Well. I have returned from my journey to the Motherland with sore arms from hefting sap into the old milk cans, and probably an extra 5 pounds on my frame from eating maplely goodness at every meal. All in all, I’d say it was a successful trip home!
This morning we tried out another recipe from the Maple Syrup Cookbook. I won’t be posting any more recipes from it, so really – go out and buy it because there are 98 more recipes from within that you probably need to try. I know that based on this morning’s breakfast, I’m hooked. We had the Maple-Bacon Strata which could also be called the Something Special from Wisconsin Breakfast Bake. I dub it so because the maple syrup came from the farm, the bacon was from pigs raised by my brother*, and as we all know, cheese AND cream AND milk are the reasons why Wisconsin is the Dairy State! The only thing from Wisconsin that this bake is missing is beer, but you could easily just have a pint with your meal. Done! (I won’t judge.)
Now, you might look at the ingredients and think to yourself – whoa! That’s a bit rich! And you would be right. And I would reply – get over it. It’s not like you should be eating stuff like this every day. But as a treat when guests are over, or when your daughter comes home with this crazy I’m-going-to-post-a-maple-recipe-everyday-during-maple-season scheme, why not live a little and embrace everything special about Wisconsin?
Now – one word of caution! You should prepare this dish the night before you want to enjoy it. Build it in the evening, refrigerate, and then bake in the morning. You will be happier if you follow this important tip!
1/2 pound bacon, chopped in 1/4″ pieces
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
1 c. milk
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. salt
8 slices challah or other dense bread, lightly toasted and cut into thirds.
12 ounces grated cheddar cheese
2/3 c. chopped pistachios
1. Grease a 2 qt. casserole and set aside.
2. Cook the bacon until crisp. Drain and set aside.
3. Whisk together the cream, milk, maple syrup, eggs, mustard, sage and salt.
4. Lay half of the bread in a prepared dish. Sprinkle with half of the bacon, half of the cheese and half of the nuts. Continue layering with remaining ingredients.
5. Pour egg mixture over the layers, cover and refrigerate overnight.
6. Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Uncover dish and bake fo r40 minute or until bubbly and golden.
7. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!
*Bonus recipe for Bacon, courtesy of my mom!
1. Have a lot of brothers (or sons, in my mom’s case).
2. Make sure one raises pigs.
3. Help yourself to bacon.