Easy Cassoulet With Honey

cassoulet

It’s snowing in Cincinnati and getting colder by the minute. When the weather’s like this, all I want is some hearty cassoulet!  If I can’t wait until tomorrow to have it, this is the recipe I use. It’s SO good!

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 onion, thinly sliced

3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice

3 parsnips, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 tomato, chopped, or one 8-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped

3 15-ounce cans of great Northern, cannellini, or navy beans, drained and rinsed

5 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup plain breadcrumbs

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons salted butter, melted

Directions

In a Dutch oven (a heavy pot, usually made of cast iron, that you can use on the stovetop and in the oven), heat the oil over medium heat. Cook the sausage until well browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Remove and drain on paper towels; set aside.

Pour out the excess oil from the Dutch oven. Add the chicken broth, vegetables, beans, thyme, honey, salt, pepper, a third of the garlic, and the sausage and return to heat. Mix well, scraping up any brown bits that have stuck to the bottom of the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour, until thickened and the vegetables are tender.

Heat oven to 400° F. In a bowl, combine the bread-crumbs, parsley, butter, and remaining garlic. Sprinkle evenly over the cassoulet and place in the oven. Bake, uncovered, until the crust is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 10 – Honey Cocoa Meringues

cocoa meringue

I was a bad girl last night.  I had refined sugar. 

It gave me an upset stomach which persists today! 

I’ve learned my lesson. If I need a treat, I’ll make these. I love meringues anyway.  🙂

Yield:  approximately 20 cookies, depending upon size

Ingredients

3 egg whites

1 cup honey

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions

Preheat oven to 225º F

Beat all ingredients together until stiff peaks form

Shape as desired

Bake on parchment paper for roughly one hour

Do not remove from oven at once, but turn off the oven, open the door, and leave for at least 5 minutes

Cool gradually, away from draft

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 5 – Honey-Orange Roasted Duckling

roasted orange duck

Day 5 and things are going great! I’ve lost about two pounds and I haven’t felt hungry or deprived. Honey doesn’t push my “eating button” like refined sugar does!

The handy thing is that I can use today’s cooking in tomorrow’s fare. In this case it will be Warm Duck Salad. I’ll use my leftovers, but tomorrow’s recipe assumes you will be cooking duck especially for the salad.

Yield:  4-6 servings

Ingredients:

1 5-lb. duckling

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp orange juice

2 Tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F.  Truss duckling and place on a rack over a roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Combine honey, orange juice and olive oil. Set aside.

Remove duckling from oven and brush evenly with honey-orange mixture. Pour any that’s left over into the body cavity. Return the duckling to the oven for 15 minutes or until the skin turns a rich golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.  Serve with steamed non-starchy vegetables.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Honey-Glazed Roasted Pears

roasted pears

Even though I’m on a diet, I still have a sweet tooth.  This is for dessert tonight and breakfast tomorrow morning!

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

1 lemon

2 medium ripe pears (Anjou, Comice, Bartlett or Bosc)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons honey

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Set the rack on the top shelf of the oven. Peel the lemon’s zest into 4 long strips. Peel the pears and leave the stems on if they have not already fallen off. Cut a slice 1 inch in diameter and one-third-inch thick off the bottom of each pear so it will stand up in the roasting pan. Place the pears in the roasting pan and add the lemon zest, butter, honey and 2 1/2 cup water. You do not need to mix the ingredients ahead of time because they will all melt together into a syrup in the oven.

2. Place the roasting pan on a cookie tray just in case the juices boil over. Bake until all the honey has dissolved and the tops of the pears are beginning to brown, about 30 minutes.

3. Remove the pan from the oven. Using a rubber spatula, push the pears over so they are lying on their sides. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the pears to the opposite side and bake another 20 minutes. The pears will continue to take on color. Do not be alarmed if the tops of the pears become a very dark brown. You want them to caramelize.

4. The pears are poached when a knife inserted into the center slides in easily and the pear is somewhat soft to the touch. If the pears seem hard and uncooked, bake them lying down for up to 20 minutes longer.

5. Once the pears are poached, stand them back up and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and baste the pears with the caramelized juices (which will continue to reduce into a syrup). Return the pears to the oven and repeat this process three more times for a total of 45 more minutes. The pears are done when the tops are almost black and the flesh is a shiny, deep caramel color. You might need to roast the pears for another 10 to 20 minutes to get this beautiful caramel shine. Remove the pears from the oven and baste one last time. The basting liquid should by now have become a syrupy caramel.

6. Carefully remove the pears from the roasting pan and place them on a tray or plate to cool. Save the caramel sauce, discarding the lemon zest. Once the pears have cooled, remove the core from the bottom with a small melon baller or paring knife. You need to carve out a cone shape from the bottom to remove the pear’s seeds. To serve, reheat the pears in the oven.

7. Place each pear on a plate with a drizzle of the pear caramel sauce.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Broiled Grapefruit With Honey And Cinnamon

broiled grapefruit

Want to know what to have for breakfast tomorrow? This is the best!!

1/2 grapefruit

1 Tbsp honey

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of cinnamon

Position oven rack so that it sits four inches below the broiler in the oven. Preheat the oven to broil. Place one half grapefruit in a small baking dish. Drizzle with honey and vanilla extract. Sprinkle cinnamon over top and broil in the oven for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Fat bee

Southern Honey Cornbread Dressing

Yesterday I posted a recipe for Perfect Herbed Honey Oyster Dressing.

Today I started feeling guilty about calling it “perfect.” It wasn’t the dressing I grew up eating. Nope, my mother L.J. used to make old-fashioned Southern Cornbread Dressing.  With her own homemade cornbread.

It wasn’t sophisticated, but it was mighty good!

This is L.J.’s recipe, with some honey added to make it extra tasty…

Ingredients :

Honey Cornbread, recipe follows

7 slices oven-dried white bread

1 sleeve saltine crackers

8 tablespoons butter

2 cups celery, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

7 cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon fresh sage

1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

5 eggs, beaten

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine crumbled cornbread, dried white bread slices, and saltines; set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and cook until transparent, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the vegetable mixture over cornbread mixture. Add the stock, mix well, taste, and add salt, pepper to taste, sage, and poultry seasoning. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Pour mixture into a greased pan and bake until dressing is cooked through, about 45 minutes.

 Honey Cornbread:

1 cup self-rising cornmeal

1/2 cup self-rising flour

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup honey

2 eggs

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into a greased shallow baking dish. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Honey Roasted Turkey

This is an English recipe that I love! The honey butter glaze gives the skin a crispy, tasty flavor. Be sure to use a smaller turkey for best results.

Ingredients

1 (10 pound) whole turkey – thawed, neck and giblets removed

1 lemon, cut in half

salt and black pepper to taste

1 small apple, peeled

1 small onion, peeled

1 small potato, peeled

3 ounces butter

6 ounces honey

1 cup chicken stock

Directions

Pat the turkey dry inside and out with paper towels. Rub the cut lemon halves lightly over the skin of the turkey. Season inside and out with salt and pepper to taste. Place the lemon halves, apple, onion, and potato into the cavity of the turkey. Place into a close-fitting roasting pan.

Stir the butter and honey together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is evenly blended. Spoon the honey mixture over the turkey, coating the entire outer surface. Allow to stand 30 minutes, reapplying the honey mixture several times.

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Bake the turkey in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, basting two or three times with the drippings and honey mixture. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and cook 30 minutes more, basting frequently. Use a cup of chicken stock to keep the pan juices from drying out.

Cover the turkey with aluminum foil, and continue roasting until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove the foil during the last 15 minutes and baste one last time.

Remove the turkey from the oven, cover with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area 15 minutes before slicing.

Cranberry Week – Roast Duck With Honey Cranberry Glaze

Did you know that cranberries help prevent stomach ulcers?  Most peptic ulcers are caused by a bacterial infection, Helicobacter pylori. Cranberries havebeen shown to inhibit the adhesion of these bacteria to the stomach lining. With 25 million Americans suffering from peptic ulcers in their lifetime, this is a significant health problem.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 4-pound duck
  • 1 3-inch strip of orange peel
  • 1 medium onion
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper as desired
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preparation

Rinse the cranberries carefully under running water and pick them over to remove any that have spoiled.

Mix one cup of cranberries,1/2 cup of the honey and one-half cup of water in a small saucepan and cook, simmering, until the cranberries are very soft. Strain through a sieve into a small bowl. The honey liquid is the glaze for the duck.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the gizzard, heart and liver from the duck and set aside. Put the orange peel, half the onion and about half a teaspoon of salt and pepper in the cavity.

Paint the duck with a little of the cranberry glaze.Place the duck on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes, paint the surface with a little of the cranberry glaze.

Remove the duck from the oven and prick the skin all over with a fork to release the fat. Return to the oven and continue roasting, painting every 15 minutes with the glaze, for a total of two hours.

While the duck is roasting, make a broth with the innards: Roughly chop the remaining half onion and the duck innards. Place in a small saucepan with the wine, another half teaspoon of salt and pepper and a cup of water. Simmer gently for an hour or more, until the broth is reduced to approximately one-half cup of flavorful liquid. Strain the broth and discard the solids.

Mix the remaining half cup of cranberries with the remaining half cup of water, the remaining honey and the balsamic vinegar. Cook together for 10 minutes until the mixture is syrupy. Set aside.

When the duck has finished roasting, remove it from the oven and set aside. It should be a beautiful dark-red color.

Strain the pan juices into a glass measuring cup and carefully remove the duck fat that floats to the top. (Do not discard: duck fat is wonderful for roasting or frying potatoes.) Add the innard broth to the roasting juices and use this to deglaze the roasting pan, scraping up the roasting bits that have stuck to the pan. Strain the whole through a fine sieve and place in a small saucepan.

Add the cranberry-vinegar syrup to the pan juices and broth. If there is any glaze remaining, add that to the mixture and bring the whole to a simmer just to warm it and mix everything together.

Carve the duck if you wish, or send it whole to the table, together with the warm cranberry sauce.

YIELD

4 – 6 servings

Baked Brie With Honey

This is an easy and delicious dish to serve with wine or cocktails!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 large wheel brie or small wheel
  • 4 tablespoons honey

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the brie on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper and drizzle with the honey. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it starts to ooze but not melt.

Serve with crackers.

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!!