Marvelous Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup! Doesn’t the mere mention of it just conjure up warm food memories? Griddled tall stacks of pancakes drizzled with sweet syrup. Hot, crispy strips of maple-cured bacon… Yum!

But it’s not just for breakfast foods! Maple’s unique flavor is great in all kinds of recipes and different grades of syrup are preferred for different uses. Dark to medium amber grades are perfect for use in cooking and baking; their stronger flavor holds up great. Light and “Fancy” grades are best used where the syrup’s subtle flavor can be appreciated, such as drizzled over yogurt.

MapleSyrupGrades
The Different Maple Syrup Grades
(Photo courtesy of TheNibble.com)

On the savory side of things, maple syrup is perfect in a marinade for pork; added to a pot of baked beans; or even in a dressing, such as in my recipe for Maple Vinaigrette. It is great tossed with your favorite greens, fresh sliced pears and toasted pecans. It works wonderfully on chicken breasts, too!

For those with a sweet tooth, try my Maple Panna Cotta—a no-bake custard-style dessert! It is simple to make and truly is delectable; and pretty with a pouf of whipped cream and garnished with a maple sugar candy leaf!

So make a resolution to branch out and try this sweet syrup “in” instead of “on” something different this year! -Kathy

Maple Vinaigrette
Makes about 1 cup

6 tablespoons real maple syrup, preferably grade B
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, vinegar, mustard and shallots. Combine the two oils and then, while whisking continuously, drizzle the oil into the syrup mixture. The dressing should be well mixed and emulsified. Whisk in the seasonings.
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Rewhisk before using.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Maple Panna Cotta
Makes 6 servings

2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (this will be less than 1 envelope)
2 tablespoons warm water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup mascarpone
1 cup real maple syrup, preferably grade B

For garnishing: lightly sweetened whipped cream and maple sugar candy leaves if desired

To make the panna cotta, sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a large heatproof bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Whisk in the cream, mascarpone, and maple syrup and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the mixture until smooth and warmed.

Divide the mixture evenly among 6 martini glasses. Cover each one with plastic wrap. Be sure that the wrap does not touch the tops of the panna cotta. Refrigerate overnight, or for a minimum of 12 hours, before serving.

Top with a tiny pouf of whipped cream and a maple candy if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on January 11th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, dessert, other, salads

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