Fall brings so many fun activities, and this past week was no exception. I missed last week's column because of technical difficulties. The computer screen went black after I typed up the recipe, and while I realize that sounds like the dog ate my homework, it's really the truth. So sorry if anyone missed it. I have remedied the household tech issues, so hope to meet you right here every week for some culinary inspiration.
A couple of weeks ago, an email hit my inbox from PR professional pitching for a Vermont-based maple syrup company, and it gave me memories of being on the pitching end of journalism. In a former life, food advertising and public relations is how my days were spent. The pitch was an easy one because Runamok Maple has some stellar maple syrups. Real maple syrup is something to get excited about all on its own, and this company has quite a few flavors to choose from – and choose I did – Rum Barrel Flavored, Cardamom Infused and Cinnamon Vanilla.
These syrups were listed on Oprah's List of Favorite Things in 2016. A few other maple syrup flavors include: Bourbon Barrel-Aged, Elderberry Infused, Jasmine Tea Infused and Smoked with Pecan Wood. They’re available for purchase from the maker: runamokmaple.com or on Amazon. I wish a local store would start selling this syrup. A 250 ml bottle will set you back about $17, however the uniqueness and flavor are well worth it. There are small tasting bottles that would be fun as gifts, too. They’re sold in sets of four for about $20.
I'll be gifting these for the holidays because of the incredible flavors and uniqueness. The holidays will be here before we know it, so brainstorming on hostess gifts ahead of time helps with the holiday overdrive. This syrup would pair beautifully with a nice hunk of cheese, a gourmet waffle mix or even a bottle of liquor to make a cocktail for a gift.
The cooler temps have my breakfast routine switching from avocado toast to gluten-free waffles. I know this isn't the healthiest thing to eat first thing in the morning, but dang, it's quite satisfying. Sometimes the waffles are from scratch and sometimes they’re made with Namaste brand gluten-free pancake and waffle mix. If you or someone you know is gluten-free, this brand makes a great mix. Whipping up a batch in the waffle iron and toasting them in the morning makes for quick breakfast. Don't forget a good, healthy smear of Kerry Gold butter and this Runamok Cinnamon Vanilla maple syrup. The first bite with this flavored syrup had me saying, "Wow!" out loud to my dogs. They eagerly awaited a bite.
While some consider maple syrup only for sweet items such as pancakes and waffles, it can be used on many savory items. I have a friend who likes to brush a bit on her salmon when she roasts it. This week's recipe is for Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup. This vegetable is a personal favorite, however, some don't care for Brussels sprouts. If you fall in the latter group, substitute another roast-able vegetable such as sweet potato chunks, broccoli, rutabaga chunks, beets or perhaps a combo of all of them.
This recipe would pair beautifully with the lamb chop recipe I shared a couple of weeks back. The earthy, savory flavor of lamb paired with the sweet, crispy fried Brussels sprouts make a delightful fall meal. Pick up a crusty loaf of bread, prepare a quick herb butter to smear on the bread and pour yourself a hearty, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon.
Fried Brussels Sprouts with Maple Cider Glaze
3/4 cup Runamok Sugarmaker's Cut maple syrup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider
Pinch of kosher salt
1 pound Brussels sprouts
Vegetable oil, for frying
Combine maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, apple cider and salt in a medium-sized pot over medium heat.
Reduce by 1/4, stirring constantly. Set aside.
Destem Brussels and cut in half, pulling off any outer leaves that are loose. Fry in 350 degree oil for 1 minute or until brown. Season Brussels sprouts immediately with pinch of salt and toss with about 1 tablespoon of glaze per cup of Brussels sprouts. Reserve leftover glaze for another use.
Alternate cooking method: Spread oil-tossed Brussels sprouts onto a sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt. Roast at 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. Toss with with about 1 tablespoon of glaze per cup of Brussels sprouts. Reserve leftover glaze for another use.