5@5 - Sap happy! Unexpected uses for maple syrup
April 16th, 2013
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Jacob Griffin doesn't want maple syrup to be stuck as a pancake staple; there's a lot more sweetness to tap.

Griffin is the chef at The Farm Stand Cafe at Madava Farms, an organic maple farm in New York’s Hudson Valley that is the home of Crown Maple Syrup.

Five Unlikely Uses for Real Maple Syrup: Jacob Griffin

jacob griffin

1. Sweet mornings
Instead of sugar, add maple syrup (preferably of the dark amber variety) to your morning coffee, tea or to top your latte.

2. Savory/sweet balance, always
Too often, sweetness and balance are forgotten and neglected in savory cooking, but where there is spicy, tangy, umami and acid, there should be sweet. Two of my favorite ways to incorporate maple syrup into savory cooking is with meat rubs and salad dressings.

When making an herb or spice rub for a pork chop, whole chicken or steak, add some maple syrup to not only lend that sweet balance, but also to help hold your herbs and spices to the actual meat and to aid in caramelization.

For salad dressings, use maple syrup in place of sugar or honey; you'll be the belle of the salad ball.

Watermelon Radish and Citrus Salad with Maple-Sherry Vinaigrette
Makes 4 servings

For the dressing:

  • 3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup (dark amber recommended)
  • 1 tsp apple cider
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup canola oil

For the salad:

  • 1 large watermelon radish
  • 1 blood orange
  • 1 ruby red grapefruit
  • 1 navel orange
  • Touissant (a raw cow’s milk cheese made in the Hudson Valley) or Parmesan cheese, for shaving or grating
  • 8 cups mesclun
  • Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Make the dressing ahead of time by combining the vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup and cider in a bowl or blender. Slowly whisk or blend in the olive and canola oils. Season with salt and pepper. You can adjust the bite or the sweetness of the vinaigrette by adding additional Dijon or maple syrup.

For the salad, cut segments from the citrus fruits. Slice the watermelon radish into thin whole slices. Toss mesclun with the radish, onion, citrus and dressing. Top with shaved Toussaint or your favorite Parmesan. Serve immediately.

3. Syrupy health and beauty
Several studies over the last few years have shown that maple syrup can help combat adult acne and rosacea. Ingesting maple syrup can fight these skin issues, but direct topical application helps as well. Needless to say, real maple syrup is key here - only the pure stuff! Combine with other natural and organic ingredients for a daily or weekly scrub or mask, or use straight maple syrup when needed.

4. Craft a cocktail
Maple syrup gives a depth of flavor and richness of texture when a sugar cube or simple syrup just won’t cut it. Try 1/2 ounce of maple syrup in place of that sugar cube in your Old Fashioned or Mint Julep; replace the sugar with maple syrup in your Sazerac; or just squeeze a few drops of maple syrup into the bottom of your champagne flute.

5. Use it in a pickle
Maple syrup can be used to make flavorful and complex pickled vegetables. Add maple syrup to your pickling brine with chiles de árbol or red pepper flakes for amazing sweet-and-spicy pickled cauliflower, carrots, gherkins or onions.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

Previously in syrup-related news:
How waffle! Thieves snatch millions of dollars worth of maple syrup
Rhode Island man gets sticky sentence for phony syrup
MAPLE Act would sting syrup fakes

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Filed under: 5@5 • Make • Recipes • Think


soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Alexander Bagdonas

    An expert committee assembled by the National Rosacea Society explicitly defined and classified rosacea in April 2002 into 4 different subtypes (erythematotelangiectatic type, papulopustular, phymatous, and ocular) based on specific clinical signs and symptoms. This categorization was an important step in the treatment of rosacea. Currently, the therapeutics of rosacea empirically target the signs and symptoms of the disease because investigators do not understand the details of its pathophysiology. .::`

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    July 2, 2013 at 10:02 am |
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    May 27, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
  3. Tiffany S. Guerra

    We always have maple syrup in our tapestry. Its the staple of all the condiments! http://www.sugarshackvt.com/

    April 19, 2013 at 12:49 am |
  4. taco bender

    I like maple syrup on waffles.

    April 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  5. VladT

    While I enjoy fudge, I don't like "supersweet" desserts.

    One night, my dad made an ice cream sundae of vanilla ice cream, cheerios, and real maple syrup. To this day, that is still one of my favorite desserts

    April 17, 2013 at 9:22 am |
  6. gemini232006

    I make a maple glazed chicken breast. A Cranberry Sauce with maple syrup as well

    April 17, 2013 at 4:38 am |
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