Smoky Maple Blend Recipes
Quick, Tasty Pork Chops
Try these delicious pork chops for a perfect, healthy end to a busy day!
- Pork chops, as many as needed
- 2 tsp Smoky Maple spice blend per chop
1. Place thawed pork chops on a cookie sheet or shallow-sided baking dish.
2. Sprinkle each pork chop with 1 tsp Smoky Maple blend. Turn over and sprinkle the other side.
3. Let pork with spice blend rest at room temperature while you preheat the oven to 350 F.
4. Bake 20 minutes. Turn. Bake until cooked through: 15-20 minutes.
Side Dish Notes
1. Start medium sized whole potatoes 15 minutes before putting the meat in the oven for perfectly timed baked potatoes.
2. Start potato wedges – drizzled with olive oil and coated with Italian spices, or our Lemon-Pepper Herb blend, and topped with parmesan cheese – at the same time as the pork chops. Use oven-safe tongs to turn the wedges when you turn the meat.
Maple BBQ Flavored Dip
This is an instant and constant favorite wherever I introduce it! Great with chips, pretzels, and cut vegetable plates!
For a tasty and colorful dip at your next party or picnic, blend 1 or 2 tablespoons of Smoky Maple spice blend into a 16-ounce container of sour cream. Serve.
Tip: Start with 1 tablespoon, thoroughly mix, and taste before you decide if you want a stronger flavor. Add additional rub one teaspoon at a time.
Tip: The flavor of natural dips is strongest while the sour cream is cold. Serve in ramekins over ice, or refresh frequently from backups kept in the refrigerator. We frequently trade out the remaining dip for a new serving every half hour. You can consolidate the remaining dip in a fresh ramekin and let it thoroughly cool before re-serving. Also test for flavor and add a bit more spice blend if needed.
Vermont-inspired Smoky Maple Whole Chicken
Perk up your next Saturday chicken dinner! (Substitute chicken pieces for a quicker cooking time.)
1. Pre-heat oven to 325 F.
2. Rinse whole chicken inside and out. Drain and pat dry. Place in shallow casserole dish, back side down.
3. Lightly coat the chicken top and sides with olive oil, using your hands or a basting brush.
4. Thoroughly coat chicken with Smoky Maple spice blend.
Hint: Chicken skin keeps moisture in, but also works against the seasoning flavor penetrating into the meat. So, work the rub under the skin as much as you can. (I even make slits in the skin to stuff spice under more of the skin, especially over the breast meat.)
5. Sprinkle up to a tablespoon of Smoky Maple blend into the body cavity.
6. Bake at 325 F until the meat in the thigh-body joint is 165 F. Let the chicken rest 10 minutes before carving.
1. Baste and Au Jus: Make a baste of:
- 4 oz rum
- 3 tbsp fresh lime (or lemon) juice
- 1 tbsp brown sugar.
Lightly baste the chicken before placing in oven. Baste every 20 minutes while it cooks, being careful to not brush off the Smoky Maple spice. Baste once more when you remove it from the oven to rest.
While the chicken is resting, pour off the accumulated baste and chicken juices. Using a tablespoon, skim off excess (but not all) fat, then gently heat on the stovetop to make a pleasant au jus to drizzle over sliced chicken pieces, or to flavor a side dish, such as steamed cauliflower or broccoli, or baked potatoes.
2. Gravy and Broth: If your chicken came with chicken parts, place the neck, gizzard, liver, and heart in a small sauce pan with one coarsely chopped onion, celery stalk, and carrot, one bay leaf, and (optionally) half a teaspoon of whole black peppercorns. Cover and simmer on low while the chicken bakes. Then, while the chicken is resting, strain the broth.
Pour the juices from the chicken roasting pan into a large skillet. Place on stovetop on a medium heat. Using a tablespoon, skim off excess floating fat, then whisk in 1-2 tablespoons white flower until there are no lumps and the liquid has thickened. Turn heat down and slowly add broth, whisking briskly, to thin to desired gravy thickness. Then season lightly with salt and Smoky Maple seasoning. Use it to garnish the chicken pieces.
Tip: Save the remaining broth in an airtight container in your fridge. Use it as broth in future chicken, pork, or lamb dishes; or as the base of a side of summer vegetable soup or chicken soup.
These are perfect for the grill!
For an easy and quick smoked flavor, thoroughly mix 1-2 tbsp Smoky Maple seasoning into one pound of ground hamburger. Shape into 4 or 5 hamburgers and grill as usual.
Adding a spice blend that includes maple sugar (or any sugar) will cause a normal “blackening” effect on the surface. Be sure to check for doneness by temperature or by slightly opening the burger to see if the center is at its desired level of cooked.
Hint: Meat flavor is in its fat. That’s why grilled meats taste best when they include 10-15% fat. (Fat also keeps grilled meats from drying out.) The higher the heat during cooking, the more fat will be lost; a slower cook will help seal in the flavor – and the blackening effect of the rub will contribute to the sealing.