Tag Archives: maple syrup

Caramelized Onion Butter

Face it, your gonna eat it until you're out of bread.

Face it, your gonna eat it until you’re out of bread.

We’re not sure why it took us so long to understand that mixing things into your butter is awesome. And why wouldn’t it be? Fat + anything = awesome (this is a well known tenet of string theory; just sayin’). Better yet, it’s easy and adds just the right amount of little lilly-guilding to any occasion. If any of this sounds unappealing just head back to BuzzFeed or whatever the hell else you were doing. If the thought of having caramelized onions…in butter form…to spread on whatever you want gives you culinary wood then keep reading.

Equipment Needed: Frying Pan, Wooden Spoon, Serving Spoon, Small Mixing Bowl, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Serving Dish (to hold the finished butter)

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 8-10

Suggested Wine Pairing: whatever you’re drinking

Suggested Beer Pairing: whatever you’re drinking

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter ($4.99/lb)
  • 1 medium onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 1-2 TBSP dark maple syrup ($6.99/8 oz)
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar ($2.79/32 oz)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Put a stick of butter in a small mixing bowl so it comes to room temperature by the time  you’re ready to add the onions.
  • Peel and finely dice your onion. You want super small pieces so they caramelize quickly and you aren’t eating big chunks once you fold everything together.
  • Put your frying pan over medium heat. After about a minute, add 1 tablespoon of the room temp butter and throw in the onion. Stir them until the butter has melted and let them sit for 3 minutes. Add a liberal sprinkling of salt and some fresh cracked black pepper and let sit for another 3 minutes.
  • Pour in the apple cider vinegar, stir and let sit for another 3 minutes.
  • Pour the maple syrup over the top, stir and let sit for another 3 minutes. From here on out, stir the now caramelicious onions every 3 minutes until they’ve reduced to about a quarter of the original size; this will take about 20 minutes or more.
If you can find it. use dark amber maple syrup for a richer flavor.

If you can find it. use dark amber maple syrup for a richer flavor.

  • Remove the onions from the frying pan and let them cool to room temperature. Add them to your small mixing bowl with the softened butter. Using a spoon, slowly fold all that deliciousness evenly into the butter and then transfer it to your serving container.
Thoroughly stir the whole lot so you equally distribute the caramely goodness.

Thoroughly stir the whole lot so you equally distribute the caramely goodness.

  • If you want to roll it up you can use the same technique that we did for our melted leek and bacon butter; it’s a fancier presentation but takes a little more effort. Either way, let the whole lot sit in the fridge for at least an hour before you serve. It’ll last in the icebox for up to 5 days but that probably won’t be an issue.

Ale-brined Stuffed Pork Loin

Pork, nuts, fruit and stuffing; a meal in every bite.

The other white meat can sometimes fall victim to being boring, which is a fate we blame on people with no imagination. We turn this one up to 11 by soaking it with a badass brine and stuffing it full of home cooking favorites like, well, stuffing and cranberries. It’s almost a complete meal in and of itself but that shouldn’t stop you from pairing it with some mashed potatoes or roasted root vegetables to cap things off.

Equipment Needed: 5 QT Pot, 3 QT Pot w/ Lid, Large Container with Lid, Large Roasting Pan (OR) 13 x 9 Baking Pan, Cooking Twine, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Whisk, Tongs, Wooden Spoon, Paper Towels

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4-6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Shiraz

Suggested Beer Pairing: Stout, Brown Ale, Scotch Ale

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs pork tenderloin ($7.99/lb)
  • 16 oz brown ale (price varies)(we actually used an old autumn ale, you can use English ale, winter ale or almost anything other than an overly hoppy IPA or barley wine)
  • 2 C apple cider ($3.49/gallon)
  • 1/3 C kosher salt ($2.29/48 oz box)
  • 1/3 C  pure grade A maple syrup (about $7/8 oz)
  • 8 large rosemary sprigs ($1.50/sprig or bunch)
  • 1 TBSP whole black peppercorns ($3.69/2.25 oz jar)
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries ($2.99/6 oz bag)
  • 1/2 C walnuts (about $8.99/lb)
  • 1 box of instant stuffing (about $2.50/6 oz box) (don’t judge us, just be sure you check the instructions on the box, the recipe typically requires a few tablespoons of butter and water)
  • 2 large apples ($2.99/lb)

Preparation:

  • You’ll want to plan ahead a bit on this one because you’ll want to brine the pork loin for at least 2 hours before you cook it. 6-10 hours is ideal.
  • For the brine combine your beer, cider, maple syrup & salt in the 5 QT pot. Whisk it all together, place it over high heat and bring it to a boil, stirring regularly until the syrup and salt are dissolved.

Beer here!

  • Once it’s boiling, transfer the brine to your large container add a tray of ice cubes to accelerate the cooling process and thin it out a bit. Pop it in the fridge until it’s chilled (this should take about 45 minutes to an hour).
  • While you’re waiting for things to cool, trim any excess fat off of your pork loin and give it a good rinse.
  • When your brine is cold, place the pork in it an add the rosemary & peppercorns. Cover the dish and pop it back in the fridge for at least 2 hours; the longer you leave it in the more tender it’ll get.

Make sure you have enough brine to fully cover your meat.

  • When you can’t holdout any longer preheat the oven to 375°F and take the pork out of the brine. Rinse it, pat it dry, and put it on a plate to bring it to room temperature (at least 15 minutes). Save the rosemary sprigs for later.
  • While you’re waiting for the pork to warm, cook up your stuffing. This typically involves bringing water and butter to a boil, stirring in the stuffing and letting it sit in a covered pot for 5-8 minutes. Chop up the walnuts and stir them in along with the dried cranberries.

Chop the walnuts into manageable chunks but be careful not to pulverize them.

  • When the pork is un-chilled, butterfly it (a.k.a. cut it almost in half lengthwise so you can open it like a sub roll).
  • Slice up your apples into thin pieces, lengthwise and use them to line each interior side of the loin. Spoon in your stuffing and lay the rosemary sprigs from the brine across the top.

Be careful not to over-stuff the meat, you need to be able to tie it up without too much excess.

  • Squeeze everything together and tie up the loin with butcher’s twine.

It's a good idea to pre-cut your twine so you don't have to do it with porky hands.

  • Pop the pork in the oven and cook it for about 45-60 minutes until it registers at about 165° F on your meat thermometer.
  • As with all meat let it rest for 5-10 minutes before you cut it. Remove the twine, slice into 1-2 inch discs and serve.

Short Rib Chili

A bowl full of beefy awesomeness.

Short ribs are a favorite of ours because the only way to screw them up is to undercook them. Oh no, you let it go for 3 hours instead of 2? That just means you’ll be able to cut it with a spoon, lucky. Also, with the Super Bowl around the corner you’ve got the perfect excuse for some serious chili making, which also requires patience and the ability to drink beer while you’re waiting. Our work here is done.

Equipment Needed: 5 QT Pot w/ lid, Frying Pan, Tongs, Wooden Spoon, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Paper Towels

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 10-12

Suggested Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Vine Zinfandel, Malbec, Shiraz, Barolo

Suggested Beer Pairing: Stout, Porter, Dopplebock, Winter Ales, Brown Ale

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs bone-in beef short ribs ($5.99/lb)
  • 22 oz dark beer (we used a Lagunitas Imperial Stout; price varies)
  • 3-4 C beef broth ($2.99/32 oz)
  • 2 15.5 oz cans black beans ($1.39/can)
  • 6 slices of thick cut bacon ($6.99/lb)
  • 1 large red onion ($1.29/lb)
  • 1 large green pepper ($1.99/lb)
  • 6 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes ($3.49/can)
  • 6 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce ($2.99/can)
  • 1 TBSP liquid smoke ($2.89/3 oz)
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar ($2.89/32/oz)
  • 1/2 C Grade A maple syrup (about $7/8 oz)
  • 1 TSP cayenne pepper ($2/3.5 oz jar)
  • 2 TSP chili powder ($1.50/4 oz jar)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • At the butcher (or meat counter) ask them to cut your ribs into 2 inch chunks. When you get them home, season each piece liberally with salt and pepper on all sides.
  • Dice your onion and pepper, and mince the garlic. While you’re at it, cut your bacon strips in to 1 inch chunks for later.
  • Put your pot over high heat and coat the bottom in olive oil. Taking a few pieces at a time so you don’t crowd the pot, sear the ribs on every side (you’ll need a plate or bowl to hold those that are finished). Once you’ve browned everything throw in the garlic and onion and scrape up the brown bits off the bottom. Let them sweat for a minute then put the ribs back in the pot.

Once the meat is down, don't move it. And don't you dare flip it more than once.

  • Pour in the beer and enough beef stock to cover everything. Stir in maple syrup, cayenne pepper, chili powder and liquid smoke. Reduce the heat to low, pop the lid on and let it simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • While your beef is braising (aka, cooking in liquid after being seared) put a frying pan over medium head and throw in your bacon pieces. Cook them until they’re crispy and then drain them on a paper towel and set aside for later.
  • When you can pull the beef apart with a fork, pull the pieces out of the juice and put it on a cutting board. Remove the bones and chop up the meat into bite-sized pieces. Toss them back in the liquid.

Chop that meat up into tiny little melt-in-your-mouth morsels.

  • Drain one of the cans of beans and add them to the pot. Pour in the second can, bean juice and all. Add the green peppers.
  • Chop up the chipotle peppers and toss them in the pot. We also like to spoon in a little of the adobo sauce that comes in the can.

Mince the peppers into a fine paste and stir them in.

  • Let things simmer for another 20 minutes and adjust your flavors to taste. Add the bacon bits just before serving to add some texture to the bowl. Spoon into big bowls and serve with cornbread, or just ladle from the pot into your mouth.

The Elvis Pie

No witty caption can do justice for how good this pie is.

This pie is inspired by The King’s infamous penchant for fried peanut butter, bacon and banana sandwiches. “Wait, they’re not gonna put bacon in a dessert are they? Will they bastardize a pie just as an excuse to use the most succulent of meat candies?” Yes, yes we will and the world will be a better place for it. This will become your signature dish to bring to parties, which you can thank us for later.

Equipment Needed: Roasting Pan with Rack, 4 Mixing Bowls (or you can wash and re-use as you go), Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Aluminum Foil, Rolling Pin, Gallon Freezer Bag, Small Bowl or Coffee Mug, Silicone Spatula

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 8

Suggested Wine Pairing: Port, Sweeter Rieslings, Ice Wine, Dessert Wines

Suggested Beer Pairing: Chocolate or Oatmeal Stouts, Dubbel or Trippel Belgian Ales, Barley Wine

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C dark chocolate chunks (about $6/lb)
  • 1 C & 2 TBSP heavy cream, divided ($2.99/pt)
  • 2 bananas ($0.79/lb)
  • 1 C & 1 TBSP confectioner’s sugar, divided ($1.39/lb)
  • 1 1/2 C graham crackers (this is about a sleeve of graham crackers)($4.99/14.4 oz box)
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese ($2.99/package)
  • 2/3 C smooth peanut butter ($3.59/16 oz jar)
  • 6 strips thick cut bacon ($6.99/lb)
  • 1/3 C & 2 TBSP (7 1/3 TBSP) unsalted butter, divided ($4.99/lb)
  • 1/3 C pure grade A maple syrup (about $7/8 oz)

Preparation:

  • You’ll want to start with the crust so it has time to firm up. Take one sleeve of graham crackers and, leaving them in the package, crush them with a rolling pin or heavy can. If you’re careful and methodical about your crushing you can do a majority of it without breaking the sleeve, but save yourself from a potential mess by popping them in a gallon storage bag before you go to work.
  • In a mixing bowl add the crushed grahams, and sugar. Pop the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and melt things down (this should take about 30 seconds or so). Pour the butter in with the rest of the mix and blend everything together with your hand mixer. Spoon the crust out into your pie dish and, using your hands, press it evenly across the bottom and up to the top of the rim. Pop this into the fridge for at least an hour to firm up; 2 hours or more is ideal.

Press firmly and aim for a consistent thickness for your crust.

  • While your crust is setting, preheat the oven to 415°F.
  • Put your bacon in a large bowl and cover it with the maple syrup. You can add a little cayenne pepper here if you want to spice things up.
  • Peel the bananas, cut them in half and put them in your other mixing bowl. Put 2 tablespoons of butter in a mug or small bowl and microwave it until it’s melted (about 20 seconds). Stir in the bourbon and one tablespoon of the confectioner’s sugar with the butter and pour it over the bananas. For both your bananas and bacon, let them soak for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 to make sure everything stays evenly coated.

Get those 'naners good and tipsy before you pop 'em in the oven.

  • Line your roasting pan with tinfoil for easier cleanup and lay the bacon and bananas evenly on the rack. Put everything in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp. Once finished, put the results in one of the mixing bowls and pop them in the fridge as well to cool. They should be cold by the time the crust is ready.

Everything about this recipe is gratuitous, even the bacon shots.

  • As your other elements are chilling out you can get to work on the cream filling. In a mixing bowl add the cream cheese, peanut butter and confectioner’s sugar. With your hand mixer blend everything together until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, pour in the heavy cream and, using your hand mixer here too, whip the cream until it’s fluffy and has firm peaks. Scoop this into the peanut butter cream and mix it together until it’s fully incorporated. If you’re not ready to fill the pie yet, cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and put it in the fridge until go time.

Whip that cream 'til it's good and stiff.

  • When you’re ready to assemble this cardiologists’ dream take the bananas and bacon out of the fridge and cut them into 1/8th inch pieces. Spread them evenly across the pie crust. Take your peanut butter cream and using your spatula proceed to fill in the gaps and cover everything in velvety goodness. You can quit here but why stop now?

Spread that goodness evenly and quickly before you start eating it straight from the bowl.

  • In a mug or small bowl add 2 tablespoons of heavy cream or half and half and 1/2 a cup of dark chocolate chunks. Pop that in the microwave and nuke it in 20 second increments, stirring every time and repeating until it becomes smooth and fully melted. Pour it over the top of the pie and pop everything back in the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving, if you can control yourself that long.

Turkey in Bed (aka Breakfast Pigs in a Blanket)

Look at 'em. Little turkey flavor torpedoes.

This breakfast bastardization of everyone’s favorite party finger food came to us after a long night of chicanery and the creative genius that can only come from one too many tallboys. To the benefit of the world and fat kids everywhere, however, they turned out awesome and are as easy to make as they are delicious.

Equipment Needed: Baking Sheet, Basting Brush, Small Bowl, Frying Pan, Tongs, Cooling Rack (optional)

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 8 – 10

Suggested Wine Pairing: You shouldn’t really be drinking wine with breakfast but we’ll assume you’re having brunch. Try a mimosa or fruity white.

Suggested Beer Pairing: You probably shouldn’t be drinking beer for breakfast either. Try an oatmeal stout, though.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls ($2.69/tube)
  • 12 turkey breakfast sausages (about $3.69/16 oz package)
  • 1/2 C grade A maple syrup (about $7/8 oz)

Preparation:

  • Put your frying pan over medium heat and put as many sausages in as you can fit without overcrowding; you’re probably gonna have to do two batches. The point here is to pre-cook the sausages a bit before popping then in the oven so they fully cook through in the same time as it takes for the rolls to bake. Give them about 4 minutes on each side and drain thoroughly on a paper towel when finished.
  • Crack open the crescent roll containers and peel apart the individual pieces. Place a sausage on the wide end and roll the dough around it. Put that little gobbler on your baking sheet and repeat until you’ve wrapped all of them.

Roll 'em if you got 'em.

  • Pop them in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove those puppies and baste each one with a healthy coat of maple syrup. Return them to the oven for about 3-5 more minutes until the rolls are a rich brown.

Brush the top of each one thoroughly for maximum mapleness.

  • Set on the cooling rack to let them firm up before serving (the dough may be a little soft because of the fat in the sausage).

3 Little Pigs Pork Chops with Spinach and White Beans

Time for some hot pig-on-pig-in-pig action.

This recipe came to us in a vision as we were pondering how to put as much pork in a dish as possible. Pork chops, pork sausage and, of course, bacon bring the whole hog to the table while the spinach and bean accompaniment make you feel slightly less guilty (while cutting the richness a bit). Maple syrup keeps the vice train chugging along, providing a nice sweet complement to the protein.

Equipment Needed: 13 x 9 Baking Pan, Wooden Spoon, Frying Pan, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Small Bowl, Pastry Brush or Basting Brush, Meat Thermometer

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4

Suggested Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc

Suggested Beer Pairing: Dunkelwiess, Lager, Medium-bodied Ales

Ingredients:

  • 4 center cut bone-in pork chops ($4.50/lb)
  • 12 strips of bacon ($6.99/lb)
  • 3 links of sweet Italian sausage (about 1/2 lb) ($3.99/lb)
  • 1 medium onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/32 oz)
  • 1 can cannellini beans ($1.69/10.75 oz can)
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach ($1.79/10 oz box)
  • 1/4 C pilsner or American lager (we used Budweiser) (price varies)
  • 2 TBSP white vinegar ($1.99/32 oz)
  • 1/2 C grade A maple syrup (about $7/8 oz)
  • 2 TBSP fresh rosemary ($1.50/bunch)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Dice the onion and mince the garlic.
  • Put your frying pan over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil. Toss in the onion and cook it down for about 5 minutes.
  • While your veg is cooking, remove the casings from your sausage links and chop up the meat. When the onion has softened add the sausage and cook it until it’s browned, about 8 minutes, making sure to keep it broken up with your spoon.

Skin those sausages!

  • As your sausage cooks (yes, you’ll need to multi-task) place the pork chops on a cutting board and run your knife down the horizontal center of the meat to create a pocket.

Be careful not to cut all the way through the chop and keep firm pressure on it so your knife doesn't slip.

  • Once the sausage mixture is properly browned, spoon it into each chop being sure not to over-stuff them. (Turn the stove off, but don’t clean the pan, you’ll want the scrapings for later.)

Try to resist the urge to overstuff the chop so you can still wrap the bacon around each piece.

  • Lay out 3 strips of bacon on your cutting board. Give the pork chops a healthy sprinkle of salt and pepper and wrap the bacon around the each piece.

Wrap the chop so the loose ends of the bacon will sit on the bottom of the baking pan.

  • Remove the rosemary leaves from the stalk and mince them up. In a small bowl, mix them in with the maple syrup and use your brush to coat each pork chop evenly on all sides. Pop those little piggies in the oven for 30 minutes. They’re done when the juice runs clear or the internal temperature reaches 160°F (or about 155° if you like them on the medium side).

Spinach and Beans Preparation:

  • While your pork chops are cooking, take your frying pan and turn the stove back up to medium. Add the garlic and cook for a minute, then pour in the beer and scrape the tasty bits off the bottom.
  • Drain the beans and throw them in. Add the spinach, vinegar and a palmful of salt and pepper and stir occasionally until things are warmed through, about 15 minutes or so.

Remember to drain the beans so the spinach doesn't end up too soggy.

  • When the pork chops are finished lay down a bed of veggies and place them on top. Proceed with amazing porky excess.

Maple Cream

Egg cream purists will scoff; you will enjoy.

Inspired by a recent write-up in Edible Manhattan we decided to try our hand at making egg creams, a quintessential New York drink that have neither eggs nor cream in them. We hit up our grocery store in search of the real deal, Fox’s U-Bet, the original syrup from the original egg cream recipe and were pleasantly surprised at the flavor options available to us. Using their vanilla syrup we added a healthy dose of our favorite sweetener, maple syrup, to create this fall-inspired variation of this old-school specialty.

Equipment Needed: Pint Glass, Spoon

Serving Suggestion: Individual

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • Milk (for richer drinks use higher fat milk, $1.19/QT)
  • Original or Unflavored Seltzer ($1/L)
  • Fox’s U-Bet vanilla syrup (about $4/20 oz bottle)
  • Grade A maple syrup (about $7/8 oz)
  • 3 ice cubes (free)

Preparation:

  • Add the ice cubes into your pint glass and pour in about 1/2 inch of vanilla syrup followed by another 1/2 inch of maple syrup. Fill the glass about 3/4 full with seltzer and top it off with milk.
  • Stir the mix thoroughly and give it a sip. It should be more seltzer-y than milky; add more of either syrup to taste.