While we are all spending more time at home and in the kitchen these days, it is a great time to explore and enjoy cooking with maple syrup – both sweet and savory. The holidays bring the opportunity to bake cookies, cakes, and pies, whether it is for your own household, or to deliver to a friend or family member as a gift of good cheer. There are also a multitude of options to use maple syrup as a key or subtle ingredient in main dishes, salads, and sides.
Recently, a friend invited me to take an online “Family Cookbook Writing Class” presented by Ellen Ogden over the course of six weeks. (For more details on this informational and enjoyable food writing class, visit www.ellenogden.com.) She is a wonderful instructor, and it was great fun to personally compile family recipes, learn how to write headnotes and dabble in cookbook design and food photography. Of the 75 recipes that are going to be included in the cookbook (an eventual gift for my children), I realized that over a dozen entries have maple syrup on the list of ingredients!
Family favorite breakfast items include Baked Apple Pancakes (the apples are caramelized with maple syrup, and then placed atop a puff pancake batter), Northeast Corn Muffins (where Grade A dark robust taste maple syrup carries through as the secret ingredient) and Olive Oil and Maple Granola (you can find the recipe here in a prior blog post from Vallee Farm Maple.)
Moving on to Main Dishes, classic recipes in our rotation include Maple Mustard Braised Chicken Thighs and Maple Balsamic Glazed Salmon. You can easily find recipes for these dishes when searching popular cooking websites such as allrecipes.com, foodnetwork.com, thekitchn.com, etc.
Including maple syrup in salad dressings and side dishes is a quintessential choice for flavor. You can blend up a batch of maple balsamic vinaigrette and use to simply dress mixed greens in a Vintner’s Salad, or perhaps drizzle on a colorful mixture of carrots, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, red onions, and fresh herbs to slowly roast in the oven. Either one of these selections will steal the show at a festive (or every day!) meal. Our holiday dinner would not be complete without some Maple Ginger Glazed Carrots, or a Maple Corn Souffle (a New England favorite).
And let's not forget dessert - whether it's a Maple Apple Crisp, Maple Cookies, the traditional Maple Cream Pie or an amazing Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting - maple has a starring role in this category. For more quick ideas on how to incorporate maple syrupy goodness into your daily cooking, visit the “Let’s Cook & Eat” page of our website at www.valleemaple.com. And maple syrup makes a great gift – whether it is for your own table, or for a family member, neighbor, or friend. We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season from Vallee Farm Maple.
Photo Credit: Emily Vallee