Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Maple Syrup -- it’s not just for breakfast anymore

You remember the ads. They went something like this: “Their syrup runs off the side of this stack of pancakes. Our syrup is thick and rich…”

Riiight. Thick with corn syrup is what they meant. Real maple syrup is thin and runny. Real maple syrup isn’t about viscosity, it’s about flavor and the flavor of 100% maple syrup is a powerful force for good.

Maple Butter Spread

1/2 cup butter, softened
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

With a food processor or electric mixer, whip the butter and salt until light and fluffy. While still mixing, add the maple syrup slowly until the syrup is well incorporated. (Adding the syrup slowly prevents the mixture from separating.) You can refrigerate the spread in a covered container for up to 3 weeks.

Use on toast, sweet breads, muffins, the palm of your hand, etc.

Lemon-Basil Salad Dressing

1/3 cup vegetable oil or a blend of vegetable and olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 TB Dijon mustard
1-1/2 teas. minced fresh basil
1/8 teas. finely grated lemon zest (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. Taste. Add more vinegar or maple syrup if desired. Refrigerate.

For a creamy option to this recipe, add 1/2 to 3/4 cup sour cream with other ingredients.

Maple-Mustard Glaze for Grilling

1/4 cup maple syrup
3 TB Dijon mustard
2 teas. soy sauce
1 TB lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teas. freshly ground black pepper

Combine ingredients in small saucepan. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat. Divide in two equal portions. Brush one portion on meat. Refrigerate meat for 30-60 minutes. Grill, periodically turning and basting meat with the remaining sauce.

This amount of glaze is adequate for a 2-1/2 to 3 pound broiler-fryer chicken. We also use this glaze on pork, steaks, and turkey. My husband says it would taste good on a hubcap.


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