Bacon spread or marmalade imparts a smoky flavour to these recipes.

Bacon Jam Stuffed Potato Skins

Chef Josh Henderson of Skillet Street Food in Seattle said he made this recipe for his Super Bowl party last year. "It was a huge hit — I thought I had overprepared, but everything was gone and I have the feeling that our guests would have finished the rest had I made more!"

3 russet potatoes, scrubbed

30 ml (2 tbsp) butter

1 clove garlic, minced

125 ml (1/2 cup) vegetable oil, for frying

250 ml (1 cup) sliced onions

50 ml (1/4 cup) flour

Salt and pepper, to taste

120 ml (8 tbsp) bacon jam

175 ml (3/4 cup) cheddar cheese

Sour cream in a squeeze bottle, for topping

30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped Italian parsley, for garnish

Heat oven to 180 C (350 F).

Bake potatoes on middle rack until fork tender, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and let sit until cool enough to handle.

Heat grill to medium.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and spoon out flesh, leaving a 1-cm (1/2-inch) shell.

In a saucepan, melt butter and add garlic. Brush potatoes with butter and garlic mixture. Flip over and butter the bottoms.

Place potatoes on grill and cook until crisp, 4 to 4 1/2 minutes on each side, and remove from grill.

In a skillet, place vegetable oil and heat on medium. Meanwhile, coat onions with flour. Fry in vegetable oil until crispy golden brown. Gently season with salt and pepper.

To assemble: Spread 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the bacon jam in each potato skin, top with cheddar cheese and put under broiler until bubbly and golden brown. Drizzle with sour cream and top with crispy onions and parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Chef Josh Henderson of Skillet Street Food in Seattle (www.skilletstreetfood.com).

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Cheddar Bacon Marmalade Toasts

Here is an elegant appetizer using smoky, sweet bacon marmalade, tender pear slices and old cheddar. These crostini can elevate half-time of the Super Bowl game or would be a great addition to an Oscar party.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

1 baguette

30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) shredded old white cheddar cheese (about 160 g/5 1/2 oz)

150 ml (2/3 cups) bacon marmalade spread

1 Bartlett pear (skin on), cored and cut in 20 wedges, each wedge cut in half crosswise

2 ml (1/2 tsp) fresh thyme leaves

Heat oven to 180 C (350 F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Slice baguette into 40 1-cm (1/2-inch) thick slices, discarding the heels. Place flat on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with oil. Bake for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Sprinkle toasts with cheddar, dividing evenly; bake for another 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and toasts are crisp.

Transfer toasts to a platter. Dividing bacon marmalade evenly, place small dollop on each toast. Top each with a piece of pear. Sprinkle with thyme and serve immediately.

Makes 10 servings.

Source: www.pc.ca/blacklabel

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Skillet Bacon Jam Chicken With Mushrooms

A spoonful of bacon jam stirred into pan juices turns into a dynamite sauce for sauteed chicken. Add a dash of cream for indulgence. You can use other chicken pieces; adjust cooking time. If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, shred glazed chicken and pile on a crusty bun with some aged cheddar.

This recipe was created by Jane Rodmell, All the Best Fine Foods in Toronto, using Skillet Bacon Spread.

15 ml (1 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil

15 ml (1 tbsp) butter

4 whole chicken legs

Pinch each kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper

15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh rosemary

250 g (8 oz) medium mushrooms, quartered

125 ml (1/2 cup) red wine

125 ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock or 50 ml (1/4 cup) stock and 50 ml (1/4 cup) cream

30 ml (2 tbsp) bacon jam

Fresh lemon juice, to taste

In a large frying pan, heat oil and butter over medium-high.

Season chicken lightly with salt and pepper and add to pan. Brown well, about 10 minutes on each side. Reduce heat to medium; add rosemary and mushrooms. Stir occasionally to cook mushrooms evenly and continue to cook until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Remove chicken and mushrooms to a side plate. Remove excess fat from pan and add wine and stock. Stir to release cooking juices and reduce to sauce consistency. Stir in bacon jam and heat through for a minute. Add cream, if using.

Taste and sharpen flavour with a dash of lemon juice. Return chicken and mushrooms to pan; heat briefly, stirring to coat with sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Jane Rodmell, All the Best Fine Foods in Toronto.

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