MAPLE-GLAZED SALMON-TWO WAYS Maple and mustard are like opposites that make a divine combination, and so are maple and miso. Nothing could be simpler for every day, but also for guests-at-the-table dinners. 4 six-oz.(175 g) salmon fillets 1 tsp. (5 ml) sesame seeds Maple-Miso Glaze: 1/4 cup (50 ml) medium or amber maple syrup 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) white or light-coloured miso 2 tsp. (10 ml) canola oil 1 small garlic clove, finely minced Maple-Miso Glaze: In shallow dish combine maple syrup, miso, oil, pepper and garlic. Add salmon fillets, turning to coat on all sides. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 20 minutes or up to 1 hour. Maple-Mustard Glaze: 1/4 cup (50 ml) medium or amber maple syrup 1 Tbsp (15 ml) Dijon mustard 2 tsp. (10 ml) canola oil Dash hot pepper sauce 1 small garlic clove, finely minced Maple-Mustard Glaze: In shallow dish, combine maple syrup, mustard, oil, hot pepper sauce and garlic. Add salmon fillets, turning to coat on all sides. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 20 minutes or up to 1 hour. Arrange salmon fillets, skin side down, on parchment paper-lined or greased rimmed baking sheet or pan. Scrape any glaze over top. Roast in top third of oven at 400F. (200C.) until fish flakes and top is lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Broil very briefly if necessary to darken glaze, being careful not to burn parchment. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Makes 4 servings. MAPLE-GLAZED SEA SALT NUTS Sweet, salty and a little hot – a recipe for great nuts to nibble with a cocktail. Maple adds just the right amount of sweetness, and that alluring mapleness. 3 cups (750 ml) unsalted and unroasted walnut or pecan halves, or whole blanched almonds or a mix, about 12 oz.(375 g) 1/4 cup (50 ml) medium or amber maple syrup /2 tsp. (2 ml), approximate, sea salt 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) Worcestershire sauce 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) hot pepper sauce Line small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or butter lightly; set aside. In a large bowl, toss together nuts, maple syrup, 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) sea salt, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Spread evenly in prepared baking sheet. Bake in centre of preheated 275F. (135C.) oven, stirring thrice, until golden brown and glazed, about 30 minutes. For a saltier finish, sprinkle nuts with addition salt, up to 1/2 tsp. (2 ml). Let cool in pan. Transfer to airtight container. (Make-ahead: Store at cool room temperature for up to 1 week.) Makes 3 cups (750 ml) nuts. MAPLE MOUSSE A selection of maple recipes would not be complete without something sweet – and in this case, quick-to-make-ahead-dessert for company dinners. Top with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream and grated dark chocolate or fresh berries – blueberries or strawberries in season. 1/2 cup (125 ml) medium or amber maple syrup 3 large egg yolks 1 tsp. (5 ml) cornstarch 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) rum or 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla 1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream In a heatproof bowl, whisk together maple syrup, egg yolks and cornstarch. Bring about 2 inches (5 cm) water to boil in saucepan into which the bowl fits comfortably, leaving enough rim to grasp easily. Reduce heat to medium. Set bowl over saucepan. Whisk gently until mixture lightens in colour and thickens enough to coat back of spoon, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat; chill over large bowl of ice water, whisking occasionally. Whisk in rum. Beat cream to firm peaks. Stir about a third of cream into maple mixture. Scrape remaining cream over maple mixture and fold together until no longer streaky. Spoon into glass dessert dishes or bowls. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 2 days.) Makes 6 modest servings, the appropriate kind for a rich maple dessert. MAPLE FRUIT AND NUT GRANOLA As I was tossing maple syrup, oats and nuts for this granola it struck me that I might be the only remaining Canadian still making her own granola. Thank goodness for second thoughts, considering the ordinariness of much of the commercial granola, and the very high price of something worthy of your breakfast time and its calories. Here’s a granola that’s not too sweet. In spite of the maple syrup, is chocked full of nuts and fruit and doesn’t have the bitty seeds and flakes that put a film on the top of the milk in the bowl. This is a granola worth 60s’ and 70s’ hype, but without the headband and tie-dye. 4 cups (1 L) large flake rolled oats 1 cup (250 ml) walnut halves, coarsely chopped 1 cup (250 ml) sliced almonds 1/3 cup (75 ml) green pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or unsalted sunflower seeds 3/4 cup (175 ml) medium or amber maple syrup 1/4 cup (50 ml) canola oil 1 tsp. (5 ml) ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) salt, optional 1 cup (250 ml) packed dried apricots, slivered 1 cup (250 ml) chopped pitted Medjool or honey dates 1/2 cup (125 ml) dried sour cherries or cranberries Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, or butter lightly; set aside. In a large bowl, combine oats, walnuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds. In separate bowl, whisk together syrup, oil, cinnamon and salt, if using. Drizzle over oat mixture; toss to coat the nuts and flakes thoroughly. Spread evenly in prepared baking sheet. Bake in centre of preheated 300F. (150C.) oven, stirring every 15 minutes, until evenly golden brown, about 70 minutes. Scrape into large clean bowl; stir in apricots, dates and cherries. Let cool. Store in airtight container. (Make-ahead: Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 1 month.) Yields about 9 cups (2.125 L). MAPLE GRANOLA YOGURT PARFAIT: Layer with plain or vanilla yogurt and fruit – banana, peaches, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are particularly good. TIP: The beauty of granola is how you can change it up to suit your tastes, and what’s in your cupboard. Other choices are pecans, slivered almonds, hazelnuts, coconut, raisins, figs, dried blueberries and currants instead of the nuts and fruit in the recipe, even some barley flakes mixed in with the oats. Just make sure the alternatives add up to more or less the same amount. BUYING MAPLE SYRUP: Pure maple syrup can never be cheap – it takes 40 litres of sap to make 1 litre of syrup and a considerable investment in fuel, equipment and staff. But it is worth getting pure maple syrup. Because of the variety of syrups available there is no better place to get syrup than a sugar shack, farmers’ market, roadside stand or specialty store. Unlike the supermarket where most of the syrup is labelled “medium”, these outlets often offer both grades of syrup, Canada #1 which comes in 3 colour classes, Extra Light, Light and Medium. Extra Light is like first run olive oil – considered the finest, and it’s good for pancakes and waffles. Ditto Light, but by the time you get to medium that runs darker and later in the season, the flavour intensifies and the syrup is most versatile for using as a topping or for baking. The other grade is Canada #2, available only as Amber. Diehard maple fans eschew all the milder lighter syrups and go right to Amber, especially if baking or pairing up with strong-flavoured ingredients in sauces or glazes. Some vendors may sell grade #3, Dark, the last and darkest of the season and generally reserved for commercial purposes. Dark packs the maple-est punch that works in baking, less so as a topper.