The Flavors of Vermont

Beautiful Vermont, the Green Mountain State, was the 14th state to join the Union. The state derived its name from the French words Vert for Green and Mont for Mountain, hence Green Mountain State. Claimed by the French in 1609, the first settlement was established in 1666 at Fort Sainte Ann. Interestingly enough, the fort was built to protect Canada from the Iroquois.

Vermont is the only New England state that does not border the Atlantic Ocean, is the second-least-populated state and the sixth smallest by area. Despite its size, Vermont produces more maple syrup than any other state. While Pennsylvania may has more covered bridges than any other state, Vermont has more per square mile. Guess size does matter.

I must confess, when first approaching a menu that would capture the flavors of Vermont, my first instinct was to make breakfast – pancakes with Vermont Maple Syrup, Vermont Maple Sausages – all the easy stuff that says Vermont. But you know me, I gotta go the extra mile. Maple Syrup is great on pancakes, but there’s more to syrup than just breakfast, just as there’s more to Vermont that Maple Trees.

One thing I gotta tell ya before we get to cooking – it’s been so amazing to travel about America from state to state, if only at our table. I hope you enjoy our visit to Vermont.

Flavors of Vermont
Soup –
Vermont Cheddar Onion Soup

Main Course –
Maple Glazed Pork Chops
Vermont Baked Beans
Garlicky Chive Cob Corn

Salad –
Field Greens with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Dessert –
Vermont Maple Pecan Pie

Vermont Cheddar Onion Soup
8 medium Red Onions
6 Garlic Cloves
16 oz loaf French Bread.
1 lb aged Vermont Cheddar, shredded
5 tablespoons Butter
4 sprigs fresh Thyme
3 Bay Leaves
3 teaspoons Sea Salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon fresh Black Pepper
1 tablespoon Sugar
1/3 cup Flour
1-1/2 cups medium-bodied Red Wine
8 cups Beef Stock

Trim ends from onions. Peel, then slice onions crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Set aside. Peel garlic, slice thinly and set aside. Trim ends from the bread, then slice loaf into 1/2-inch slices. Wrap bread in plastic wrap and set aside until ready to toast. Shred cheese into a bowl, cover and set aside until ready to use.

Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cover the pot and cook until the onions are fully wilted, about 15 minutes. Stir the onions occasionally. Now remove the lid and cook the onions uncovered for an additional 10 minutes; keep stirring them occasionally throughout.

Add the sugar and cook until the onions are very soft and golden, 10 to 15 minutes more. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the wine and beef stock; stir to combine, then increase the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 10 more minutes to let the flavors combine. Taste and add 1 to 2 teaspoons more salt as needed.

While the soup is simmering, heat the oven’s broiler and set a rack 3 to 4 inches from the heating element. Arrange the bread slices on an ungreased baking sheet and set under the broiler until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn the bread slices with tongs, and top them with the shredded cheese. Return to the broiler and cook until the cheese is melted and golden, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Spoon the soup out into serving bowls and top each with a piece of cheese toast; with additional toast on the side. Serve hot.

Maple Glazed Pork Chops
6 thick-cut boneless Pork Loin Chops
1-1/2 teaspoon fresh Thyme Leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup brewed coffee
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Sprinkle pork chops with thyme, salt and pepper. In a large skillet, brown chops in oil. Remove and keep warm.

To the now empty skillet, mix together the olive oil, coffee, surpy, mustard and Worcestershire Sauce. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half.

Return pork chops to skillet. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until meat is tender, 10-12 minutes, turning once. Serve with sauce.

Vermont Baked Beans
1 lb dried Navy or White Beans
4 cups Water
1/2 lb thick Bacon
1 large White Onion
2/3 cup Maple Syrup
2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Ground Mustard
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground Black Pepper

Soak beans according to package directions. Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid. Place beans in an ovenproof large pot or Dutch oven; add water. Bring to a boil.

Stack bacon, chop into pieces and set aside. Trim ends from onion, peel, chop and set aside.

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp; drain. Stir the onion, cook until tender, drain on paper towels. Add bacon, onion, syrup, salt, mustard, and pepper into the beans.

Cover and bake at 300 degrees for 3 to 3-1/2 hours or until beans are tender and reach desired consistency, stirring every 30 minutes.

Once tender, transfer beans to a serving bowl. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve.

Garlicky Chive Cob Corn
3 Cob Corn
4 tablespoons Butter, softened
2 small Garlic Cloves
1 tablespoon fresh Chives
Fresh Black Pepper as desired

Husk corn, trim ends. Break each ear in half. Nestle corn upright in a pot, fill with enough water to cover corn by 1-inch

Bring to a rolling boil, cook for 10 minutes or until corn cob is tender when poked with a sharp knife.

While corn is cooking, place butter in a small mixing bowl. Peel garlic, press garlic over the butter. Snip chives, sprinkle over the butter.

With a fork, stir butter mixture to combine.

Drain corn once cooked. Place on a serving platter. Spread each ear with some of the garlic butter, season with fresh pepper if desired.

Serve hot.

Field Green with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
Garlic Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon Minced Roasted Garlic
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
Pinch Salt
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Olive Oil

In a deep mixing bowl, combine roasted garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking constantly, until full emulsified.

Transfer vinaigrette to salad dressing shaker. Just before serving, vigorously shake dressing to re-emulsify.

Field Greens
8 oz. Spring Green Mix
8 oz. Baby Arugula
1/2 cup toasted Walnuts
1/4 cup dried Cranberries
2 oz. Chevre, crumbled

Rinse spring greens and arugula. Spin dry. Toss together in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle salad with walnuts and cranberries, toss to combine.

Just before serving, dress salad with vinaigrette, toss one last time. Top with crumbled Chevre and enjoy.

Vermont Maple Pecan Pie
1 Refrigerated Pie Crust
3 large Eggs
1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup Maple Syrup
3 tablespoons Butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 cups Pecan Halves

Let single pie crust come to temperature according to package directions.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. On a floured surface, roll out dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate; transfer crust to pie plate. Trim to 1 inch beyond rim of plate; flute edges. Set aside.

In a bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until smooth. Add maple syrup. Melt butter, add to mixture along with vanilla, salt and pecans. Pour into pie shell.

Bake in heated oven 30 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.

Cook pie on a wire rack for 1 to 2 hours before serving. Store uneaten pie in the refrigerator, covered in plastic wrap.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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