Either because the glycemic level of this blog was getting higher and higher, either because I wanted to debunk the myth that maple syrup only pairs with sweet recipes, today, we try something savoury.
The book of Francois Chartier, “Taste buds and molecules”, presents a few “molecular” pairings between maple syrup and other foods. One of the most rated is with meat or fish. In this case, Chartier doesn’t precise which aromatic molecules* the two have in common with the syrup. I simply believe that the pairing meat/fish+maple syrup works well because the sugars, during the cooking process, react with the amino acids of the meat/fish. That is better known as the Maillard’s reaction that produces those compounds responsible for the typical taste of roasts or grilled food.
And since I am pretending spring is here (not quite…last Tuesday we had another snow storm :P), I decided to go for shrimps and salad that remind me so much the sea, the sun, the beach and dinners on a porch with a good glass of chilly white wine :)
Shrimps and maple syrup salad
(Doses for 2 persons)
200 g of shrimps (neat and without shell)
100 g of baby spinach leaves (neat)
a handful of unshelled walnuts
2-3 table spoons of dark-quality maple syrup
2 tea spoons of lemon juice
salt as needed
olive oil as needed
Pour the maple syrup and the lemon juice into a bowl. Add the shrimps and let them marinade for 30 minutes in the fridge. After this time, pour a bit of olive oil in a pan and warm it up under a medium flame. When the oil is warm, add the drained shrimps and brown them. Turn the flame off and put the shrimps aside. Place the spinach leaves on a plate, and add the the shrimps and the walnuts. Dress with olive oil and salt.
Let me know in the comments if you liked the recipe :)
*from the chemical point of view the aromatic molecules are those that belong to the family of benzene. However, in this context, I use the term in a more general way to indicate those compounds responsible for the taste and fragrance of foods.
F. Chartier, Taste buds and molecules: the art and science of food and wine, Ed. McClelland and Stewart, 2009