Tuesday, January 12, 2010
While we think of honey as both a stand-alone sweetener and an essential ingredient in things like marinades, salad dressings and glazes, we don’t view a similar sugary liquid, maple syrup, in the same way at all. Instead the treat from trees is relegated primarily to being sopped up by the breakfast trifecta of pancakes, waffles and French toast.
Yummy, but limited.
Yesterday’s news, says Chef Kathleen Daelemans. “Forget pancake and think ‘pan-sear.’ Maple syrup goes way beyond just sweet. Once you get it, you’ll start thinking of it in the savory category as well as the sweet.” Affiliated with the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers and its 8600 businesses, Daelemans, star of “Cooking Thin” for three seasons on The Food Network and author of “Cooking Thin and Loving Food”, is in love with maple syrup. Chefs always enjoy using ordinary ingredients in unexpected ways to create extraordinary things. For Daelemans, that everyday thing is maple syrup.
Daelemans hails from a family of artists, but she didn’t share their talents and envied their creative outlets until she found hers in food. Her mom read cookbooks like novels and was an adventurous, inventive cook who rarely cooked the same thing twice. “I think my Dad had only a handful of repeat meals,” she remembers. “Mom always made something different.”