I fell in love with maple syrup while visiting Montreal, Canada. As a kid, I grew up with a popular maple -flavored syrup that we used on pancakes and waffles. It was fine and served its purpose, but once I discovered wild maple syrup during my travels to Montreal and Vermont, I gained an appreciation for the real thing and never went back.
Made from the sap of the sugar maple tree and other varieties, maple syrup comes in 4 different flavors: golden, amber, dark and very dark. I like them all, but particularly fond of amber and dark for their rich flavor.
My country style maple sage salmon sausage recipe combines the earthy flavor of ground sage and the sweetness of real maple syrup to create a special addition to a brunch menu or any time of day. I call for wild pink salmon for this dish. This variety is the smallest of the salmon family and have been harvested commercially for canning since the 1800s. You can find it with bones and skins, boneless and skinless in cans or as fillets in the freezer section. I prefer to make these patties from frozen fillets so that I can control the texture.
Make the patties as small or large as needed based on how you intend to serve them – I like them tucked into my mom’s angel biscuits or a lightly toasted English muffin.
If you have access to maple syrup granules then use them here, which will help reduce the amount of moisture in the sausage. Otherwise, a good quality maple syrup of any grade will do. Please use the good stuff, real maple syrup is essential to this recipe, no substitutes for this one.
∙ Makes 6-8 medium sized patties ∙
2 pounds pink salmon, boneless and skinless, thawed if frozen, cut into chunks
4 tablespoons of amber or dark maple syrup
2 tablespoons ground sage
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup water, as needed
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
½ cup vegetable oil, as needed
Special equipment: food processor
Add the salmon to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the finely ground. Add the maple granules or maple syrup, sage, breadcrumbs and pulse again until the mix is well combined. The sausage is ready when is easily forms a patty. Pulse again if needed.
Add the mix to a large bowl and pour in the water and add the salt and black pepper. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Use a measuring scoop to portion out the mix into patties and set aside.
Add the oil to a skillet and add the patties. Pan fry on one side for 2 minutes on each side and remove. Serve as desired.