Oh Honey

            September is National Honey Month so now is the time to ponder an ancient question that has confounded learned scientists for eons. This deep and multifaceted matter has puzzled subsequent generation and rears its dubious head every year when summer rolls around. Of course I’m talking about the unsolvable dilemma, which came first, the honey or the bee.

I’m going to take a giant leap of faith and say, well, they both arrived at the same time and jump right into why using honey is so good for you. Honey is one of nature’s most perfect food. Very few people are allergic to it, it’s easy to digest, and has benefits that encompass, ensuring good health, beauty treatments AND it’s so and is just plain delicious. There’s lots of ways you can buy your honey. There’s honey comb, liquid, crystallized and whipped/creamed honey.

You should know that all honey will eventually crystallize given enough time so when you see it starting to get a little hard you can heat it to melt the crystals (I tend to zap it in the microwave for a 1 minute or so). While the consumers in the US seem to prefer the liquid variety many countries throughout the world prefer the whipped honey where it’s typically served at breakfast instead of jam.

If you’re planning on using honey instead of sugar in baking you can substitute it at a 1:1 ratio but I prefer to slightly reduce the amount of honey because it is so much sweeter. You also need to know that you’ll need to reduce the other liquids in the recipes by about 1/4 cup to compensate for the liquid/water in the honey. You should also lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees to prevent burning. I also add about 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of honey to help counteract the honey’s acidity.

 I’m going to take this moment to suggest that any recipe with honey in it has got to be a reason to celebrate. Bees and what they do when they sting is a whole different kind of column

 

NOTE: Never EVER feed honey to a child under the age of 2. Their undeveloped digestive systems aren’t equipped to deal with some of the naturally forming bacteria that are in it.

CHOP CHOP SALAD WITH HONEY LIME DRESSING

 

2 heads chopped romaine lettuce

1 can (15.5 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and well drained

3 chopped seeded tomato

1 can sliced hearts of palm

1 cup fresh corn kernels, uncooked (canned, drained)

8 to 10 thinly sliced radishes

2 avocado, diced

1 to 2 red bell pepper, chopped

 

Lime and honey dressing:

 

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup honey

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

 

In a salad bowl combine the lettuce, garbanzo beans, tomato, hearts of palm, corn, radish, avocado and red pepper. Toss to combine and set aside. In a smaller bowl combine the lime juice, olive oil, honey, parsley, garlic and pepper flakes, and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6 to 8. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

TOMATOES WITH HONEY THYME DRESSING

 

6 to 8 large tomatoes, sliced

3 to 4 shredded carrots

Salad greens

1/3 cup white wine or fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons lemon zest

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 cup olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Black sesame seeds for garnish

Black olives (optional)

 

Place the salad greens on a platter and then place the shredded carrots on top. Lay out the sliced tomatoes in rows (deocorate with black olives if you like). In a small bowl, whisk together the wine or lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, and thyme. Whisk in the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and then sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top for garnish. Serves 8 to 10.

 

HONEY PECAN CHOCOLATE PIE

 

1 readymade deep dish uncooked pie shell

 

1 stick butter or margarine

1 cup sugar

3 beaten eggs

1/3 cup corn syrup

2/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 to 3 cups of chopped pecans

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 to 2/3 cup chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 325. Melt the butter and then set it aside and allow it to cool slightly.  In a large bowl combine the sugar, eggs, corn syrup and honey. Whisk to combine.  Add the melted butter, vanilla, pecans and cinnamon. Mix to combine. Pour the pecan mixture into the uncooked pie shell and bake for 45 minutes. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on the top and return the pie to the oven. Bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven. Cool for at least 10 minutes and spread the melted chocolate chips over the top. Cool for at least 1 hour before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

 

APPLE AND HONEY FRUIT SLAW

 

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 to 2 lbs. coleslaw mix

2 to 3  tart apples, peeled and chopped (I like granny smith)

2 cans (11 oz) mandarin oranges, drained

1 cup dried cherries

1/2 to 3/4 cup pine nuts

 

In small bowl, whisk together the honey, oil, vinegar, poppy seeds and salt; set the mixture aside. In large bowl combine the coleslaw mix, apples, oranges, dried cherries and pine nuts. Mix to combine. Pour the dressing over coleslaw mixture and mix to coat. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

 

HONEY CURRIED BAKED CHICKEN

 

2 chickens, cut up about 4 to 5 lbs

1/2 cup butter, cubed

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup crushed pretzels

 

Preheat oven to 350. Line a large baking pan with foil. Place the chicken in the pan. In a sauce pan combine the butter, honey, mustard, curry and salt. Simmer until the butter melts and whisk to combine. Pour about 1/2 of the sauce over the top of the chicken and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken over and pour the remaining sauce over the top of the chicken. Bake for 10 minutes and then baste the chicken with the sauce and sprinkle the pretzel crumbs over the top. Cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

 

Unknown source

 

PEANUT AND CHOCOLATE HONEY BARS

 

1 cup honey

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup chunky peanut butter

1 cup honey roasted peanuts

1 cup milk or semi sweet mini chocolate chips

7 cups crisp rice cereal

 

In large microwave-safe bowl combine the honey and brown sugar. Microwave on High for 3 to 5 minutes, or just until mixture begins to melt and become bubbly. Stir to combine. Stir in the peanuts, chocolate chips and cereal and mix to combine. Grease a large shallow 10X15 baking dish with cooking spray. Firmly the mixture into the pan. Let sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. When cool, cut into squares or use cookie cutters to cut it into fun shapes Makes 16 to 20 bars.

 

HONEY ZUCCHINI LOAF

 

1 egg

3/4 cup honey

3 Tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-1/2 cups flour

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups grated zucchini

3/4 cup slivered almonds

Powdered sugar for dusting

 

Preheat oven 325.  Grease a loaf pan (9X5X3) in a bowl combine the egg, honey, oil and vanilla. Whisk to combine. In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, orange zest, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix to combine. Add flour mixture, zucchini and almonds to honey mixture; mix until combine but don’t over mix. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes then remove the loaf to a cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar before slicing and serving. Serves 6

 

Modified from about.com

 

PUFF PASTRY APPLE TARTS WITH HONEY GLAZE

 

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed

2 7- to 8-ounce Golden Delicious apples, peeled, halved, cored, each half very thinly sliced

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, melted

4 teaspoons honey

 

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out pastry sheet on lightly floured surface to very thin 18×14-inch rectangle. Using small plate as guide, cut out four 7-inch rounds. Transfer 2 rounds to each prepared sheet; cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.

 

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400°F. Overlap slices from 1/2 apple on each pastry round, leaving 1/4-inch plain border. Sprinkle apple on each tart with 2 1/4 teaspoons sugar, and then drizzle with 2 1/4 teaspoons butter.

 

Bake tarts until pastry is golden and apples are tender, about 25 minutes. Drizzle each tart with 1 teaspoon honey. Transfer tarts to racks; cool 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

From Bon Appétit October 2002 (this is one of my favorite recipes from Bon Appétit)

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: