What's For Breakfast: Blood Orange Marmalade Candied Bacon

Later this month I will be attending the Eat Write Retreat in Chicago. As part of a VIP registration, I received a box of selections from the gourmet line of Golden Door Artisan foods. Golden Door Spa, located in Escondido, California, is a full-service resort focused on the mind, body, and spirit. Fresh, wholesome, clean, and flavorful foods are a key part of the Golden Door spa experience, and the Golden Door Artisan food product line allows consumers to bring the spa experience to their kitchen. This line of gourmet foods is the result of a collaboration between former Golden Door Chef Michel Stroot and current Chef Greg Frey Jr. The products are organic, vegan, gluten-, and soy-free. Additionally, 100% of Golden Door’s profits go to select charities across the U.S. dedicated to transforming the lives of children.

My preview box included:
  • Golden Door Organic Fig Preserves
  • Blood Orange Marmalade
  • Zazen Rice Medley
  • Zen Meditation Rice Medley With Forbidden Rice
  • Spiced Bean Soup
  • Moroccan Hariri Soup Mix
I was immediately drawn to the blood orange marmalade, which is the consistency of apple butter, and has just the right amount of tang and sweetness. I thought the sweetness of the blood orange marmalade would pair quite nicely with the saltiness of bacon.

Pairing spa food with bacon? Is that blasphemy? Perhaps, but I'm all about all things in moderation. And while bacon might not be on our menu every day of the week, it's a nice treat to have every now and again. (I'm looking at you, Sunday brunch.)

And of course, true to form, I didn't use just any bacon. Our most recent batch of bacon came from Black Earth Meats via The Conscious Carnivore in Madison. This uncured smoked bacon is made from pastured Berkshire pork and is nitrite and nitrate free. You're going to be seeing a lot more pork recipes on my blog in the near future. We're currently raising three Tamworth pigs on our little farm up here in the Northwoods. And they are living the good life on pasture in the sunshine (and shade), making all sorts of mud pies as they nose through the soil.

While the bacon is rather delicious on its own, the addition of blood orange marmalade seasoned with fennel seeds and peppercorns adds a whole new level of flavor.

While tasty on its own, this candied bacon, when crumbled, would also make a flavorful addition to a quiche, salad, or dare I say it, scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Blood Orange Marmalade Candied Bacon (printer-friendly version)
makes 2-3 servings

6 strips thick-cut, preservative-free uncured smoked bacon
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1/4 cup + 1 1/2 teaspoons blood orange marmalade, divided

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack over top the layer of foil. Place 6 strips of thick-cut bacon on the wire rack. Use a pastry brush to brush about 1/4 teaspoon teaspoon of blood orange marmalade over top each slice of bacon.
2. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook the bacon until brown and crispy, about 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and use tongs to carefully flip over each slice of bacon.
3. While the bacon is baking on the first side, prep the fennel seed and peppercorn mixture. Add the fennel seeds and whole peppercorns to the bowl of a food processor. Process until most peppercorns are pulverized, about 1-2 minutes.
4. Place 1/4 cup blood orange marmalade into a small bowl. Stir in the fennel seed mixture. Brush the marmalade-fennel seed mixture evenly over top each slice of bacon. Bake in the oven for another 20 minutes, or until brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool before serving.