Cooking With Honey – Turkey, Leek, And Mushroom Casserole

turkey leek and mushroom casserole

I had this wonderful casserole minus the turkey and honey over the weekend.  I took my turkey leftovers and made it even better!

Yield:  8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:

6 cups (1/2-inch-diced) bread cubes from an Italian or French loaf, crusts removed

2 cups cooked turkey (leftover!)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 ounces pancetta, small-diced

4 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts (4 leeks)

1 1/2 pounds small button mushrooms

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves

1/4 cup  dry sherry

2 tablespoons honey

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

4 extra-large eggs

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 cup chicken stock

1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (6 ounces), divided

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the bread cubes on a sheet pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a large (12-inch) saute pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook for 5 minutes, until starting to brown. Stir in the leeks and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the leeks are tender. Stir in the mushrooms, tarragon, sherry, honey, 1 tablespoon salt and 11/2 teaspoons pepper and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until most of the liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Off the heat, stir in the turkey and parsley.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, chicken stock and 1 cup of the Gruyere. Add the bread cubes and mushroom mixture, stirring well to combine. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the liquid. Stir well and pour into a 2 1/2-to-3-quart gratin dish (13 x 9 x 2 inches). Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup Gruyere and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is browned and the custard is set. Serve hot.

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

CCBAB111L_Smoked-Salmon-Toasts_s4x3_al

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 – Christmas Morning Casserole

sausage cheese strata

It probably isn’t surprising that cooking is a big part of Christmas in my family. After my children grew older, Christmas breakfast became really special. After we open presents, we sit down for a cozy meal with lots of chat and tea. It’s the best part of the day. 

We’ve had this spicy casserole for the past few years because it can be made ahead and cooked while we are opening presents. This year our darling Lucy will be able to eat some too!

photo (9)

Yield:  serves 4

Ingredients

5 Slices thickly-sliced white bread – crusts and all, buttered & cubed.

1 pound of mild sausage, cooked, crumbled and drained.

3 cups of grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

4 eggs

2 cups of milk

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon of hot sauce.

Directions

Spray a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. Place the bread cubes in the casserole. Evenly distribute the sausage over the bread cubes. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Combine the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, honey and hot sauce and mix well. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, remove the casserole from the fridge and allow it to sit on the counter for 15 minutes while you pre-heat the over to 350. Remove the plastic wrap, place the casserole in the over and bake for 1 hour.

Perfect Herbed Honey Oyster Dressing

 

Stuffing, also called dressing, is a seasoned mix of vegetables and starches and sometimes meat and seafood (such as oysters) that are cooked within the body cavity of an animal that is then served alongside the animal usually as an ancillary course.

Various kinds of stuffing go as far back as the Roman Empire, where recipes appear in De re Coquinaria, a collection found within a kitchen anthology called Apicius that chronicles thousands of Roman dishes. In De re Coquinaria, chicken, rabbit, pork and dormouse stuffings are made available. While some scholars argue that because of the language used in Apicius, which is closer in ways to Vulgar than Classical Latin, that many of the recipes contained within it were not cooked in Rome, there are long traditions and other historical references that corroborate the wide use of stuffing in Ancient Italy.

Stuffing in America is not uncommon in restaurants but is not regularly utilized in most households. Rather, it is traditionally served during the Thanksgiving holiday. 

This is the perfect Thanksgiving stuffing/dressing!

Ingredients

2 loaves Italian or French bread (1 lb total), cut into 3/4-inch cubes (12 cups)

1/2 lb sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil (if needed)

2 medium onions, finely chopped (2 cups)

1 1/2 cups chopped celery

3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried thyme, crumbled

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried sage, crumbled

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted

18 oysters, shucked, drained, and chopped (3/4 cup)

2 1/4 cups turkey giblet stock or low-sodium chicken broth

 Directions

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Spread bread cubes in 2 shallow baking pans and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of pans halfway through baking, until golden, 25 to 30 minutes total. Cool bread in pans on racks, then transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain, reserving fat in skillet.

If bacon renders less than 1/4 cup fat, add enough oil to skillet to total 1/4 cup fat. Cook onions, celery, thyme, sage, garlic, salt, and pepper in fat in skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with bread cubes, then stir in bacon, honey, parsley, butter, and oysters. Drizzle with stock, then season with salt and pepper and toss well.

Transfer stuffing to a buttered 3- to 3 1/2-quart shallow baking dish. Bake, covered, in middle of oven 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until browned, about 30 minutes more.

Cranberry Week – Honey Cranberry Chicken Pecan Tea Sandwiches

This is the perfect sandwich filling to keep on hand during the holidays. You can whip up an elegant tea in minutes!

  • 2 c. diced cooked chicken
  • ½ c. cranberries, sliced or dried
  • ¼ c. cup pecans, chopped
  • t tablespoon honey
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • Mayonnaise, homemade or Hellmann’s
  • White or wheat bread slices
  • Butter
  • Parsley for decoration

In a large bowl, combine first 4 ingredients. Add just enough mayonnaise to moisten.  Cover and chill to blend flavors.

Butter 2 slices of bread.  Spread enough chicken salad mixture on one of the buttered slices to make a thick sandwich. Cover with remaining top slice. Repeat with remaining slices of bread.

For best tea sandwich results, chill for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Trim off bread crusts and cut into triangles or squares.  Keep covered with a moist paper towel or in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Stuffed Mushrooms With Honey

I love stuffed mushrooms!  These are good hot or cold.

Ingredients:

Large mushrooms for stuffing 5-6
1 anchovy fillet in oil (optional)
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 handful fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper
parmesan reggiano

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees
Gently wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel to clean them. Remove the stems and reserve.
Chop the mushroom stems, anchovy and garlic. Place in a bowl with the bread mixture, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the mushroom stems and bread mixture and saute for 5 minutes.
Lay the mushroom caps on an oiled tray, hollowed side up. Lightly salt and fill with the bread mixture. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and drizzle each with honey and olive oil.
You can sprinkle with a little parmesan reggiano if you like. Bake about 15 minutes until soft and they are ready to serve.

British Week – Crumpets

Amazingly, we’ve reached the end of British Week!
A  few days ago my UK blogging friend Emma Sarah Tennant messaged me that she was enjoying some of my spring honey on a crumpet.
Okay, I know that crumpets are iconic.
But here’s an embarrassing confession.  Anglophile that I am, I didn’t know what a crumpet was!
I pictured it as something like a fortune cookie.
It turns out that a crumpet is what we Yanks call an English Muffin!
I’m sure British crumpets are much better than our store-bought muffins, especially when they are made from scratch!
So here to round out British Week is a kick butt recipe for crumpets!! Enjoy them with butter and honey!! (If you want Romancing the Bee honey, contact me!!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (230g) unbleached white bread flour
  • 1 2/3 cups (230g) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 0.6oz cake fresh yeast (15g) or 1 envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons) plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups (510ml) lukewarm water
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons (10g) coarse sea salt, crushed or ground (use about half this if you’re not grinding your own coarse sea salt. If you’re measuring by weight instead of volume, you’re fine.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup (140ml) lukewarm milk

And to prepare the crumpets, you’ll need:

  • a griddle or cast-iron frying pan
  • 4 crumpet rings, about 3 1/2 inches diameter, greased

Instructions:

Sift together the flours and cream of tartar into a large bowl. Crumble the fresh yeast into a medium-sized bowl. Mix in the lukewarm water until smooth. If using dry yeast, mix the granules and the sugar with 3/4 cup lukewarm water and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining lukewarm water.

Mix the yeast mixture into the flour to make a very thick, but smooth batter, beating vigorously with your hand or a wooden spoon for two minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm spot until the batter rises and then falls, about 1 hour.

Add the salt and beat the batter for about 1 minute. Then cover the bowl and let stand in a warm spot for 15 to 20 minutes, so the batter can rest.

Dissolve the baking soda in the lukewarm milk. Then gently stir it into t he batter. The batter should not be too stiff or your crumpets will be “blind” — without holes — so it is best to test one before cooking the whole batch.

Heat a very clean griddle or frying pan over moderately low heat for about 3 minutes until very hot. Put a well-greased crumpet ring on the griddle. Spoon or pour 1/3 cup of the batter into the ring. The amount of batter will depend on the size of your crumpet ring.

As soon as the batter is poured into the ring, it should begin to form holes. If holes do not form, add a little more lukewarm water, a tablespoon at a time, to the batter in the bowl and try again. If the batter is too thin and runs out under the ring, gently work in a little more all-purpose flour and try again. Once the batter is the proper consistency, continue with the remaining batter, cooking the crumpets in batches, three or four at a time. As soon as the top surface is set and covered with holes, 7 to 8 minutes, the crumpet is ready to flip over.

To flip the crumpet, remove the ring with a towel or tongs, then turn the crumpet carefully with a spatula. The top, cooked side should be chestnut brown. Cook the second, holey side of the crumpet for 2 to 3 minutes, or until pale golden. The crumpet should be about 3/4 inch thick. Remove the crumpet from the griddle. Grease the crumpet rings well after each use.

Honey Spice Bread

Honey Spice Bread Recipe

This is great for breakfast, or even dessert! 

2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup 2% milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup canola oil

GLAZE:
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons 2% milk

Directions

In a small saucepan over low heat, cook and stir brown sugar and milk for 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.
In another bowl, combine the eggs, honey, oil and brown sugar mixture. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour into a greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan.
Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (cover with foil if top browns too quickly).
Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Combine glaze ingredients until smooth; drizzle over bread. Yield: 1 loaf (12 slices).

Roasted Garlic, Honey And Kalamata Olive Bread

This is my all time favorite bread recipe!  No kneading required!!

3 Cups Bread Flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 1/2 Cup Kalamata Olives, pitted, drained, roughly chopped

1 or 2 heads of garlic (depending how garlicky you like things)

Olive oil for the garlic roasting

3/4 Teaspoon active dry yeast

1 1/2 Cups cool water

It really helps to have a Dutch Oven (about 9″-12″ diameter, at least 10″ tall), with a lid.  …if you don’t, you can bake your loaf on a baking sheet BUT, you will need to create steam in your oven – you can do this by adding a cup of water to a baking pan and putting it on the floor of your oven, right as you put your bread in the oven.

Break up the heads of garlic and peel the cloves. Toss them with olive oil in a bowl and make sure they are each thoroughly coated, then put the cloves in a baking pan and into the oven at 375 F for about 20-30 minutes, or until slightly browned (not burnt) and soft but not super mushy. Remove the garlic from the oven when done and set it aside to cool.

Roughly chop the olives and make sure none of them have pits (If you’re using canned olives, drain them and lightly pat them dry first).

Mix the yeast, flour and salt together in a large bowl.  Toss in the olives and garlic (make sure it’s cooled a bit), then the water and honey and mix it all together using a large spoon (I used my hands).  After a minute or so of mixing, you should have a fairly wet but thoroughly combined dough.

Leaving it in the mixing bowl, cover the bowl with a cloth or towel and let it sit at room temperature for 14-18 hours (more won’t hurt, though). After it’s sat, it should have expanded quite a bit and look a little bubbly.

Now, scrape your dough out of the bowl onto a well floured surface and fold it just a few times, adding more flour to the surface if it gets sticky. Don’t fold it too much, and don’t add too much flour… you want to add just enough that you can pick it up without it sticking to your hands.

Form the dough into a ball and place it seam side down onto a large piece of parchment paper.  Place it back into the mixing bowl.  Cover it again, and let it sit for 2 – 6 hours to let it proof. The longer it sits, the bigger it gets! The parchment paper isn’t mandatory, but it helps..

After your bread has been resting and proofing for at least 2 hours, preheat your oven to 500 F (yes, HOT!).  Transfer the dough to the pot, by picking up the four corners of the parchment paper and placing it in the pot (don’t worry, the paper won’t burn, and it will ensure the bread doesn’t stick in the pot).

Place the pot into the oven and make sure you PLACE THE LID on the pot.  Cook with the lid on for 30 minutes, then remove the lid (be careful of escaping steam! it will burn you!) and cook for another 20 or so minutes without the lid on until the crust is a deep brown color. You can tap the bread with your fingernail to test it, it should make a hollow sound when it’s done.

Lift it out of the pot by grabbing the parchment paper corners, let it cool, and then slice and enjoy!!

Honey Butter Rolls

  • YIELD: Makes 28 rolls

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1 (1/4-oz.) envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

Preparation

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, and let stand 5 minutes or until mixture bubbles.

2. Meanwhile, heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes or until 100° to 110°.

3. Stir together warm milk, eggs, and next 3 ingredients in bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer, blending well. Add yeast mixture, stirring to combine. Gradually add 5 cups flour, beating at medium speed, using paddle attachment. Beat 3 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand 1 hour.

4. Uncover dough, and add remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, beating at medium speed 5 minutes. (Dough will be sticky.) Transfer to a lightly greased large mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

5. Punch down dough. Turn dough out on a well-floured surface, and roll into 28 (2 1/2-inch) balls (about 1/4 cup dough per ball). Place balls in 4 lightly greased 9-inch pans (7 balls per pan). Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

6. Bake rolls at 400° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Brush tops with  butter.

Note: To freeze, place baked rolls in zip-top plastic freezer bags, and freeze up to two months. Let thaw at room temperature. Reheat, if desired.