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Maple Syrup Cookbook

100 Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
by Ken Haedrich

Maple Syrup Cookbook

Sure, you have maple syrup on your breakfast, but in it? That's the sweet premise of Ken Haedrich's Maple Syrup Cookbook. Lovers of nature's nectar undoubtedly will cherish the rich results.

Actually, it's every meal of the day—and dessert, of course, too—with which Haedrich has temptingly tampered.

First, start not by topping your French toast with syrup, but instead including it in the batter to make the whole dish a sweeter affair, or prepare a killer homemade granola chockfull of the sweet stuff, or munch on a maple cream scone, or sip on maple hot chocolate.

For lunch, how about a glorious sweet potato and bacon bisque (made delightfully sweeter by the syrup, yet perfectly toned down with minced onion and sour cream) and a green bean salad with a delicious lemon-basil-maple dressing?

Dinner might be a roast breast of chicken with a red wine-blueberry glaze which has a foundation of maple syrup and a side of to-die-for braised onions accented with maple syrup and thyme.

The cheesecake in black-bottom cheesecake bars is kissed by maple syrup and makes a wondrous dessert, as does coffee chip cookies flavored with the syrup, delightful maple fudge or homemade maple-walnut or maple-ginger ice cream.

Of course, the maple factor would be a bit too thick if all this were in one meal, but Haedrich, author of a dozen cookbooks and winner of the prestigious Julia Child Cookbook Award, gives enough variety and blends the syrup so well with so many ingredients that you probably will just feel you are eating gourmet food everyday rather than one maple syrup-infused dish after another. These are not foods that have maple syrup shoehorned in to fit a cookbook theme, but rather outstandingly balanced recipes that either naturally or innovatively welcome the ingredient.

Along the way, you'll feast on maple syrup history (with roots back to Native Americans prior to Colonists arriving in North America) and profiles of colorful "sugarmakers" (the term for syrup producers), like Maggie Brox, who notes the intrigue often involved when Haedrich asks her, "After all these years, can you predict when the sap is going to run?"

"Not always," says Brox. "It's supposed to run when you have warm days and cold nights, but I've had days like that where I got nothing at all. And I've seen it run when it's 33° F and snowing like mad. I've decided sap pretty much runs when it pleases."

MAPLE FRENCH TOAST
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2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of nutmeg
8 slices bread, crusts trimmed
Butter, for greasing skillet

Yields 3 to 4 servings.

Beat eggs until light. Whisk in milk, maple syrup, cream, salt and nutmeg.

Dip slices of bread in egg mixture, one at a time, turning to coat both sides.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat, then carefully butter it lightly. Cook bread for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Keep warm.

Repeat with remaining bread and batter. Serve topped with warm syrup or fruit preserves.

ORANGE-MAPLE CHICKEN WINGS
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1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 to 2-1/2 pounds chicken wings (about 16 to 20 wings)

Yields 4 to 6 appetizer servings.

Mix the buttermilk and maple syrup in a large bowl.

Briefly process the orange sections and cinnamon in a food processor or blender to make a coarse puree.

Stir the orange mixture into buttermilk, then add chicken wings. Stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour up to 12 hours, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 400° F. Arrange wings in a shallow baking pan so they are not touching one another.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden and crispy; turn wings every 5 minutes to make sure they are evenly browned. Brush occasionally with some of the remaining marinade, but not in the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

Reviewed by Lisa Messinger


(Updated: 11/21/12 JLD)


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