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Salty, smoky bacon is braised with onion, brown sugar, chicken broth, and Espelette pepper, then blended into a sweet-savory jam, in this recipe from Top Chef season 6 finalist Kevin Gillespie. Spread some on a biscuit with eggs for a rib-sticking breakfast sandwich, dollop it atop a bowl of creamy potato soup, or toss it with some charred okra.
What to buy: Piment d’Espelette is France’s only native pepper, and it is so highly revered that it is protected by AOC status. It has a nice heat and is worth seeking out at a gourmet grocery or online. If you have trouble finding it, you can substitute hot paprika.
Game plan: The bacon jam can be cooled to room temperature and then refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Rewarm before using.