Thursday, May 04, 2006

Maple season continues...

You may have noticed a maple theme running through my blog, as spring is sugaring time here in the North Country. And once all that magical golden amber liquid is is distilled and bottled, what DO we do with it all? Well, I have two suggestions. The first is my favorite granola recipe which I baked and bagged and distributed to my wonderful colleagues at work one holiday season, and there was much rejoicing. I suggest eating it with a mixture of vanilla custard-style yogurt and sour cream, some extra vanilla extract, and sugar to taste...a faux Swedish cream, if you will. Of course, this kind of works against the health aspects of granola, but....WHO CARES?? It's scrumptious!

Gina’s “Never Too Many Nuts!” North Country Granola

½ cup maple syrup (can also use honey, or a combo)
½ cup brown sugar
1 stick butter, melted
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
½-1 tsp. cinnamon

6 cups rolled oats
1 cup wheat germ (or I use wheat “flakelets” from my local co-op)
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup walnut pieces
½ cup whole almonds
½ cup pecan pieces
½ cup macadamia halves

water to sprinkle

Mix the first seven ingredients together. Pour over the oats, wheat flakes, seeds and nuts, and mix to coat thoroughly. Sprinkle the whole mixture with a little bit of water, until nice clumps start to form (help this along by squeezing it together with your hands). Carefully spread the granola out onto a large baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes until golden brown, being sure to stir the mixture a few times as it cooks to help everything brown evenly.

*Note: You can obviously increase or decrease the amount/kinds of nuts to suit your taste. And after the granola is baked, you may also want to add your favorite dried fruit(s)!

The next maple recipe was part of a salmon dish that I enjoyed at the divine restaurant at Simon Pierce Glassworks in Quechee, Vermont. (Beth, the Kitchen Mage, HOLLA! I know you are always up for another good salmon recipe!) Lord knows I will never eat there again, because I couldn't possibly afford it. But my roomie won a gift certificate there, and it was one of the most sublime meals we've ever had! They did a cedar-grilled salmon served with the following apple-maple-mustard sauce, and also an autumn vegetable hash and a cranberry coulis. And when I contacted them afterward to commend them for the fine fare, the chef was generous enough to share the recipes. I know, I know! This menu has no business being posted in spring, but once I mention these delights, I know someone will ask for all three recipes. So I'll just post them now and stay WAY ahead of you all! (And yes, I do realize that these are restaurant batches, but I have faith that your elementary school left neither you nor your math skills behind!)


2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups apple cider
2 cups maple syrup
3 cups dijon mustard
½ gallon heavy cream

Combine first four ingredients. Reduce by ½, add heavy cream. Reduce until desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.


1 cup white sugar
1 cup apple juice
1 cup orange juice
2 cup cranberry juice
4 cup frozen or fresh cranberries

Caramelize sugar. Add juices and cranberries. Reduce by 1/3. Mix in blender. Strain, cool, use.


10 lb potatoes – peeled, medium dice, tossed with canola oil
10 lb butternut squash – peeled, medium dice
2 lb leeks – cut lengthwise then ½ moons
1 lb dried cranberries
1 bunch thyme, minced
½ cup garlic, minced

Roast potatoes and butternut squash at 350 °f oven 20 minutes or until golden brown but still al denté. Sauté leeks with garlic and thyme. In large mixing bowl toss ingredients, add salt and black pepper to taste. Finish with butter and toasted walnuts.

1 comment:

kitchenmage said...

I have salmon and I have cedar, I'll have to add this to my to-do list. But I bet if you left the *half-gallon* of cream out it'd make great BBQ/basting sauce.

The granola looks really good too, and I'm all out.