Along the Grapevine


45 Comments

Maple and Date Upside Down Cornbread Muffins

DSC01948 It seems only fitting that I post one more maple syrup recipe as maple syrup is what is happening at our place. There is still snow in the ground and while a few green edibles are just barely visible, there is nothing but sap for us to harvest. DSC01946 Besides enjoying our own syrup, I had a chance to try some butternut syrup – a much appreciated gift from a sister. Made the same way as maple syrup, it takes four times as much sap, but if you have butternut trees I would say it is well worth the effort, especially since it is not available at the supermarkets. It has a buttery, fudge-like flavour and on pancakes or waffles is second only to maple syrup.

For Angie’s 63rd Fiesta Friday, which I am pleased to be co-hosting this week with Julianna at Foodie on Board, I made gluten-free cornmeal muffins with a buttery, maple date sauce. I hope you will drop in and see what Angie’s other guests have prepared. If you have a recipe you’d like to share, just follow the guidelines – so easy!

Since most cornbreads are served with butter, I made these with a generous amount of butter in them. That and the sticky sweetness from the dates and the syrup means they are good just on their own.

Maple and Date Upside Down Cornbread Muffins

Ingredients 2 cups cornmeal 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt 3 eggs, beaten 2 cups milk 3 Tbsp melted butter 1/2 cup butter plus 3 Tbsp 1/2 cup maple syrup plus 3 Tbsp 9 medjool dates

Method Mix the cornmeal, baking powder and salt in one bowl and in another the eggs, milk and melted butter. Combine the two mixtures well and allow to stand for about 10 minutes. Divide the butter into 18 pieces, one for each muffin, and place in muffin tins. Do the same with the syrup. Pit the dates and cut them in half lengthwise. Place them on top of the butter maple mixtures with the cut part facing up. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins. Bake at 450 degrees F for about 12 minutes, or when they spring back when pressed. Remove from the oven, loosen with a knife and invert then onto a rack to cool.

DSC01949 These could be made just as well in a cake or loaf tin. If you don’t have maple syrup, another sweet syrup or honey can be used.DSC01954


14 Comments

Mole a la Canadienne – with Cornbread or Venison

DSC01594

With a new batch of venison to work with, I decided to make a Mexican style mole, a spicy, savoury chocolate sauce usually served with chicken. Once I worked out a version of this which included some of my own local ingredients, I thought it too good not to share with vegetarians too, which is why today I am bringing to Fiesta Friday two dishes, one vegan and one using meat. The mole is not as complex as many of the authentic Mexican recipes out there in that I only used one kind of chili pepper. However, the other spices, dried fruit and chocolate resulted in a delicious addition to the simplest of meals, and it is so easy to prepare that you could make it and figure out how you want to serve it a few days later. Just beware that after a couple of days the heat increases, so if you don’t want it too hot you might want to reduce the amount of peppers you use.

Mole a la Canadienne

Ingredients

5 dried chilis serranos

1 cup hot water

1 dozen dried apricots

2 Tbsp sumac powder

2 cloves

3 allspice berries

1 star anise 1 2-inch cinnamon stick

1 oz. unsweetened chocolate

herbs and roasted hazelnuts for garnish

Method Soak the chilis in hot water for about 15 minutes in a saucepan. Grind the cloves, anise and allspice and add them along with the cinnamon and sumac to the chilis in water and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove the cinnamon and pour the mixture into a blender. Add the apricots and blend until it forms a smooth paste. Return to the pan and add the grated chocolate. Heat until the chocolate is melted. This will keep several days in the fridge but might need a little extra water when reheated.

To serve it with cornbread, any savoury recipe works for this, but I highly recommend this one from The Breakfast Drama Queen. Not only is it vegan and gluten free, but it is super tasty and nutritious with the addition of squash. Coriander leaves would make a perfect garnish along with the hazelnuts, but I used some sweetened, dried dandelion leaves. DSC01593

For the venison, I used a rump roast. I sliced it so that the marinade would penetrate completely. A simple marinade was all that was needed, as the spices in the mole were sufficient. I apologize for not having pictures of the finished product – not too sure how that happened. Perhaps with the excitement of this birthday dinner I neglected to check the camera had its bit, so I will try to make another and add photo when I am focussed. DSC01592

Venison with Mole

Ingredients

1 1/4 lbs venison

1/2 cup oil

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

fat for frying salt and pepper to taste

toasted nuts and herbs for garnish

Method

Slice the meat to a thickness of about 1/4 in. Place in a dish and cover with the garlic, oil and vinegar mixture. Allow it to sit several hours in the fridge. When ready to cook, drain and pat the slices dry and season with salt and pepper. Fry on a medium high heat a couple of minutes on each side, or longer if you want them well cooked. Garnish with toasted hazelnuts and herbs.

Serve with the mole and garnish with the nuts and herbs, such as parsley, cilantro or dandelion leaves.