(Family Features) Waking up early is hardly anyone’s favorite thing to do, especially on the weekends. Instead of planning an elaborate menu for brunch with family and friends, keep your plans simple and hit that snooze button. Transform a favorite recipe with new, inspired ingredients instead of traditional brunch fare.
Try putting a twist on a classic breakfast by opting for Maple Leaf Farms Duck Bacon instead of pork bacon. It's thick-cut, ready to cook and perfect for pairing with eggs, pastries or fruit. With a hearty taste and texture and 57 percent less fat than traditional pork bacon, duck bacon can satisfy hungry, waiting guests and give them a tasty start to their weekend.
This brunch recipe for Duck Bacon and Brie Cheese Stuffed French Toast can be thrown together in an instant with mouthwatering ingredients. The addition of duck bacon adds a unique flavor and wow-factor that can leave guests asking for more.
Find more brunch recipes and information about cooking with duck at mapleleaffarms.com.
Duck Bacon and Brie Cheese Stuffed French Toast
Recipe courtesy of Chef Ben Vaughn on behalf of Maple Leaf Farms
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- Butter, for coating pan
- 4 large eggs
- dash of salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ounce bourbon
- 8 slices day-old sourdough bread
- 8 ounces Brie cheese
- 12 slices Maple Leaf Farms Duck Bacon, cooked crispy
- 8 tablespoons melted butter, for topping
- maple syrup, for topping
- powdered sugar, for topping
- Heat oven to 375° F. Butter baking sheet well.
- In small bowl, beat eggs with salt, sugar, milk, vanilla and bourbon. Pour into flat-bottomed dish.
- Submerge all bread slices in dish to soak up some of egg mixture. Work in batches, if necessary. Turn with spatula and soak other side. Do not soak too long or bread will be too saturated and difficult to handle. Gently transfer four soaked bread slices to prepared baking sheet.
- Place 2 ounces cheese on each slice. Add three slices crispy bacon on top of each cheese portion.
- Top with another soaked bread slice. Press filled bread together firmly.
- Place baking sheet in oven; bake 15-20 minutes, turning after 8-10 minutes to brown both sides.
- Serve immediately with melted butter, maple syrup and powdered sugar.
Source: Maple Leaf Farms
(Family Features) From the breakfast nook to the dinner table, an Easter meal isn’t complete without a delicious ham for guests to enjoy and share. Whether you’re serving up a casual brunch, an early dinner or a formal holiday feast, an easy-to-prepare spiral ham is the perfect centerpiece for any meal occasion.
Perfectly cooked and hand trimmed, Smithfield spiral sliced hams make holiday entertaining quick and effortless, so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with family and friends.
For an added twist that will truly impress your guests, try any of Smithfield’s exceptional flavor offerings, like the Baked Apple Spice Spiral Sliced Ham, part of the premium Smokehouse Reserve line. You’ll also delight family and friends with flavors like Salted Caramel, Pecan Praline, Brown Sugar and Crunchy Glaze.
Serve up any leftovers as-is or easily incorporate them into an array of tasty dishes for brunch, lunch or dinner the next day. Try this Leftover Ham and Bacon Hash for a quick at-home brunch dish or use in an easy appetizer like Ham and Brie Crostini.
With flavor this easy, this could be your most delicious Easter yet. For more Easter recipe inspiration, visit Smithfield.com.
Leftover Ham and Bacon Hash
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds yellow potatoes, diced
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 1/2 cups Smithfield Anytime Favorites Cubed Ham or Smithfield Hickory Smoked Spiral Sliced Ham, cooked
- 4 slices Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon, cooked and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2/3 cup jarred roasted red pepper, drained and roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 2-3 eggs, fried or poached to preference (optional)
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
- Heat oven to 425° F. In large bowl, whisk together mustard, oil, salt and pepper until combined. Add potatoes and mushrooms, and toss to coat.
- Spread potato mixture evenly onto two lightly oiled or nonstick, rimmed baking pans and roast in oven 35-40 minutes, or until potatoes and mushrooms have started to brown, stirring halfway through cooking. Add any leftover bacon or ham to mixture and stir.
- Add in roasted peppers to oven-safe serving casserole (if desired) and top with cheese. Bake additional 10-15 minutes, or until cheese has softened and begun to melt. Top hash with eggs, if desired, and sliced basil.
Ham and Brie Crostini with Fig Jam
- 1 French baguette (10-12 ounces), sliced on bias, 1/4-inch thick (about 24 pieces)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 pound Smithfield Hickory Smoked Spiral Sliced Ham, cut into 24 pieces
- 9 ounces Brie cheese, sliced and cut into 24 pieces
- 1/4 cup fig jam
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- Lightly brush both sides of baguette slices with oil and place slightly spaced on rimmed baking pans. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp.
- Top each slice with ham and Brie; bake additional 5-8 minutes, or until Brie has just started to melt.
- Top each crostini with fig jam and serve warm.
Impress guests with elegant appetizers
(Family Features) Bringing an element of elegance to your holiday celebration is easy when you start with party-pleasing ingredients, and great tasting food often starts with dairy. Foods like milk, cheese and yogurt not only enhance the flavor and texture of dishes everyone loves, but they also add high-quality nutrients to support the health and wellbeing of your guests.
Each of these recipes features a different variety of cheese as the essential ingredient for success. These decadent, elegant apps, which can be prepared in minutes, are sure to be party favorites. Find more ideas for serving up an elegant, yet simple menu your guests will love at MilkMeansMore.org.
Holiday Baked Brie
Recipe created by Foxes Love Lemons on behalf of United Dairy Industry of Michigan
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 14 minutes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- 1 Brie round (8 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
- crackers or toasted bread
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook 8-10 minutes, or until deep golden brown, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper; remove from heat.
- Place Brie on parchment paper-lined rimmed baking pan; drizzle with honey. Transfer to oven and bake 5-7 minutes, or until inside of cheese is softened, but outside remains intact.
- Transfer Brie to serving platter; top with pomegranate arils, pistachios and mushrooms. Serve immediately with crackers or bread.
Butternut Squash Queso Dip
Recipe created by Rachel Cooks on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 12 ounces butternut squash puree, frozen
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 finely diced red onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 can (10 ounces) petite diced tomatoes and green chiles
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- Place unwrapped squash in microwave safe bowl and heat in microwave 5 minutes at 50 percent power, or until thawed.
- In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 4-5 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, or until fragrant.
- Add squash, tomatoes, cumin and chili powder, and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to low and add cheese. Stir until melted and serve immediately.
Parmesan Crisps with Basil and Sun-Dried Tomato
Recipe created by Art From My Table on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 6 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 8 basil leaves
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes, jarred
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- On baking sheet, make eight flat circles out of 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese each. Bake cheese 5 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden.
- Using metal spatula, remove crisps from pan immediately, placing on rack or plate to cool.
- Place vinegar and sugar in small saucepan and boil until mixture is reduced to about 1/4 cup and is thickened.
- Top each crisp with 1 fresh basil leaf and 1 sun-dried tomato. Drizzle balsamic reduction over top.
Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Mushroom Caps
Recipe created by The Lemon Bowl on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 24 large mushrooms, stemmed and reserved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 1 can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
- 2 cups crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 1 pinch chili flakes
- 1 pinch minced scallions
- Heat oven to 350° F and place mushroom caps in single layer on baking sheet lined with foil.
- Mince reserved mushroom stems and heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and mushroom stems to pan along with salt and pepper. Saute 2-3 minutes, or until mushrooms are softened. Add spinach and artichoke hearts to pan and cook until heated through, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and place mixture in large mixing bowl. Stir in feta cheese and onion. Adjust seasoning, to taste.
- Using small cookie scoop, add 2 tablespoons filling to each mushroom cap. Bake mushrooms 20-25 minutes, or until mushroom caps are softened. Sprinkle with chili flakes and minced scallions to serve.