Chef Wes Bonner has been with the Aprons Cooking School for the past several years, where he instructs people on all levels of cooking, from simple basics to entire Thanksgiving meals.
Bonner was kind enough to share a favorite recipe: a pear and Maytag blue cheese frittata with Applewood bacon jam:
Pear Frittata with Maytag Blue Cheese and Applewood Bacon Jam
Serves 4 to 6
1 pound applewood bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large sweet onion, diced small
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
½ cup cider vinegar
½ cup packed dark-brown sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¾ cup brewed coffee
2 firm, ripe pears
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
6 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup Maytag blue cheese, crumbled
1) In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet (reserve for another use).
2) Add onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent, about six minutes. Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and coffee and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about two minutes. Add bacon and stir to combine.
3) Transfer mixture to a 6-quart saucepan and cook on low, uncovered, until liquid is syrupy, 3 1/2 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Let cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container.
4) Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel pears and cut them into ½-inch chunks. In a 9-10 inch, non-stick oven-safe skillet, melt butter. Add pears and saute until lightly browned. In a bowl, blend eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla and salt. Pour over pears. Bake for 8-12 minutes, cool slightly and slice. Spoon jam over serving portions. Sprinkle with cheese.
Pairing Suggestion: Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel
For more information on Publix Aprons Cooking School classes, or for more free recipes, visit the Publix website.