Sunday, March 22, 2009

Maple Syrup is Not Just for Pancakes

This weekend I went to a maple syrup harvest event in the Amish country in Northern Indiana with Aaron and my in-laws. We took a wagon ride in the woods to learn about the process of tapping the maple trees to gather sap. Then we visited the Sugar House, where they boil down the sap to make maple syrup. The best thing about it is that it's all natural! The regular pancake syrup in the grocery store contains high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which has health risks. Check out my previous post about the risks of HFCS.

In finished form, maple syrup contains about 66% sugar, starting from the 2% sugar in the tree sap. They served a tasty pancake breakfast made with locally milled flour and local pork sausage and all the fresh maple syrup you want. It was a treat! But maple syrup is not just for pancakes. Here's a recipe that you can make for dinner and I have a great tip on using the left overs.

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Maple-Chipotle Sauce
Courtesy - Cooking Light; Serves 4

1 pound pork tenderloin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh chopped
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp pepper
Dash allspice
1 tsp olive oil
1 - 3 1/2 ounce can of chipotle in adobo sauce (use only 1 chile + 2 tsp)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tbs chicken broth
2 tsp cider vinegar
  1. To prepare pork, combine first 6 ingredients; sprinkle evenly over pork. Place in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and refrigerate 3 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°.
  3. Remove pork from bag. Place pork in a roasting pan; drizzle with oil. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in center of pork registers 155°. Remove pork from pan; cover and let stand 10 minutes.
  4. To prepare sauce, remove 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from can of chiles; reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use. Add 2 teaspoons adobo sauce, syrup, broth, and vinegar to roasting pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Place pork in pan, turning to coat. Remove pork from pan, reserving sauce in pan. Cut pork into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Strain sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl; serve with pork.

What to do with the leftovers...

Spinach Salad with Pork Tenderloin, Pears, Blue Cheese and Maple-Chipotle Dressing

Whisk the extra sauce with a bit of olive oil until you have the consistency of salad dressing. Use the leftover pork for a salad with baby spinach, sliced red onion, olives, crumbled blue cheese, and sliced pears. You'll have a completely different meal with the leftover pork and maple-chipotle sauce.

1 comment:

  1. Hey -- I've been looking for a good sauce for pork, as I have some leftover pork tenderloin in the freezer. Can't wait to try this!