The Mailbox: Readers’ recipe requests and finds

By Teri Mena

Singing the blues

A while back, The Bee featured a recipe for blue cheese vinaigrette from the Monte Vista Inn in Dutch Flat. I lost my copy. Can someone help? Thank you.

Laura Barnes, Colfax



If you have recipes in reply to Mailbox reader requests, or questions or comments, write to: Mailbox, c/o Taste, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. You also can email or fax (916) 321-1109. Please include your full name, your city and phone number.

The best bacon jam

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 70 minutes

Makes about 2 cups

Jerry Faz of Sacramento and his wife enjoy trying different happy hour offerings at downtown Sacramento bars in the early evening. They regularly frequent the Shady Lady Saloon for their farmhouse cheddar biscuits served with bacon onion jam. Faz was hoping someone had the jam recipe to share.

Although we haven't heard from Shady Lady with their recipe, Deanna C. Holman of Stockton shares this recipe that comes from the August 2014 issue of Costco magazine. It is credited to Costco member Kristen Stevens. Holman has made this jam several times and has given it as gifts to friends. Holman says it's delicious on steaks, hamburgers or salmon. It may be a close match to Shady Lady's recipe.


1 pound Kirkland Signature bacon

2 extra-large sweet onions, quartered and thickly sliced

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup strong brewed coffee

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


Cut the bacon into 1/2-inch slices and add to a large frying pan. Don't worry if the bacon pieces stick together, they will come apart as they cook. Cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the bacon is cooked but still quite chewy. A few crispy bits are okay.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings and reserve for another use.

Add the onions to the pan and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to low. Add sugar and stir. Continue to cook until the onions have caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the coffee, 1/2 cup water and the reserved bacon and continue to cook, stirring every 5 minutes, until the onions are thick and jam-like, about 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the balsamic. Taste for seasoning and salt if necessary.

Use immediately or refrigerate for up to a week. Bring back to room temperature before serving. There will be little spots of white fat when you take it out of the fridge. As the jam comes to room temperature, these will disappear.

Per tablespoon: 97 cal.; 5 g pro.; 5 g carb.; 6 g fat (2 sat., 3 monounsat., 1 polyunsat.); 15 mg chol.; 313 mg sod.; 0 g fiber; 57 percent calories from fat.