with leftovers from the fridge, and it was such a good idea, I had to turn it into a summery chicken salad recipe.

Serve this chicken salad in lettuce cups with lime wedges to squeeze over it. I also like it scooped up with rice crackers.

This will make more mayonnaise than you need. Toss it with cold rice or ramen noodles for a lovely side dish, spread it on a bahn-mi style sandwich. It’s a different twist for a burger or a chicken sandwich. Try it with roasted asparagus or steamed snap peas. I’ve even served this as a dip for grilled shrimp.

Asian Inspired Chicken Salad with Sesame Mayonnaise
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. Sesame Mayonnaise
  2. 1 whole egg
  3. 2 egg yolks
  4. 2 ½ Tablespoon soy sauce
  5. 2 ½ Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  6. 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  7. ½ teaspoon salt
  8. ¼ cup sesame oil
  9. 1 ¾ cups vegetable oil, like grapeseed or canola
  10. Chicken Salad
  11. 3 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts
  12. 1 cup shredded carrots
  13. 4 green onions, finely chopped
  14. ½ cup roasted and salted peanuts, chopped
  15. ¼ cup finely chopped mint
  16. ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
For the Mayonnaise
  1. Place the egg, egg yolks, soy sauce, vinegar, mustard and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until the ingredients are combined. With the motor running, drizzle in the sesame and vegetable oils in a slow, steady stream. Process until the mixture is creamy, thick and emulsified. You will actually hear the food processor change sounds from smooth blending to a wet slapping sound.
  2. When the mayonnaise is thick, scrape it into a container, cover it tightly and refrigerate for at least two hours to firm up and allow the flavors to meld.
For the Salad
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly salt the chicken breasts and place on a baking tray. Roast for about 20 – 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (internal temperature of 165°). Let the chicken cool to room temperature, then pull of the skin, pull the meat from the bones and shred into a bowl, either using two forks or your fingers.
  2. Add the carrots, green onions, peanuts, cilantro and mint to the chicken in the bowl and toss to combine. Add 1 cup of the sesame mayonnaise and stir to coat.
  3. The chicken salad will keep, covered, in the fridge for a few days. The mayonnaise will keep, covered, for 4 days.
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Strawberry Curd and Almond Cookies

Strawberry Curd and Almond Cookies Strawberry season was a bit slow to come this year, but I am now gorging myself on the in-season fruit and finding all sorts of ways to incorporate the ruby gems in my cooking. And this is a new favorite. It combines the flavor of beautiful local fruits and memories of England, and anything that can do that makes me happy. Lemon curd has always felt like a luxury food to me. It was a fancy British import, sold in little jars and not readily available in Memphis. In fact, when I first started travelling to England, I probably brought jars back for my mother and grandmother as little gifts. Eventually I learned that lemon curd is pretty easy to make at home, and so much fresher and better, which led to the obvious experimentation with curds of other flavors. And I think strawberry may be my favorite. It’s a lovely pink color and bursts with strawberry flavor. Strawberry curd is wonderful spread on toast or good English muffins. Or the full English, on a tender scone. It makes a wonderful filling for a cake. I decided to pair it here with these delicate little almond cookies because it makes a lovely and interesting dessert. I’ve scooped the curd into little 4 ounce Mason jars and placed it on a plate surrounded by cookies as a nifty little individual sweet. It also works as a dip for a spring shower or brunch.

Strawberry Curd and Almond Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. Strawberry Curd
  2. 8 ¼ ounces strawberries, hulled
  3. 1 ¼ cup sugar
  4. zest and juice of one small orange
  5. zest and juice of one medium lemon
  6. ½ cup (1 stick) butter, cubed and at room temperature
  7. 4 eggs
  8. Almond Cookies
  9. ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  10. ½ cup granulated sugar
  11. 1 large egg
  12. ½ cup almond meal (or very finely ground almonds)
  13. 1 ½ teaspoons pure almond extract
  14. 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Strawberry Curd
  2. Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl and set aside close to the stovetop. Puree the strawberries in a blender until very smooth.
  3. Pour the strawberry puree into a medium sauce pan and add the sugar, citrus zest and juice (about ¼ cup juice). Whisk to blend and add the butter pieces. Beat the eggs well in a small bowl, then whisk them into the strawberry mixture until combined. Place over medium heat and stir constantly until the butter is melted. (it’s best to switch to a heatproof spatula here to be able to scrape the sides and reach the edges of the pan). Continue cooking until the curd is thickened, about 6- 8 minutes., stirring constantly. Scrape the curd immediately into the strainer set over the bowl. Push the curd through the strainer to remove any cooked egg or lumps. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the surface of the curd and refrigerate until cold, at least two hours. Transfer to an airtight container. The curd will keep refrigerated up to a week.
  4. Makes 2 ½ cups
  5. Almond Cookies
  6. Preheat the oven to 400°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Beat in the almond meal and almond extract, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently, until the dough comes together.
  8. Roll the dough into small balls, about the size of a pecan, and place about ½ inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Lightly dampen your fingers and slightly flatten the cookies. Bake for 6 – 8 minutes, until the bottoms of the cookies are golden and the tops are firm. Remove the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. Makes about 3 dozen
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Artichoke, Goat Cheese and Lemon Spread

Artichoke, Goat Cheese and Lemon Spread

Creamy artichoke dip has long been a staple a parties and gatherings. Lots of mayonnaise and marinated artichoke hearts and gooey cheese. It has never been a favorite of mine, because it is so rich and always tastes more of mayonnaise than anything else. I set out to create a dish everyone would be intrigued by, but surprised to find it veered so from the classic. I’ve seen recipes pairing artichokes and goat cheese, but wanted to add a lot of tang to complement the artichokes. Goat cheese, lemon, capers and yogurt give this spread body and zip, with the added herbs for layered flavors.

I prefer using frozen artichoke hearts that have not been marinated or brined to keep their flavor up front. This spread is so easy to prepare but gives such complex results it’s a real party trick. It is wonderful spread on toasted baguette slices, but it can be dipped with hearty chips. It’s good spread on a bagel too.

Artichoke, Goat Cheese and Lemon Spread
Yields 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1 (14-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts
  2. 1 clove garlic
  3. 2 Tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  4. 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley
  5. 1 Tablespoon capers in brine
  6. zest of 1 medium lemon
  7. 2 – 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
  8. 4 ounces soft goat cheese
  9. 6 ounces Greek yogurt
  10. ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  11. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook the artichoke hearts according to the package directions. Drain and leave to cool.
  2. Place the artichoke hearts, garlic, herbs and capers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to break everything up. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth and spreadable. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Scrape the spread into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for several hours to allow the flavors to meld. Serve with toasted baguette slices or crackers.
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Butternut Squash Pickle

Butternut Squash Pickle

The beautiful orangey amber cubes dress up any autumn platter. This is a quick pickle, one for the refrigerator not the canning process.  Make it ahead of your holiday cooking as the flavor needs a little time to develop.

Cutting the butternut can be a little time consuming, but a little patience and sharp, sturdy knife will pay off.  I really prefer to have small pieces, and I admit I use my as-seen-on-TV onion chopper.  The small pieces are so versatile, making this a relish to serve alongside roasted turkey or pork, or a great topping for bruschetta or a sandwich.

Butternut Pickle

1 ½ pounds cubed, peeled butternut squash (1 large butternut, about 2 pounds)

2 ½ cups cider vinegar

2 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon pickling spice

2 cinnamon sticks

Peel the butternut completely, making sure to remove all the skin.  Cut the squash in half and scrap put all the seeds and fibrous insides.  Get it all out.  Cut the butternut into small cubes.   Place the cubed butternut in a large bowl

In a high-sided pan, combine the sugar and vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and add the pickling spice and cinnamon sticks.  Boil for five minutes. Pour the boiling syrup over the butternut in the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave for 8 – 12 hours, which can easily be overnight.

Drain the syrup from the butternut back into the saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium high heat.  Boil for 5 minutes.  Add the butternut with the cinnamon sticks, bring to the boil and boil for five minutes.  Remove from the heat.

Spoon the squash into sterilized jars, pressing down lightly to fill.  Pour over the syrup, covering the squash in the jars.  There may be extra syrup; discard it.  Screw the caps on the jars, leave to cool and then refrigerate for at least a week, but up to a month unopened.  Once opened, use quickly.

Makes 2 half-pints

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Bacon Spoon Bread with Tomato Bacon Jam

Bacon Spoon Bread with Tomato Bacon Jam

When I think of really old Southern recipes, spoon bread always comes to mind.  I really have no particular knowledge of its history, its just that first time I ever had it was on a school trip to Colonial Williamsburg where it is served at Christiana Campbell’s Tavern by costumed and in-character servers. I assume everything else at Williamsburg is so accurate, that this must be a colonial recipe.  I love Williamsburg, and no small part of that is the food, and I have enjoyed the spoon bread on many subsequent visits.

Working on the theory that bacon makes everything better, I added a little bit to my classic spoon bread recipe.  The creamy, light cornbread-soufflé hybrid is perfect with the addition of a little crunch.  But it occurred to me that spoon bread could be taken out of the realm of simple side with the addition of a little saucy extra.  This bacon-onion-tomato mixture is one I have been whipping up with leftover bits and pieces for years, but finally decided was worthy of a recipe.

And no, I do not think this is too much bacon.  It is actually very well balanced.  But of course, these two dishes stand alone wonderfully well.  The spoon bread as a side with stick ribs or grilled foods or as part of a breakfast spread.  And the jam, which makes more than you need for the spoon bread, is wonderful on burgers or a grilled cheese sandwich.

Bacon Spoon Bread

6 strips of bacon

1 ½ cups cornmeal

3 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1½ cup water

2 Tablespoons butter

1 ½ cups milk

4 eggs

1 Tablespoon baking powder

Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook in a skillet until crispy.  Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.  Reserve 1 Tablespoon bacon grease

Mix the cornmeal, sugar and salt together in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Bring the water, butter and 1 Tablespoon bacon grease to a boil in a pan.  Turn on the mixer and pour the boiling water into the cornmeal.  Beat until thick and stiff.  Let cool for about 10 minutes.

Measure the milk in a 4-cup jug, then crack in the eggs and beat well.  Beat the milk and eggs into the cornmeal mush, then fold in add the bacon pieces and beat until combined.  Beat in the baking powder until well blended, then scrape the spoon bread into the baking dish.  Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until the center is set.  Serve immediately with spoonfuls of Tomato Bacon Jam.

Serves 4 – 6

Tomato-Bacon Jam

6 strips of bacon

2 pounds tomatoes, chopped

1 small white onion, finely chopped

½ cup white sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

3 Tablespoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook in a skillet until crispy.  Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

In a large, high-sided saucepan, bring the chopped tomatoes, onion, sugars, vinegar, salt and pepper to a boil.  Boil for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and breaking down. Use a spatula or the back of the spoon to crush the tomatoes, though I like to give the jam a little whirl with an immersion blender at this point to create a rough puree.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, stir in the bacon pieces and simmer until the jam is thick and spreadable, about an hour or more.  Stir occasionally to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pan.  As the jam thickens, watch it more closely and stir often to prevent burning.  The jam will be done when you pull a spatula through to expose the bottom of the pan and the two sides don’t run together.

Scoop the jam into jars or a bowl and leave to cool.  The jam will keep covered in the fridge for more than a week.

Makes 1 pint

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