Now that sap season is past and the weather grows warmer, it’s time to play with maple in the kitchen. There is a universe of recipes that use maple aside from the obvious: pancakes, coffee cake, and in baked beans. I love this article from Buzzfeed by Snack Editor, Rachel Sanders, “57 Magical Ways To Use Maple Syrup“. The article does a nice job of underscoring the wide range of cooking uses for the sweet product of the sugar maple tree.
Several of the 57 caught my eye, from the gloriously simple ways to make your frequent-flyer kitchen vegetables into gourmet treats like Pan-Roasted Maple-Glazed Carrots (#41) to Sweet Potatoes With Bourbon And Maple (#21). I’m a big fan of using maple for barbecue and grilling and am guilty of doctoring store-bought sauce with dark maple. Recipes that take this concept to a much higher level include, Grilled Maple Mustard Chicken Wings (#36) and Beer, Maple and Garlic Pork Shoulder (#38). Both of these will be high on the summer cookout menu.
Just because baked beans are an obvious use for maple doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it – I recently made up a batch of maple barbecue beans that were just killer. #39 Maple Baked Beans is a good, solid recipe.
On the dessert side, simple is often the best way to go and I like the suggestion for a Coffee Maple Sundae (#43) made with coffee ice cream and toasted pecans. It’s easy to see you could pretty much plug in your favorite ice cream or frozen yogurt here. I’d suggest topping with Just Maple’s Maple-Coated Pecans (which are also very nice chopped up and used in a salad). Instead of ice cream, vanilla yogurt topped with maple syrup and those pecans is pretty darn nice.
The real show stopper for me in the article: Maple Bourbon Bacon Jam (#25). Maple. Bacon. There’s no competing with that. The author bills this as “the condiment of Canadiens and kings”. I don’t think I could agree more. Set that next to your cheese platter at a dinner party or use like a chutney with grilled or roasted chicken, duck or pork. Seriously… roofing shingles would probably taste good with this stuff.
What’s your favorite or what do you think should be on the list? Got a favorite recipe of your own? Share on Just Maple’s Facebook page.
– Andy Mack Jr
[Andy Mack Jr grew up on a family apple farm in Londonderry NH. He is a radio engineer, broadcaster and writer. The native Granite Stater has a passion for New Hampshire’s unique places, outdoors spaces, angling, culture and the arts. On Twitter @MackNH]