Cooking With Honey – Strawberries With Honey Rebecca Sauce

strawberries with rebecca sauce

This is a traditional Kentucky Derby favorite. Enjoy the seasonal abundance of fresh strawberries with this heavenly sauce.

Yield:  6 servings

Ingredients:

2 quarts fresh strawberries

· 1 pint sour cream

· ½ cup honey

· 1 tablespoon vanilla

· 1 tablespoon dark rum, brandy or bourbon (bourbon makes a more Kentucky-tasting sauce)

Directions:

Wash berries. Drain on paper towels. Divide among 6 pretty bowls or plates.

Combine sour cream, honey, vanilla and rum or bourbon. Stir to mix well. Spoon over strawberries and serve.

Potage Parmentier (Potato Leek Soup)

potage parmentier

Another soothing recipe for the eating impaired. I may never eat chocolate again…

It was this time of year that my beloved mother L.J. served Potato Leek Soup. Now I know why.

Yield:  For about 2 ½ quarts, serving 6 or 8

Ingredients

4 cups sliced leeks – the white part and a bit of the tender green

4 cups diced potatoes – old or baking potatoes recommended

6 or 7 cups of water

1 teaspoon honey

1½ to 2 teaspoons of salt, to taste

Optional: ½ cup of more sour cream, heavy cream or crème fraiche

Directions

In a heavy-bottomed, three-quart saucepan, bring the leeks, potatoes and water to a boil, uncovered. Salt lightly, cover partially, and simmer 20 or 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add honey. Taste and correct seasoning.

Serving au Naturel – Ladle out the soup and top each serving with a dollop of sour cream, if you wish.

Pureed Leek and Potato Soup – Puree the soup through a vegetable mill or in a blender or food processor. Serve with optional cream.

Cream of Leek and Potato Soup – Use a cup less liquid when simmering the soup. After pureeing, whisk 2/3 cup or more of sour cream, heavy cream or crème fraiche into the soup, simmering a moment to blend.

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.

Jalapeno Honey Corn Bread Muffins

jalapeno 2

These muffins go beautifully with the Black Bean Soup posted earlier today.

Ingredients

1 cup sifted flour

1 cup cornmeal, preferably stone ground

1 tablespoon sifted baking powder

1 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

2/3 cup sour cream

2/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 large egg

1/3 cup finely diced fresh or canned jalapenos

1/3 cup finely diced green onions or scallions

1/3 cup drained canned corn kernels

1 3/4 cups finely grated sharp Cheddar cheese

Melted butter or liquid bacon fat for greasing muffin tins

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, pepper flakes, salt and cumin, and blend well.

In a separate mixing bowl, add the sour cream, honey and milk, and blend well with a wire whisk. Beat in the melted butter and egg.

Add the liquid ingredients to the cornmeal mixture and blend well. Add the chilies, green onions, corn and cheese. Blend thoroughly.

Grease the inside of eight half-cup muffin tins. Spoon equal portions of the batter into each greased tin. The batter may be a bit higher than the top of the tins.

Place in the oven and bake 25 minutes. Ideally, these muffins are best eaten hot, fresh from the oven.

Yield:  Eight muffins

Cranberry Week – Honey Cranberry Spinach Salad With Bacon, Blue Cheese and Pecans

 

Did you know that cranberries promote heart health?  Cranberries are high in flavonoids that reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis which reduces blood flow within the arteries. Ongoing research continues to suggest that cranberries may offer a natural defense against arteriosclerosis, which can lead to heart attacks, angina and blood clots.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound hickory smoked bacon slices, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 2 (6-ounce) containers baby spinach
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup Danish blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Fry chopped bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined 1/4-sheet tray to drain.

Toast pecans in the oven on a 1/4-sheet tray until lightly golden and fragrant, about 6 minutes.

In a medium bowl mash the blue cheese with a fork. Mix in the buttermilk, sour cream, honey, salt and pepper, to taste.

Combine baby spinach, red onion, pecans, dried cranberries and bacon in large bowl. Toss with the dressing immediately before serving.

Serves 4.