Celebrate Maple Season: Salmon with a Maple Rub & Maple Candy for dessert

Recipe Box

CHESTERLAND, Ohio (WJW) — It’s maple sugaring season in Northeast Ohio and a great time to add the sweet ingredient to your menu planning. Chef Stefanie Paganini is a culinary instructor with the Loretta Paganini School of Cooking and ICASI professional school. Stefanie shares two delicious recipes that showcase the flavor of ‘maple’. The Loretta Paganini School of Cooking offers a variety of cooking classes for adults and kids. Click here for more information and to see the class schedule.

Grilled Plank Salmon

Serves 8

8 (3 oz.) salmon fillets

1 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. dry mustard

1 Tbsp. maple syrup (Geauga County Preferred)

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing salmon

4 untreated cedar planks

Preheat the grill to 400°F.  Soak cedar planks in water for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl mix the salt, pepper, paprika and dry mustard, olive oil and maple syrup. Brush the top of the salmon fillets mixture.

Place the salmon fillets on the planks. Place planks on the grill and close the grill to create the smoky environment.  Cook salmon to internal temperature of 135 degrees F. 

Maple Candy

Makes 6-8 pieces depending on size of mold

1 cup Grade B Pure Maple Syrup (not the corn syrup kind)

½ Tablespoon unsalted butter

Pinch of salt

Tools needed:

2 qt. stainless steel pan

Candy thermometer

Pan or candy mold

Prepare your pan or mold by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray. 

In a 2 qt. stainless steel sauce pan, heat maple syrup, butter and salt stirring until mixture reaches between 235-240 degrees F (soft ball stage) on a candy thermometer.  Be careful as the mixture will bubble violently while heating. 

Remove pan from heat and stop stirring.  Allow mixture to sit undisturbed until it cools to 175 degrees F.  Then using a wooden spoon, stir for about 4 minutes until mixture begins to thicken, change colors and looks creamy.  Then quickly transfer to mold or pour into a container to cool.  It will go from liquid to solid very suddenly. 

Cherry Sauce

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots, chopped

3 Tablespoons Maple syrup

3 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

2 Tablespoons red wine (Bordeaux preferred)

1/2 pound cherries (about 2 cups), pitted and quartered

1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced

In a medium sized saucepan, heat olive oil.  Add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, approximately 2 minutes. Add vinegar, syrup, wine, and cherries. Allow mixture to cook and reduce approximately 5-8 minutes. Spoon sauce over salmon and sprinkle sage on top.

Simple Rice Pilaf

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup carrot, finely chopped

1/2 cup celery, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups rice

4 cups chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large sauté pan. Add oil and butter, sauté carrots, celery, and onions until onions until soft.  Add garlic and rice and cook for about 3 minutes more over low heat. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Add stock, cover tightly and cook 40 minutes until rice is tender. Remove from heat, fluff rice with a fork and let stand 5 minutes.

Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. 

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