Posts Tagged ‘Maple Recipes’

Maple Butterscotch Sauce

Monday, March 28th, 2011

I’m a little late to the party celebrating Massachusetts Maple Month—but at least I can offer a small contribution.
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. Sometimes they’re also the only ones for which a home cook has the time and the ingredients.
I originally hoped to share my friend Pat’s prize-winning recipe for maple lace cookies. Our extended family was coming to dinner Saturday evening, and I was all set to make these wafers—or so I thought.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the key ingredient in my pantry: maple sugar!!
So I punted and made a maple-based sauce for ice cream instead.
Very rich and very sweet, it works beautifully poured in small quantities over ice cream. Toasted walnuts or pecans make a festive garnish. 

As for the cookies, well, I can make them NEXT March……… 

My nephew Michael had no trouble finishing his maple buttersotch sundae.

The Sauce
1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat melt the butter, stirring constantly. Add the brown sugar and stir until it melts. Continue to stir or whisk as the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Whisk in the maple syrup. The mixture will look a little weird at first, but it will come together eventually! Return the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, and boil it (still whisking!) until it coats a spoon. This took about 3 minutes on my weird electric stove.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cream. Let the sauce cool slightly before serving it with ice cream. (You may also let it cool to room temperature and then refrigerate it until you are ready to use it. At that point warm it slightly in the microwave.) 

Makes just over 1-1/2 cups.

Cooking with Love (Again)

Friday, March 26th, 2010


The secret of good cooking is to cook with love—or so my mother taught me when I was a little girl. We should love the creative act of cooking. We should love and respect the ingredients we use. And we should love those for whom we cook.
Most of the time all this love comes naturally to me. If I didn’t find the act of cooking fulfilling, I wouldn’t be a food writer. I enjoy watching different foods ebb and flow in farm stands and grocery stores as the seasons shift. And I get great satisfaction from cooking for, and eating with, my family and friends. Food is part of our communal life.
Last week, however, was NOT my most loving time in the kitchen. We’ve all had so-called bad hair days. I had a bad food week.
It took me a while to realize what the problem was. All I knew was that just about everything I made (including recipes I was testing for publication) turned out somewhere between barely adequate and (shudder!) pretty awful. Usually, the range is from tasty to fabulous.
Friday afternoon I suddenly observed that the joy had gone out of my kitchen. I was viewing cooking as a task instead of a pleasure.
The problem wasn’t with cooking, of course. It was with me. I think my frazzled state might have been induced in part by the time of year. We have more sunshine now than we did in February—and the air is definitely warmer. Nevertheless, spring hasn’t quite hit the ground running yet. And summer seems a long way off.
To tackle the problem I turned off the stove and the computer and made myself a list. (I love lists!) The list was a bit of a hodgepodge because it had a dual purpose: to make me feel better in general and to help me return to work and cooking with a more cheerful and loving heart.
Here is my list. Obviously, this list won’t work for everyone. It might inspire others, however.
1. Take the dog (or the child or the cat or the ferret or whatever you have) for a long walk. Even on rainy days at this time of year one can smell spring in the air! And it’s good to get the body exercising as well as the brain.
2. Do something to cheer up someone else. When I got back from the walk I took my mother for a drive (she’s not in shape yet to go walking with Truffle and me). Making her happy made me happier.
3. Listen to–or better yet make!–some music. It’s the food of love, so it’s bound to help restore the love of food.
4. Buy hair dye. (I told you the list was idiosyncratic.) When I was 26 I suddenly noticed a gray patch in my bangs, a patch that has only gotten larger and more obvious with the passage of time. The woman who cuts my hair may say it’s distinguished to have a highlight in the front of my hairdo as much as she likes. We all know “distinguished” is a code word for “old.”
5. Simplify tasks. I knew I had to return to the kitchen. So I vowed that my next few recipes would be easy ones that took advantage of ingredients I already had in the house or could get very easily. Making cooking easy was the first step toward making it a joyful and loving experience again.
I may not be ready to make a soufflé or a cassoulet at this point, but I’m back to cooking with enthusiasm and making meals that I and others can enjoy. Here is one of the simple recipes that helped me get there.
It’s perfect for this time of year since we’re still in maple month…… Remember, spring is a time of renewal!
Maple Candied Sausage
This three-ingredient appetizer recipe comes from a delightful cookbook titled Fry Bacon. Add Onions: The Valentine Family & Friends Cookbook. A new edition of this book by Kathleen Valentine of Gloucester has just been published by the Parlez-Moi Press.
I enjoy the way Kathleen weaves reminiscences, photos of family and friends, and recipes into an attractive volume that shares her family’s life and many of its loves. She comes of Pennsylvania Dutch stock so the book features many of my favorite sweet-and-sour combinations.
Tammy Hicks of Charlemont, Massachusetts, gave me a similar recipe last year using grape jelly and barbecue sauce. Sweet and saucy, both recipes make excellent finger food (toothpick food, actually) for large parties.
Kathleen’s original recipe calls for 3 to 4 pounds of sausage, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup maple syrup. I was serving fewer people so I reduced her proportions.
I know there are those of you out there who will find this overly sweet—but kids and old folks love it! Serve it with a little sauerkraut to offset the sugar. (Kathleen’s book offers a number of recipes from which you can choose.)
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup brown sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
Brown the sausage pieces lightly in a frying pan. Transfer them to a 1-1/2 quart saucepan, and stir in the brown sugar and maple syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour, stirring from time to time. Serves 8 as an appetizer.
maplesausage inpotweb


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Larry’s Cabbage and Sausage Supper

Monday, March 1st, 2010
Larry gets read to eat.

Larry gets read to eat.

Happy March! We are now in Massachusetts Maple Month, according to the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I LOVE maple syrup—not just on pancakes but as a sweetener for all sorts of dishes. It’s particularly useful in recipes like this one, sent in by Larry Fox, who lives in Eugene, Oregon.
I’ve known Larry almost all my life. In some ways he seems very grown up: he has a very responsible job and prematurely gray hair. When we get together, however, I always think the hair is a disguise–like the shoe polish we used to whiten our hair in high-school theatricals. He’s still fun and youthful at heart.
As you can see, Larry’s recipe only requires a tiny bit of maple syrup (and you may use sugar if you want to). The syrup enhances the sweet-and-sour appeal of this cabbage concoction.
Larry used some form of chicken sausage when he prepared it; I used turkey kielbasa. If you are near a German butcher, try a German sausage since the dish definitely has a German flavor.
Larry’s recipe also included a teaspoon of cracked mustard seeds, but I couldn’t find my mustard seeds so I left them out and it was still delicious—warm, flavorful, and hearty.
What’s YOUR favorite way to use maple syrup? Please leave a comment below to let me know….
Larry's dish web
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon peppercorns, cracked
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 pound cabbage, roughly shredded
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 firm apples, cored and cut into 1/4-inch wedges (Larry uses honey crisp; I used Gala apples from Apex Orchards, and I used Apex’s vinegar as well)
5 sprigs fresh thyme (you may use dried if you absolutely have to)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar
1 pound sausage, sliced into bite-sized pieces
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil; then toss the spices in it for 1 minute. Add the onion, cabbage, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until they are nice and brown, stirring frequently.
Turn off the heat, and stir in the apples, thyme, sugar, and vinegar.
Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish, and place the sausage pieces on top. Place the dish, uncovered, in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Flip the sausages over and bake for another 10 to 12 minutes, until the sausage pieces are cooked through.
Serve with lots of German-style mustard and roasted small potatoes—not to mention a hearty beer. Serves 4.
Eating this dish may start you dancing like my neighbors' snowgirl.

Eating this dish may start you dancing like my neighbors' snowgirl.



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Maple-Oatmeal Bread

Monday, March 30th, 2009



I have one final entry for Massachusetts Maple Month. This is one of my favorite breads in the world—slightly sweet and filling. I always make a mess when I knead bread. How flour ends up on my face, I really don’t know! Luckily, the end product is worth the clean-up work. 




1 cup old-fashioned oats (do not use quick or steel cut)

2 cups boiling water

1 tablespoon butter

1 packet (about 2-1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast (not instant)

1/4 cup lukewarm water

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 teaspoons salt

5-1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour (more or less)




Place the oats in a large mixing bowl. Pour the boiling water over them, add the butter, and let the oatmeal stand for about 15 minutes, until it is lukewarm. After the first 10 minutes, place the yeast in a small bowl. Cover it with the lukewarm water. Allow it to bubble up for a few minutes.


When the oatmeal is lukewarm, stir in the maple syrup, the salt, the yeast with its water, and 2 cups of the flour. Stir vigorously; then add 2 cups more flour. Stir again vigorously for a minute or two; get as close to beating as you can with a mixture this heavy. Scoop up the dough (add a bit of flour if it won’t hold together to scoop), and place it on a kneading surface—a floured board or a silicone mat.


Knead the dough for 2 minutes, adding a little more flour to keep it from sticking to the surface and your hands. After those first 2 minutes, let the dough rest for up to 10 minutes; then resume kneading, adding more flour as needed. Knead for 5 to 10 minutes, until the dough feels smooth.


Place the dough in a large, greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a warm, damp dish towel. Let the dough rise until it doubles in bulk; this should take about 2 hours, depending on how warm the room is. If your towel dries out during the rising, be sure to dampen it again.


Remove the covering from the bowl, and punch down on the dough once with your fist. This lets out a lot of the air. (It’s also fun.) Cut the dough in half, and shape each half into a ball. Butter 2 bread pans, and shape each ball into an oval about the same size as your pans. Smooth the balls as well as you can with your hands.


Place the bread loaves in the buttered pans, and turn them over so that both the tops and the bottoms have touched the butter. Cover the pans with a damp towel as you did the rising bowl, and allow the loaves to rise again until they double in bulk. This should take a little less time than the first rising, perhaps an hour or so.


After 45 minutes, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. When the loaves have finished rising, uncover them, and bake them for about 40 to 45 minutes, until they are a warm brown color and sound hollow when you tap on them. Remove the hot loaves from the pans, and let them cool on racks.


Makes 2 loaves.



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Stump Sprouts Maple Rhubarb Coleslaw

Friday, March 27th, 2009
Lloyd measures maple syrup for his coleslaw.

Lloyd measures maple syrup for his coleslaw.

My neighbor Scott Purinton is currently boiling sap night and day. Scott informed me recently that much of his Grade B maple syrup is purchased by Lloyd and Suzanne Crawford for their Stump Sprouts lodge. High on a hill in Hawley, the Crawfords house and feed cross-country skiers, small conferences, family reunions, and other groups.

Lloyd and Suzanne are committed to sustainability. They have enough sunlight to generate their own solar electricity. Of course, they serve their guests home-grown and local foods as much as possible. 


I asked Lloyd whether he would share one of his maple recipes. He came up with this clever, sweet-and-sour way to use two of my favorite ingredients, maple syrup and rhubarb. I can’t make it myself for a couple of months since unlike Lloyd and Suzanne I wasn’t smart enough to freeze small batches of rhubarb puree last spring! I can hardly wait to make a big batch in May.


Note from Tinky much later: I FINALLY got around to making this recipe when rhubarb season rolled along. It has a light refreshing feeling with a little Oriental tang, thanks to the sesame oil………..

Gifts from a guest who is also a potter, these bowls adorn the kitchen at Stump Sprouts.

Gifts from a frequent guest who is also a potter, these bowls adorn the kitchen at Stump Sprouts.


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1-1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1/3 cup stewed, unsweetened rhubarb

3 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup

salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

1 finely shredded cabbage

toasted sunflower seeds to taste




In a jar, combine the olive oil, vinegar, sesame oil, rhubarb, maple syrup, and salt and pepper. Cover and shake well. Toss this dressing together with the cabbage 20 minutes to 2 hours before serving. Garnish with the sunflower seeds. 


This recipe may be cut in half or even in quarters. The coleslaw will be edible for a day or two before it gets too wet.


Serves 12 to 15.