While you're traveling through the Lake Champlain Region, there are many great places to indulge in breakfast - trust me, I've tried most of them. However, when it's time to head home, be sure to bring a taste of the Adirondacks back with you. Plan ahead for a lazy morning around your own kitchen table enjoying breakfast, a hot cup of tea, and conversation.
One way to make your next Sunday brunch a special occasion is to treat yourself to some of our locally raised Adirondack bacon. There are several farms creating great products in the Lake Champlain Region and I wish I had blog space to introduce you to each of them, but I'll show you what I'm talking about with just one.
Willow Wood Farms has an amazing smoked bacon they make from their Heritage Pork. This stuff is so much better than run-of-the-mill grocery bacon that it will knock your socks off. It is gorgeous pastured-raised pork, and the bacon is thick cut and marbled with a perfect balance of meat and fat. Just looking at it you know it is top quality, then you open the package and smell that wonderful smoky aroma- suddenly you can't wait to get cooking.
When you're in the Ticonderoga area stop by their farm stand at 3489 Route 74 - it’s open daily all year. You might even catch a glimpse of their piggies gamboling in the pasture.
I happened to bump into Ann Lamb of Willow Wood Farm at a recent Winter Farmer’s Market in Westport and had the good fortune to score a pound of their thick-cut smoked bacon. It was an unexpected surprise that made my whole day.
The next day being Sunday, we arose bright-eyed at the crack of ten (well, ten-ish), eager to cook up our hearty breakfast. Assembling some of our favorite North Country ingredients we threw together the following treat with enough calories to burn through the rest of winter and well into spring. The star of the show, of course, is the bacon, along with a great huge hunk of aged sharp cheddar, maple syrup, black pepper, and, as Sam Spade says, “You know it just happens I got a bottle of pretty good rye…”
Line some oven-proof ramekins with strips of bacon; The bacon was mighty thick stuff, a few strips cut into pieces went a long way. Line two flat oven-proof dishes with more bacon.
Pour a little maple syrup over it.
… then a drizzle of Rye, followed by a couple of good grinds of black pepper over everything.
Let this sit while you turn on your oven to 350 degrees and it gets up to temperature.
When you are up to temp, bake them all for five minutes then broil them for another three.
Ready for the next step.
Break an egg into each ramekin.
Slice off some hunks of cheese.
Break up the cheese over the flat dishes and pop everything back in the oven.
Broil until the cheese is browned (the most important step), and the eggs begin to set up.
Run a knife around the edges of the eggs and plop the contents of the ramekin on top of the flat dish.
Here is the final assembly ready for the last broil.
It’s done when you broil the bacon to your liking. Bring it out, drain off the bacon fat and stop immediately when you see the reduced maple syrup start to drain out. All told, it took about 20 minutes to get it to the table.
There it is - dig in!
Delicious smoked bacon with egg, broiled to perfection and swimming in a maple rye reduction with browned cheddar. It’s going to be a very good day.
This week in ADK news: Bacon!