When you spend valuable hours collecting and boiling sap to make the golden liquid maple syrup, I believe in using it whenever I can in cooking. I call it payback for your efforts! Maria brought home a cookbook ‘Sweet Ontario, Our Favourite Maple Recipes,’ a collection of recipes from different contributors (Ontario) put together by the Maple Syrup Producers’ Association. Check out their website www.ontariomaple.com for more recipes and to order the cookbook.
Quinoa and Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
The original recipe tells you to drop the kale in hot water and then pat dry. I placed the kale in a large pan added a bit of water, put a lid on the pan and steamed it. I substituted the pine nuts with sunflower seeds and the goat cheese with feta.
1 bunch kale, washed, stems removed and leaves cut into strips or squares
3 Tbsp Ontario maple vinegar (optional) if not available use rice vinegar
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper
1/4 cup Ontario maple syrup
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1. Steep the kale in hot water in a large bowl until it turns slightly brighter, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and pat dry.
2. In a small bowl, combine the vinegars and a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and maple syrup.
3. Pour half the dressing over the kale in a large bowl. Massage the kale leaves with your hands to distribute dressing evenly. Add the quinoa, tomatoes and more dressing and toss together.
4. Mix in the goat cheese and pine nuts. Allow to sit for 20 minutes before serving.
Grilled Maple-Glazed Rainbow Trout
I have used both the trout and whitefish, baked the fish in my oven with the last 5 minutes on broil to give the fish a bit of a crust on top. I also leave the fish sit in the marinade much longer, at least half an hour to an hour.
2 Ontario rainbow trout fillets, with skin
1/4 cup Ontario maple syrup
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1. Mix together maple syrup, soy sauce, rice vinegar and oil; pour into large flat dish. Add fillets, skin side up and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes (or 1/2 to 1 hour)
2. Arrange fillets in a greased grill basket; close lid of basket. Place basket on grill over medium heat; close barbecue cover and grill for about 7 minutes per side or until fish is opaque and flakes easily when tested with fork. If baking in the oven, preheat to 350°F. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet, place trout skin side down and bake in oven for 15 minutes. Put oven on broil and bake another 5 minutes watching that the fish doesn’t burn.
3. If you do not have a grill basket, cook the fish on a greased disposable foil baking sheet on the grill rack. Do not flip but cook with the cover down for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork.