Maple from Canada at The Gannet
Arriving for a lunch hosted by Maple from Canada at The Gannet in Glasgow, I’m aware that I have only ever used maple as a syrup on my Sunday morning pancakes with crispy streaky bacon. As wonderful as that tastes, I can’t wait to be inspired to try it in other ways.
Chef Director of The Gannet, Peter McKenna, is a Maple chef ambassador and his genuine passion for the product is evident as he talks us through all of the ways he uses it: maple sugar, 4 different styles and colours of maple syrup, maple wood smoking, and my new favourite thing - maple vinegar. A 100% natural sweetener, a sustainable product, and suitable for vegan diets, it’s no wonder that Canada loves maple so much and it’s exciting to hear the plans to expand education about it here in Scotland and the rest of the UK.
Although it’s featured in each course, maple isn’t an overpowering flavour in any of them, rather it enhances each dish. Maple pickled mushrooms cut through the creaminess of the aged beef and smoked eel, whilst maple glazed beetroots add sweetness to an earthy red deer dish. The whole experience is as impressive as I expected it to be at The Gannet; each course is paired with a glass of exceptional wine and the front-of-house service is exemplary, complementing the quality of the dishes arriving from the kitchen. The added bonus today is that I’ve also learned lots of new ways to try maple in all of its forms. I already have ideas in my head to try it in salad dressings, sauces, and especially in a glaze or rub for barbecue meats as soon as the sun comes out again.
There are lots of recipes on the Maple from Canada website, this one from Peter McKenna particularly caught my eye so if you bring the lobster, I’ll bring the maple.
Peter McKenna’s Maple and Scotch Whisky Glazed Smoked Butter Poached Lobster
100ml maple syrup (preferably amber syrup for its rich taste)
50ml maple vinegar
Splash of Bowmore 15-year-old Scotch whisky
Blackthorn salt to season
Cold smoke the butter for 1 hour.
Clarify and remove milk solids.
Blanch the lobster for 3 minutes in boiling seasoned water, and refresh in ice water.
Boil the maple syrup and reduce to half the volume, add the maple vinegar and bring back to boil, reduce till a balance of flavour is achieved.
Once cooled add the Bowmore to taste.
Cut the chilled lobster tail in half and carefully crack open the claws, remove the flesh and clean the carcass.
Poach the flesh in the smoked butter (at 56 – 57 degrees) for 5 minutes.
Once the lobster is cooked remove it from the butter and place it neatly back in its shell.
Brush on the maple glaze, season with the blackthorn salt and finish on a BBQ to accentuate the smoky flavours.
(Recipe and image of lobster are both used with permission, credited to www.maplefromcanada.co.uk)
1155 Argyle St, Finnieston, Glasgow G3 8TB