Cooking With Honey – BLT And Blue Salad

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I made this salad on Christmas Eve and will make it again on New Year’s Eve.  It’s best if you make the dressing well in advance so the flavors have time to blend. My family tells me that the leftovers  are even good the next day!

Yield:  4 – 6 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise

2/3 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Dash of Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce

1/2 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

6 ounces blue cheese, preferably Maytag, crumbled fine

6 cups hearts of Romaine lettuce (about three heads) You may substitute iceberg lettuce

1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts (For how to toast, see below) You may substitute pine nuts

6 ounces crispy bacon

3 Roma tomatoes, finely diced

2 scallions, chopped

Directions:

Whisk together the first 10 ingredients except for the blue cheese. Once mixed, stir in 4 ounces of the crumbled blue cheese; cover and refrigerate until service. Overnight is even better. Taste for and adjust seasoning with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Tear or slice the lettuce into chunks. In a mixing bowl, toss the lettuce with as much dressing as desired as well as half the bacon, tomatoes and toasted nuts.

Place the salad mixture into individual bowls or on plates, pour on dressing as desired,  and sprinkle with remaining blue cheese, bacon, tomatoes and nuts. Garnish with chopped scallions. Enjoy!

How to toast Hazelnuts:

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a baking pan toast hazelnuts in one layer in middle of oven 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly colored and skins are blistered. Wrap nuts in a kitchen towel and let steam 1 minute. Rub nuts in towel to remove loose skins (don’t worry about skins that don’t come off) and cool completely.

toastedhazelnuts

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 9 – Salmon Salad With Honey, Capers And Dill

salmon salad

This is another of my favorite recipes.  The honey glaze on the salmon blends beautifully with the raspberry vinegar!

Yield:  2 to 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 pound , Honey Raspberry Glazed Salmon, chilled

1/2 cup small-diced celery (1 1/2 stalks)

1/4 cup small-diced red onion (1/2 small onion)

1 tablespoon minced fresh dill

1 tablespoon capers, drained

1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar

1 tablespoon good olive oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Break the salmon into very large flakes, removing any skin and bones, and place the salmon in a bowl. Add the celery, red onion, dill, capers, raspberry vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Season, to taste. Mix well and serve cold or at room temperature.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 8 – Honey Raspberry Glazed Salmon

Salmon

When I’m watching what I eat, I don’t want to be cooking all the time.  It’s easier for me to avoid temptation than to resist it!

So I like to make a lot of something and serve it in different ways over a day or two.  After dinner tonight, this salmon will reappear as a salad tomorrow.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

1 whole side of salmon, or 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

1 tablespoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

3 tablespoons honey

1 1/2 tablespoon raspberry balsamic vinegar

Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing salmon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

If using a side of salmon, cut about halfway through the flesh about every 2 to 3 inches so there are some spaces for the glaze to sink in. If using salmon fillets, slice about 8 to 10 sliced angles into flesh, to help flesh more completely soak in the glaze.

In a small bowl or cup, mix the salt, pepper, and dry mustard.

In a medium glass bowl, heat the honey in the microwave for 30 seconds to liquefy further. Remove from the microwave and mix in raspberry balsamic vinegar.

Brush the both sides of the salmon with olive oil. Season the flesh side with the spice mixture. Brush the flesh generously with the honey-balsamic mixture.

Bake or broil the salmon for 10-15 minutes or until done to taste. Served with roasted brussels sprouts with pine nuts.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – The Essentials

Fat bee

Okay, here is the diet I made up.  I’m no expert, but I’ve been on just about every diet there is with varying levels of success. I know what works for me and what doesn’t.

All of the foods allowed on the Romancing The Bee Diet (“RTBD”) are low (below 55) on the Glycemic Index (GI).

The GI is a numerical system of measuring how much of a rise in circulating blood sugar a carbohydrate triggers–the higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response. So a low GI food will cause a small rise, while a high GI food will trigger a dramatic spike. A GI of 70 or more is high, a GI of 56 to 69 inclusive is medium, and a GI of 55 or less is low.

For me, a food with a low GI keeps me satisfied longer and naturally suppresses my appetite. The variety of foods allowed enables me to still cook creatively!

Foods allowed on the RTBD are listed below. If it’s not on the list, I’m not going to eat it!!

Lean meats such as beef, skinless chicken, lamb, pork loin and veal – 8 ounces per day, OR

Any type of seafood without breading or batter – 8 ounces per day, OR

Three eggs per day (3 ounces), OR

Any combination of the above, not to exceed a total of 8 ounces of protein per day.

One grapefruit per day

One lemon per day

Apples or pears – two per day, total.

Non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, cabbage, salad greens, winter greens, onions, and garlic. (unlimited)

1 avocado per day

2 tablespoons raw honey

2 tablespoons olive oil or butter (not light) or mayonnaise made with olive oil (not light), or a combination of these, not to exceed two tablespoons total.

2 tablespoons bleu cheese or parmesan cheese

Unlimited – Tea, diet soda, water, Vinegar, Tabasco, salt, pepper, fresh and dried spices and Dijon Mustard.

1 five ounce glass of wine per day, preferably red. (May be used in cooking)

EATING BREAKFAST IS ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED!

That’s it.  No counting of calories or carbs or points.  I’m hopeful that the small amounts of “naughty” foods will keep me from feeling deprived, while still allowing me to lose 2-3 pounds per week.

Holidays With Honey – Smoked Salmon Seven Grain Bruschetta With Honey Mustard, Tomato And Dill

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Smoked salmon is another good Winter Solstice dish.  Serve these bruschetta with the Winter Solstice cocktail!

Yield:  4-6 servings

Ingredients

1 loaf seven grain bread, sliced on diagonal into 1/4-inch thick slices

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Canola oil, to brush bread

Extra-virgin olive oil,  for drizzling

3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard

2 tablespoons honey

2 to 3  tomatoes, thinly sliced

8 ounces smoked salmon, sliced paper thin

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Juice of 1 lemon

Dill fronds, for garnish

Directions

Preheat a grill pan over high heat. Brush the bread with canola oil, salt and pepper. Grill the bread until slightly charred on each side, about 30 seconds per side.

Remove the bread to a cutting board and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Combine honey and mustard in a small bowl.

Spread the bread with honey mustard and put sliced tomato on each slice of bread. Drizzle with honey mustard and top with a few slices of smoked salmon. Add another drizzle of honey mustard and top with black pepper and a sprig of dill.

Whisk together a few tablespoons of lemon juice and a few tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil and drizzle over the tops. Garnish with dill fronds.

Holidays With Honey – Smoked Salmon And Caviar Roll Ups

salmon roll ups

I’m spending the holidays with my extended family in Chicago.  My daughter Molly’s father-in-law Vince is Italian, and we will be observing The Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve.

The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a traditional Italian Christmas Eve meal consisting of seven different seafood dishes. It was originally a period of abstinence to commemorate the wait, the Vigilia di Natale, for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus.

This will be part of my contribution to the Feast.

Yield:  12 to 18 servings

Ingredients

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup fresh cream cheese, at room temperature

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill leaves

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon chopped lemon zest

Salt

Freshly ground white pepper

6 large slices smoked salmon

36 toasted bread rounds or squares

8 ounces caviar

Garnish: 36 sprigs fresh dill, sour cream

Directions

In a mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, cream cheese, honey, dill, chives, and lemon zest. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the slice of salmon on a piece of plastic wrap, with the small end closest to you, on a flat surface. Season the slices of salmon with the pepper. Spread some of the cheese mixture evenly over each slice of salmon. Trim ends to make even. Then, beginning at the bottom, roll up the salmon, jelly roll style, securely, pressing to close. Wrap each salmon roll in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use.

About 30 minutes before serving, place the salmon rolls in the freezer; this will make slicing easy.

To serve, using a chef’s knife, slice the salmon into 1/2-inch slices. Remove the plastic wrap and discard. Place the salmon on the toasted bread slices. Place some caviar on top of the salmon. Garnish with a sprig of dill and sour cream.

Smoked Salmon And Caper Pizza

10 ozs crust (prebaked thin, italian pizza dough)
1/2 cup cream cheese (chives)
2 tbsps dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
8 ozs smoked salmon (thinly sliced smoked salmon lox or brine soaked)
2 tbsps red onions (chopped finely)
2 tbsps capers (drained)
1 tbsp dill (chopped)

 
Heat oven to 425F degrees. Place pizza crust on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 6-8 minute.

Cool at least 15 minutes.Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine cream cheese, mustard and honey; mix until well blended.

Spread cream cheese mixture over cooked crust, arrange salmon over top, sprinkle with onion, caper, and dill.

Cut into wedges; serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until serving time.