Cooking With Honey – Homemade Honey Sriracha

Fresh Sriracha (aka, home made 'Rooster')

Given that I keep stingy insects like honey bees, it’s not surprising that hot and spicy foods are my favorites!

In my humble opinion,  the taste of  a mouth-burningly hot dish, tempered with the uniquely flavorful sweetness of honey, is one of  life’s greatest pleasures!

My bees must feel the same way because my friends swear that my honey tastes a bit spicy.  I think that’s part of its charm!!

Anyway, here’s my recipe for homemade honey Sriracha.  You may never use store-bought again!!

Yield:   1 1/2 cups
Ingredients:
 
1/2 pound red fresno chiles, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves
1teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup distilled white vinegar
2  tablespoons honey
Directions:

Place all the ingredients except the honey in a jar and let sit overnight to mellow the heat of the peppers.

Place the mixture and honey in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Transfer to a blender and puree for about 5 minutes, until a smooth, orange-red mixture forms. Run through a strainer, extracting as much juice as possible.

Once refrigerated, the sauce should have the same consistency and texture as store-bought Sriracha, but less salty and fresher tasting!

Cooking With Honey – Mixed Greens With Honey Oregano Vinaigrette And Crispy Prosciutto

oregano salad

For the last two months I’ve been traveling the East Coast attending Bee Meetings and visiting adult children. It’s been lots of fun although I feel a bit like a long haul trucker. 🙂

I’ve visited the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, and the beehive/kitchen garden at the White House in Washington DC. I’ll be posting about my trips over the next few weeks.

Of course I’ve been eating and drinking along the way !! One of my favorite meals was at Nonna’s Italian in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where I had one of the best salads I’ve ever tasted. Not surprisingly, the original recipe calls for honey!!

Whether you make this salad as a prelude to a meal or for the meal itself, I guarantee you will enjoy it!!

Yield:  10 servings

Dressing:

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2-3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black or red pepper, depending on your taste

3/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

Place all ingredients in lidded jar and shake until combined. Let stand for up to two hours for flavors to blend.

Crispy Prosciutto:

Twelve slices prosciutto.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide prosciutto between baking sheets, laying them flat. Bake until fat turns golden and meat is darker, about 15 minutes (rotating baking sheets from top to bottom halfway through baking time). Using tongs, carefully transfer prosciutto to paper towels to drain (it will crisp as it cools). Crispy prosciutto can be used like bacon, in whole pieces or crumbled.

Salad:

Twelve cups mixed greens

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion, separated into rings

12 small/cherry tomatoes, sliced into quarters

1 tablespoon capers

1/4 cup sliced and pitted kalamata olives

12 slices crispy prosciutto, crumbled fine.

Directions:

Mix well and serve with Italian bread and olive oil.

Cooking With Honey – Spicy Honey Barbecue Pulled Pork And Coleslaw On Homemade Buns

pulled pork

Among my friends and family I’m renowned for this dish. It’s good all year around!!

It’s a scientific fact that honey makes food taste better.  Honey is largely composed of gluconic acid, a completely safe and natural flavor enhancer. According to the National Honey Board, a federal research and promotion board under USDA oversight, honey “balances and enhances the flavor profiles of other ingredients used in a recipe.”

The use of honey as a healthy and flavorful alternative to refined sugars has exploded in popularity in recent years. Raw honey is organic, easily digested, adapts to all cooking processes and lasts virtually forever.

Raw honey is also an integral part of the local food or “locavore” movement. Nationwide, small farms, farmers markets and specialty food makers are popping up and thriving as more people seek locally produced, seasonal foods. More than half of consumers now say it is more important to buy local than organic, according to market research firm Mintel.  Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan called the local food movement “the biggest retail food trend in my adult lifetime.”

Enjoy this recipe and feel good about it!!

Spicy Honey Barbecue Pulled Pork

Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

1 Boston Butt roast, about 5-6 pounds

Wet Rub:

1 cup honey

1/2 cup garlic, granulated

1/2 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup paprika

2 tablespoons onion, granulated

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon Creole seasoning

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon ground red pepper

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

Sauce:

3/4 cup cider vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 cup chili sauce

2 tablespoons onion, chopped

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Dash ground red pepper

Directions:

Stir together all rub ingredients in a bowl. If needed, trim the fat back to about 1/8 inch thick on shoulder. Smear meat generously with rub, massaging it into the meat. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and chill overnight in the refrigerator.

Stir together all ingredients for the sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, 40 minutes.

Divide sauce into separate containers for basting and serving at the table. Refrigerate table sauce and reheat for serving.

Heat oven to 200 degrees Farenheit. Place meat in a Dutch Oven and add 1 cup water. Baste with 1/2 of the barbecue sauce. Cover tightly and cook for 4-5 hours or until pork is very tender.

Remove pork to a large cutting board or platter, cover with sauce from pan and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Pull, slice or chop to serve. Serve in buns with barbecue sauce and coleslaw.

Coleslaw

Yield:  12 servings

Ingredients

6 cups shredded cabbage

1 cup shredded carrot

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon celery seed

1/4 cup honey

Salt and pepper

Directions

In a large bowl, combine cabbage and carrots. In a smaller bowl, make dressing by combining mayonnaise, vinegar, celery seed, honey, salt and pepper. Toss dressing into cabbage mixture and let chill.

Homemade Buns

Yield: Makes 28 buns

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, bread flour or whole wheat flour, divided (I use King Arthur’s)

Directions

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Honey Broccoli And Pasta Salad

broccoli-grape-pasta-salad-sl-l

The weather is finally warm, and this pasta salad is tangy and delicious.  Just the thing for summer!

This salad is also good with blanched and sliced asparagus.

Yield:  6 generous servings

Ingredients

1 cup pine nuts

1/2 (16-oz.) package bow-tie pasta

1 pound fresh broccoli

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup diced red onion

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups seedless red grapes, halved

8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pine nuts in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife. Peel away tough outer layer of stems, and finely chop stems.

Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and grapes, and stir to coat. Cover and chill 3 hours. Stir bacon and toasted pine nuts into salad just before serving.

Vegetarian Honey Winter Vegetable Soup

vegetarian winter veg soup

Reprinted from Salon.com

There’s never been a better time to be a half-assed vegetarian. Five years ago, the American Dialect Society honored the word flexitarian for its utility in describing a growing demographic—the “vegetarian who occasionally eats meat.” Now there’s evidence that going flexi is good for the environment and good for your health. A study released last October found that a plant-based diet, augmented with a small amount of dairy and meat, maximizes land-use efficiency. In January, Michael Pollan distilled the entire field of nutritional science into three rules for a healthy diet: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” According to a poll released last week, Americans seem to be listening: Thirteen percent of U.S. adults are “semivegetarian,” meaning they eat meat with fewer than half of all their meals. In comparison, true vegetarians—those who never, ever consume animal flesh—compose just 1 percent.

Yield:  10-12 servings

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil

8 ounces crimini mushrooms, halved and sliced

2 medium carrots, finely diced

2 ribs celery, finely diced

1 large onion, finely diced

1 tablespoon kosher salt

One 35-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

2 teaspoons fresh sage leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 1/2 quarts water

3 tablespoons soy sauce

One 2-by-2-inch piece Parmesan rind

7 ounces butternut squash, cubed

5 ounces kale, stems removed and chopped

Two 15-ounce cans great Northern beans, undrained

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

Shaved Parmesan, for serving

Directions

Place 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into an 8-quart stockpot over high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the mushrooms and saute until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Decrease the heat to low, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the carrots, celery, onions and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 30 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, sage, rosemary and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to break up the tomatoes. Add the water, soy sauce and Parmesan rind, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, about 15 minutes. Decrease the heat to low, add the squash and kale, cover and cook until tender, 30 to 35 minutes.

Return the mushrooms to the pot along with the beans, honey and red wine vinegar and cook until all is heated through, about 15 minutes. Remove the cheese rind and serve warm with shaved Parmesan.

Serve with hearty whole grain bread and a green salad.

Honey Asian Chicken Wings

honey asian chicken wings

It’s Super Bowl Sunday, so I feel obligated to post a recipe for chicken wings.  These are different and delicious!

Ingredients

1/2 cup chicken bouillon powder

1/2 cup Sriracha

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup cooking oil

1/2 cup pureed onion

1/4 cup rice vinegar

Zest of two limes

24 whole jumbo chicken wings

Directions

Heat oven to 325 F.

Combine the bouillon, chili sauce, honey, oil, onion, vinegar and lime zest and whisk together to form a uniform paste. Reserve some paste for brushing, and place the rest in a resealable plastic bag. Toss the chicken wings in the paste in the bag and allow to marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Bake in the oven until the wings are just about cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Rotate the wings halfway through for even cooking.

To finish the wings, brush with the reserved paste and place under the broiler until charred slightly.

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.

New Year’s Eve – Mixed Winter Greens With Honey Champagne Vinaigrette

winter greens salad.

Yield:  4-6 servings

Ingredients

8 cups (10 oz. bag) mixed winter greens, such as frisée, arugula, mustard, beet greens, chicory, escarole.

1 pomegranate

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 clove garlic, minced

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix mustard, Champagne vinegar, honey and garlic.

Then, whisking constantly with a fork, slowly add 6 tablespoons olive oil, until the vinaigrette is thick and creamy

Dress clean, dry salad greens immediately before serving. Add pomegranate seeds for accent.

Holidays With Honey – Winter Veggie Potstickers With Honey Asian Dipping Sauce

winter veggie potstickers

Winter veggies are at their best right now, and this is a wonderful way to enjoy them!

Yield:  24 potstickers

Ingredients

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 leek, cleaned and thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, pressed

1 head Napa cabbage, finely shredded

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 medium carrot, grated on finest holes of a box grater

24 wonton wrappers

Honey Asian Dipping Sauce, recipe follows

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook until leeks begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cabbage, vinegar, soy sauce, and ginger and cook, stirring, until cabbage is soft, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the carrot. Allow the filling to cool.

Transfer cabbage mixture to a mixing bowl and work together until fully incorporated. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

To make the potstickers, lay a wonton wrapper on the work surface and put about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center. Dip your finger in a little water and wet the edges of the wonton wrapper; this will help the potsticker seal when cooking. Bring the outside edges of the wonton wrapper together over the filling and press it together to form a pouch. Continue with the remaining wrappers and filling.

To cook the potstickers, heat the remaining oil in a very large skillet over high heat. Place all of the potstickers upright in the pan and cook, without disturbing them, until browned on the bottom, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water to the pan and immediately cover. Allow the potstickers to steam for about 3 minutes, then remove the skillet lid. Continue cooking until the water is completely evaporated.

Transfer to a platter and serve with the dipping sauce.

Honey Asian Dipping Sauce:

1/4 cup light soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1/2 lemon, zested

Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl until honey is dissolved. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yield: about 1/3 cup

Holidays With Honey – Honey, Garlic and Rosemary Petite Lamb Chops

chops

I went to the most wonderful holiday party where they served petite lamb chops as appetizers! I begged for the recipe and added a few touches of my own. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Yield:  Serves 2 to 4 as appetizers

Ingredients

8 lamb rib chops (about 2 pounds total)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon

1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 medium cloves)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon minced shallots (about 1/2 small)

1/2 cup apple cider

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

Directions

Place the lamb chops in a shallow dish, then season the lamb chops on all sides with salt and pepper. Combine the 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic, and rosemary in a small bowl, then pour over the lamb chops. Marinate the lamb chops in the refrigerator for 1 hour, turning the chops over once midway through.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat until shimmering. Working in batches, cook the lamb chops in the pan until brown and crusty, 2-3 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer the lamb chops to a large platter and let rest at room temperature.

While lamb rests, add the shallots to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the shallots begin to wilt and soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the apple cider into the pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the vinegar and the honey, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened. Spoon the glaze over the lamb chops and serve immediately.