Fast and Furious


The time has FINALLY arrived! I’ve been waiting for this day for almost 5 months.
No, I’m not referring to Easter (although, I do love a good chocolate covered marshmallow egg, and my good friend Sarah and I were just touting our love of Jelly Bellies). Nope, I’ve been counting down something MUCH more precious than a Peep…it’s finally the start of golf season in Wisconsin!

Now wait a minute…I know what some of you may be thinking. Before you get all bent out of shape and start mumbling at your monitor about how golf is just OHHH so boring, please allow me fill you in on the similarity between golf and food:

When discussing a “hole in one”: Instead of the beautiful image of a small Titleist golf ball soaring 167 yards through the air, falling gracefully into a cup on the 10th green, I sometimes visualize THIS:

What do you mean you don’t see the similarity? There’s a hole in one of those too!

My point in the above is that, despite winter’s attempt at throwing the Dairyland state a 9-inch curve ball of snow earlier this week, spring has officially sprung in northeastern Wisconsin. Now my fellow students and I at the Tech are flying the fast and furious sprint to the end of semester finish line! We’re making plans for how we’ll spend our summer break. Some of us, including myself, will be taking summer classes. Others will be working internship positions and/or regular jobs. There will also be students who choose to use the word “break” for all its worth. They’ll bask in the glow of the summer sun as much as possible, living it up on junk food and liquid refreshment at the beach or at area sporting events. Once the sun sets, they’ll gather their friends and hit up some nightly entertainment. Hey, those kids truly know the definition of RELAXATION!

Starting next week, I’ll likely see class attendance dwindle so quickly that some of my instructors will want to get their eyeglass prescription checked to assure that they’re seeing correctly. No worries…I’ll be sitting faithfully in class, reminding my wonderful instructors that they are not dreaming…that there really are some of their students who long to learn as much as possible from them for a few more weeks 28 more days. Yes, I’m counting down those days, too…

I’ll be spending part of my Easter Sunday at Shamrock Heights golf course. Brian and I will be partaking of the awesome brunch deal ($12.95… can’t beat it!) and then we’ll be putting on our sunscreen and hitting the links! For those who will be staying home for Easter and are still in need of recipe ideas, give this sweet potato and bacon gratin a try. I made it for Thanksgiving and it was a big hit. The potatoes are tender and flavorful, and the bacon adds a great smoky taste. If you don’t care for bacon, leave it out. You can substitute regular potatoes for the sweet potatoes, too. The best part is that it can be assembled ahead of time, leaving you more time to spend with the people you love on Easter. Have a happy and blessed holiday!

Courtesy of: http://www.food52.com

SWEET POTATO & BACON GRATIN

Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 pieces bacon, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 4 cups sweet potatoes, thinly sliced (1/8″ thick)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • parmesan cheese, grated, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees (325 F if using a convection oven)
  2. Lightly grease a small baking or casserole dish.
  3. In a small sauté pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove from heat, and toss with onion and garlic.
  4. In a small pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour, and cook until the mixture is well combined but still pale. Stir in the milk.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and bring the béchamel to a simmer. Stir in nutmeg, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.
  6. Layer 8-12 slices of potato at the base of the prepared baking dish. Top with a few tablespoons of béchamel, and a few spoonfuls of the bacon mixture. Repeat with another layer of potatoes, another layer of béchamel, and more bacon. Top with one last layer of potatoes, and spoon remaining béchamel over the top. Finish with a sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake the gratin until it is bubbly around the edges and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
Advertisements

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brian Donovan
    Apr 22, 2011 @ 06:45:20

    Still another amazing post, Boo! Bring on Summer!

    Reply

  2. Diane {createdbydiane.blogspot.com}
    Apr 22, 2011 @ 14:46:25

    yes, let the warm weather begin.
    Your sweet potato & bacon gratin looks good!!!
    Someone else mentioned they saw me on the foodie daily last week, I don’t think I know what it is It may be a paperly, but I haven’t gotten a tweet about it. 😦 if you have a chance tweet it to me 🙂 I’d love to see it. I’m @createdbydiane

    Reply

  3. dahliadd
    Apr 23, 2011 @ 12:50:42

    Haha Becca, I ❤ the analogy!!

    Have a very Blessed Easter yourself! It sounds like a wonderful day you guys have planned…enjoy!!

    Reply

  4. Maureen
    Apr 26, 2011 @ 06:54:33

    Sweet potatoes, bacon & cheese in one spot? Heavenly! I’ve never tried sweet potatoes this way but I will soon. I liked the hole in one cupcake too. 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: