One of the beauties of maple syrup is its versatility, being equally at home in sweet or savoury dishes at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Here are some examples to try from “The Maple Syrup Cookbook” by Ken Haedrich.
BACON AND EGG WAFFLE SANDWICH
Breakfast sandwiches elevated from the standard fare of bacon and eggs have become all the rage. The magic in this version happens when two cheeses, one salty and one smoky, are teamed with bacon and sweet maple, creating a sweet-smoky-salty harmony.
This recipe makes two sandwiches. Scale it up, as required.
4 slices bacon
15 ml (1 tbsp) butter, plus a little softened butter for the waffles
Pinch of salt, to taste
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 waffles (freshly made or prepared frozen)
Warm pure maple syrup, for drizzling
125 ml (1/2 cup) crumbled feta cheese
125 ml (1/2 cup) grated smoked cheddar or smoked Gouda cheese
Preheat broiler and line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil.
In a large skillet, preferably non-stick, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Set bacon aside on paper towels. Drain fat from pan and wipe it out with paper towels, then return pan to heat.
Melt butter in skillet. Add a pinch or two of salt to eggs, then add eggs to skillet and cook to your liking (slightly soft is best). Remove pan from heat, cover and set aside.
Toast waffles if using frozen. Transfer waffles to prepared baking sheet. Spread a little butter on each one, then drizzle with a little maple syrup, keeping it in the cavities. Top each waffle with 2 slices of bacon, then divide eggs between waffles, making a slightly flattened mound on each one. Divide feta between them, then top with cheddar.
Run sandwiches under broiler, just until cheese melts; this should take only a minute or two. Keep a close eye on them. Transfer sandwiches to serving plates.
Makes 2 sandwiches.
ROASTED PEPPER AND CHICKPEA SALAD
This salad is a good example of using maple syrup to balance and complement the smoky and sharp flavour of the cheddar, Haedrich says. Serve it with grilled foods.
Roasting the peppers makes all the difference to their flavour and texture. In summer, Haedrich likes to roast peppers on a hot grill while in other seasons he does it on top of the burner grid of his gas stove. You can also broil peppers in a shallow pan in the oven.
50 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
Juice of 1 medium lemon (about 30 ml/2 tbsp)
30 ml (2 tbsp) pure maple syrup
22 ml (1 1/2 tbsp) Dijon mustard
3 large green or red bell peppers
500 ml (2 cups) cooked chickpeas (about 250 ml/1 cup dried; rinsed and drained if using canned)
30 ml (2 tbsp) minced onion
125 ml (1/2 cup) diced smoked cheddar cheese
125 ml (1/2 cup) diced prosciutto or ham
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Dressing: In a large salad bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, maple syrup and mustard. Set aside.
Salad: Roast whole peppers on a grill, over a hot burner or under a broiler, turning often with tongs, until entire surface is charred. Put peppers into a plastic bag, twist shut and freeze for 15 minutes ‚Äî this will steam off skins. Cut out stem ends, drain and halve them. Remove seeds and skins (the skins should peel off readily). Slice peppers into narrow strips.
Toss peppers in dressing along with chickpeas, onion, cheese and prosciutto. Stir. Chill for several hours. Season with salt and pepper before serving.
Makes 4 to 5 servings.
SALMON WITH MANGO SALSA
This is a fresh twist on salmon with maple syrup. A mango salsa and glaze with maple, Dijon, lime juice and ginger root bring out the flavour of the fish.
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 scallions, green part only, finely chopped
Juice of 1 small lime (about 15 ml/1 tbsp)
15 ml (1 tbsp) pure maple syrup
Salmon and Glaze
4 salmon fillets or steaks (about 175 g/6 oz each)
30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
30 ml (2 tbsp) maple syrup
22 ml (1 1/2 tbsp) Dijon mustard
22 ml (1 1/2 tbsp) fresh lime juice
15 ml (1 tbsp) minced peeled fresh ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salsa: In a small bowl, combine mango, jalapeno, scallions, lime juice and maple syrup. Refrigerate, covered, to allow flavours to blend. (The salsa will keep for up to 2 days, refrigerated.)
Salmon: Preheat grill to medium-high or preheat broiler.
Glaze: Whisk together oil, maple syrup, mustard, lime juice, ginger root and garlic. Set aside.
Brush or spoon glaze heavily over flesh and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes. (If you’re using steaks, coat both sides and set aside.) Grill salmon skin side down for 4 to 5 minutes, then carefully turn and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes, until done. Thicker salmon steaks will require 2 to 3 minutes longer than fillets. To oven broil, line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat with a little oil or non-stick cooking spray. Place salmon on foil ‚Äî skin side down for fillets ‚Äî and broil 10 to 12 cm (4 to 5 inches) from heat. Fillets should take 7 to 8 minutes, steaks a couple of minutes longer.
Transfer salmon to a platter or dinner plates, spoon salsa over it and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Source: “The Maple Syrup Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, 3rd Edition” by Ken Haedrich (Storey Publishing, 2015).