Maple Rum Pork Kabobs

Maple Rum Pork Kabobs

Robert and I went to Cuba on vacation after the winter markets were over. We try to take a vacation every year after the last of the winter markets — because…vacation.

Christmas markets are amazing and magical and wonderful. The actual markets themselves are amazing. We love our customers and we love introducing them to pure Quebec maple syrup. Everything leading up to it is absolute lunacy. I have to bake like my life depends on it and there are a million and one things to pack and prep and move. Not to mention, we work outside for a few Christmas markets and they are colder than a witches tit. The behind the scenes of Christmas markets can truly be a bit of a hell.
So, we take off somewhere hot and paradise like pretty much immediately after New Years.

That is why my blogs have been few and far between since then. But! It’s getting to be market season again.  Speaking of, check back here soon, I’ll have a list of our 2016 market times.

Anyway, the point of all of that is that we bought some great rum while we were in Cuba and I have been working on creating some rum and maple syrup recipes. And Voila! Maple rum pork kabobs.

Ingredients
Marinade
¼ cup soya sauce (I use low salt variety)
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup rum
4-5 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. black pepper
1 whole head of garlic minced

Kabobs
Wooden skewers
2 medium onions chopped in large sections
1 or 2 pork tenderloins cut into 1” pieces

Method
Submerge
skewers completely into water and let them soak at least 3o minutes. This should prevent them from immediately incinerating on the bbq.
Blend the mardinade ingredients well and pour into a large ziplock freezer bag. Make sure it has no leaks in it.
Add cubed pork to the marinade bag and marinade well in the fridge. You want to marinade for several hours but overnight is where this will really shine.
Thread meat and onion onto barbeque skewers
Preheat the BBQ and squirt the grill with some grilling pam or lightly oil it
BBQ for 15 minutes or until meat is cook. Occasionally turning so that it gets a good grill on all sides.

Serve kabobs right away with rice, salad, potatoes. Or just on their own. Watch people eat them faster than a monkey eats a banana. enjoy!

 

Maple Mango Salad

Maple Mango Salad

Have I mentioned that in my off time between the Christmas markets and the start of the new market season I travel a lot? Robert is in Rimouski tapping maple trees, so I have all the time in the world and the west coast of Canada has been calling. I spent a month travelling around B.C. visiting family and friends. My sisters and I concoted quite a few maple recipes while I was out there. So get ready for recipe-palooza. This Maple Mango Salad was probably one of my favourites of the bunch.

Enjoy!

Dressing 
¼ cup light soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp Asian style hot chili sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp. chipped fresh ginger

Salad
1/2 cup unsalted, roasted cashews
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ medium green bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup diced red onion
¼ cup fresh mint of cilantro, chopped
3 cups peeled and cubed ripe mangoes

Method 
Combine the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk or put in a blender to thoroughly mix all the ingredients together.

Combine you salad ingredients together and add desired amount of dressing.
Add chicken or shrimp for a ridiculously delicious meal.
Serve on it’s own or with rice or in a lettuce wrap.

YAMMI!

Maple Creme Brulee

Maple Creme Brulee

Sorry Good Stuff Maple followers. When it’s the in-between market season I travel a lot. I just got back to Calgary from a voluntourism event with my sisters and my aunt. We spent a little over a week in Mexico building a school.

I’ll be damned if it wasn’t one of the best experiences of my life.

It was so wonderful that I was a little down in the dumps when I got home. What is a person to do when they are feeling sad and wishing they were back on vacation? They make maple creme brulee, of course.

Just an FYI, this is not a recipe that you should just whip up before dinner. It is a make the night before and let chill in the fridge overnight.

Ingredients
4 Cups Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Dark Maple Syrup
7 Egg Yolks
2 Tbs. Brown Sugar
2 Ounces of Bourbon
Maple Sugar (or brown, or white sugar) to cover ramekins
Large Baking Dish
6 Ramekins

Method
Preheat your oven to 300°F. There’s a reason this is the first step, so your oven gets nice and warm while you’re making the filling.
Go find a nice heavy bottomed saucepan and whisk together heavy cream and maple syrup really briskly.
Cook over medium-low heat, not stirring, until a thin skin forms on top of the cream. Do Not Let It Simmer!
Get your whisk back out and whisk together the yolks, sugar and bourbon. Toss a little bit of salt into the mixture. Just a punch.
Is your cream hot and steamy? Good, now that it is hot and while whisking egg yolks, add the cream a little bit at a time. Go slow and steady, it wins the race.
Use a sieve to strain your mixture to ensure any cooked eggy bits dont wind up in your smooth and silken custard.
Pop your custard-y filling back into your pot and cook low and slow. STIR CONSTANTLY. In theory, your mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Place your ramekins in that nifty big baking dish that was mentioned way up there in the ingredients. Fill the dish with boiling waters so that it goes about half of the way up the dishes.
Pour the custard into each of the ramekin and bake for 40ish minutes. You want it to be firm but bouncy.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before placing in the refrigerator to set overnight.
When you are ready to present your wonderful dessert, sprinkle about ½ teaspoon of sugar over each crème, caramelize either using a blowtorch or under the broiler of the oven.

 

What Are the Maple Syrup Grades?

What Are the Maple Syrup Grades?

Since the year 2000 Robert, my kids and myself have been working on spreading the word of Maple to the good people of Calgary. If that sounds religious it could be because to us maple syrup is almost biblical.

We’re not just getting people hooked on maple syrup, we are showing people that there is a whole world of syrup out there, one that includes medium grade syrup, but is not exclusive to it.

Considering we talk about this all day long at the markets I thought I would put a refresher course up on the blog.

Did you know that there are different kinds of maple syrup? If you live in Calgary or are from Western Canada you probably didn’t. It seems as though it is only people from provinces or states where cabane a sucre or sugar shacks are, are intimately acquainted with the different types, or grades, of maple syrup.

There are 5 kinds of syrup, but for the sake of this argument let’s talk about 4. At Good Stuff Maple we really specialize in two kinds of maple syrup in Calgary.

Grades of maple syrup are distinguished by their colour, sweetness and level of maple flavour.

Light (no 1A or no1 light)
This kind of syrup is usually the first run of the season. It is very light in colour (almost the colour of corn syrup) and is super sweet – I mean SWEEET! It maple flavour is not very strong, so if you are a person looking for sweet but not are not a huge fan of maple syrup this is what you want to pour all over your pancakes.

Medium (no 1 or no 1 medium) 
Medium grade syrup is what you find when you go to the grocery store and buy maple syrup. When get maple syrup any where in the world it is almost guaranteed that you are getting a medium grade maple syrup. It is pretty sweet and not crazy maple-y. When you think of maple syrup it is the medium grade syrup your tongue is remembering.

Amber (no2) 
Amber is. Well Amber. There’s not a lot I have to say about this syrup. We don’t get a ton of it from Robert’s family farm. It’s flavour profile is between the medium grade and dark grade syrup. If you have bought syrup from us at the farmers’ markets around Calgary it is because we ordered it in from a distributor. Amber syrup runs near the end of the season, usually.

Dark (no 3)
At Good Stuff Maple we specialize in Dark maple syrup. It is traditionally the last run of the season that you get the sap to make dark maple syrup. Dark maple syrup is the favourite grade in my house. My daughter, Kim, won’t even touch medium syrup. Until she tried dark syrup she used to swear she hated it. This syrup is not as a sweet, has a stronger more robust maple flavour and more vitamins and minerals. Some people say that they get a molasses flavour from it others get toffee. It is what I do all my baking and cooking with. All of my recipes on here are made with dark maple syrup, because it tastes better. Especially in savoury dishes, you lost a lot of the sweet but keep the maple flavour. Outside of us and a few health food stores you won’t find the dark grade of maple syrup in Calgary.

Now, the question 85% of people ask after learning about the different kinds of syrup is: “So, is the dark less refined than the others or something?” The answer to that is a pretty simple no. It is not even boiled down more than the others, it is actually dependant on the weather when you tap your tree. The earlier the season the lighter your syrup, that is why dark happens on the last run. There is a reason for this, and it is all about sugars and warmth or something…. Ill have to get Robert to explain it on the blog one day.

Feel super enlightened now? Who knew you were going to get an education today. but it’s the best kind of education, a maple education!

Maple Pulled Pork In the Sloooow Cooker

Maple Pulled Pork In the Sloooow Cooker

Super Bowl Sunday. We Canadians don’t really care. Ok, more accurately, my household couldn’t care less about American Football. However, we do love to pretend by having Super Bowl food for dinner. Maple pulled pork? GET IN MY BELLY!

It doesn’t really feel like Super Bowl Sunday considering it is four degrees in Calgary today, but who cares! It is time for Maple Pulled Pork. Even as I write this there is pork shouldering being slowwwwwly cooked in my slow cooker. It has just gotten to the point where you can start smelling it. I won’t lie, I am starting to salivate. All right, enough of the chitter chatter, let’s get to the recipe.

For this recipe you will need a slow cooker, but in this day and age who does have one? And you will need a nice cut of pork. If you are in Calgary like us, we suggest going with Spragg’s pork. We may be biased because they used to be beside us at the Millarville Farmers’ Market, but our tastebuds don’t care about that and they are pretty convinced that Spragg’s is the best pork and they’re local too! Find Spragg’s here.

Ingredients
2 lbs of boneless pork (Shoulder recommended)
3/4 of an onion sliced like you would for onion rings
2 teaspoons of chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin
1/2 cup of dark maple syrup
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Method
Turn slow cooker on to low
Lay half the onion slices on the bottom of the slow cooker
Cut pork shoulder in half
Place both halves of the pork on top of the onion
Lay the rest of the onion on top of the pork
Combine all of the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl and stir the shit out of it
Pour the liquid mixture from the bowl onto the pork try to cover every bit of it
Cook on low for 8ish hours (do not try to cook it on high for shorter amount of time, the pork will not turn out right. The pork should practically fall apart it is so tender)
If the liquid gets low add 1/3 of a cup of water
Remove the pork and put it in a medium sized mixing bowl and use two forks to separate it.
Pour desired amount of the left over sauce onto the pork. Probably half, but depends on whether you want it more or less saucy
Add to a bun
Add coleslaw if you want – We usually go with an asian coleslaw. It may sound crazy but it is super tasty good times.

.

Simple Maple Sugar Cookies

Simple Maple Sugar Cookies

We all love this recipe. It is perfect for those chilly Calgary nights when you want something sweet but you don’t want to get out of your car and go get the ingredients. Aside from the maple sugar this recipe is made with ingredients that most people have kicking around their house. It is also hella easy, especially if you have an electric mixer (just an egg beater will do.)

This recipe should make about 25-30 cookies, depending on how big you make them. But don’t expect them to last, these cookies turn my whole family into cookie zombie. All they want/think about are cookies until these are all gone.

Ingredients
2 and 3/4 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 cup of softened butter (this is important, it has to be soft)
1/2 cup of margarine
1 cup of maple sugar
1/2 cup of white sugar
1 egg

Method 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Blend together flour, baking soda, and baking power in small-medium sized bowl
Measure out butter into a microwave safe measuring cup, put it in the microwave for 15 seconds (if it isn’t completely softened)
Bring out a large bowl to mix butter, margarine, and both sugars together
Use an electric egg beater to blend butter, margarine and sugars together until they are creamy
Incorporate the flour mixture into the butter mixture slowly a few tablespoons at a time. It should be similar to the consistency of play-doh when you are done
Roll the dough into small balls and place onto ungreased no stick cookie sheet. Leave room between them as they take up a surprising amount of space
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden
Let cool for at least 10 minutes or they will turn into mush

You can ice these whoever you want. With whatever icing you want. Im a minimalist when it comes to these cookies, I think this recipe is perfect.

Don’t know where to buy maple sugar in Calgary? Don’t worry, we got you covered.

Maple Orange Chipotle Chicken

Maple Orange Chipotle Chicken

Wow! That’s a mouthful! Maple Orange Chipotle Chicken. It actually kind of rolls off the tongue. That’s because this is an amazing dish, it’s easy to make and it is divine. This is one of my go-to dishes when I have people over for dinner that are “not eating” a million and one foods for whatever reason. This recipe is even paleo – whatever that is, ANYONE can eat it and it is amazing. Wait, actually, this is not a vegetarian dish so I guess there is a large group of people who can’t eat it.

Maple, orange and chipotle go so beautifull together but the kicker here is the herbes de provence; they don’t sound like they would be that good together but trust me they are GLORIOUS!

Here is my admission. This is one of my favourite chicken recipes but it is one that I found on the internet and the only thing I change is that I use maple syrup instead of honey. Here is the original recipe by Elana Amsterdam.

Maple Orange Chipotle Chicken

Ingredients
Enough pieces of chicken breast, leg, thigh, or drumstick for your guests
Or
1 whole chicken
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 and a half tablespoons of Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup of dark maple syrup
1 and a half tablespoons of chipotle powder (I use mango chipotle because Robert is a spice baby)
1 and a half cups of fresh squeezed orange juice (The fresh squeezed is important. I tried this recipe with store bought orange juice and it was not very good at all)

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Put your chicken into a 9×13 glass or no stick baking dish
In a bowl combine garlic, herbes de provence, maple syrup, salt, and chipotle powder
Pour the orange juice over your chicken
Rub the maple mixture onto the chicken make sure that every piece of the chicken is covered
Marinate the chicken for a few hours. You can also cook it right away but it is better if it gets a few hours in the maple bath
Sprinkle just a little more chipotle powder onto each piece of chicken or the top of the chicken
Bake for 25-30 minutes for breasts, thighs, drums or 1.5-2 hours for the whole chicken

Serve it with with rice or baby potatoes or on a salad. You won’t be disappointed by this and neither will your guests.