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.

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.

Thanksgiving 2013 – Garlic Cheese Grits And Spinach Souffle

cheese grits and spinach

Let’s face it – Thanksgiving is all about carbs. I can’t just settle for mashed potatoes and mac and cheese — I must serve cheese grits as well!

This is a wonderful recipe. It combines the essence of the traditional cheese grits casserole with the sophistication of a spinach souffle. Your vegetarian guests will thank you!

Honey is a natural flavor enhancer. While there is only one tablespoon in this recipe, the honey makes the souffle tastier without making it sweet.

Yield: 12 generous servings

Ingredients:

1½ teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup finely grated Parmesan

3 2/3 cups milk (not skim)

1 cup stone-ground or old-fashioned grits

Salt and black pepper

1½ cups grated sharp cheddar

1 tablespoon honey

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

6 ounces baby spinach leaves (7½ cups loosely packed)

6 scallions thinly sliced (2/3 cup), 1 tablespoon reserved

Directions:  Grease a 2-quart souffle dish with 1½ teaspoons butter, dust with 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan, and set aside.

In a medium non-stick saucepan bring the milk and the 2 tablespoons of butter to a simmer over medium heat. Add the grits in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly. Add 1 teaspoon salt, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring, until grits are thick and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan when you stir, 7 to 10 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in 1¼ cups of the cheddar, the remaining Parmesan, honey, garlic, hot pepper sauce, and black pepper to taste. Set aside to cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Taste the grits and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring vigorously to incorporate each before adding the next. Stir in the spinach by handfuls.

With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they are thick and glossy and hold stiff peaks. Add a quarter of the whites to the grits mixture and, using a spatula, stir until just combined. Add remaining whites and rapidly but gently fold them in along with the scallions.

Spoon the batter into the prepared dish, smooth, sprinkle with the remaining cheddar, and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and continue baking until the souffle is puffed, golden brown, and barely jiggles when you shake the pan, 35 to 40 minutes longer. Sprinkle with reserved scallions and serve at once.

Cooking With Honey – Roasted Butternut Squash Soup With Honey, Pancetta, and Fried Sage Leaves

butternut soup

There are wonderful butternut squash available in the local markets, and today, cool and sunny, is a perfect day to prepare this tasty soup!

It’s what I’m having tonight!!

Yield:  Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

1 (2 to 3-pound) butternut squash, halved with seeds removed

4 medium shallots, peeled and left whole

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

2 ounces pancetta (about 12 paper-thin slices), diced

1 cup diced leeks, white part only (about 1 large leek)

1/3 cup finely diced carrots (about 1 small carrot)

1/3 cup finely diced celery (about 1 small stalk celery)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon dry white wine, of drinkable quality

2 quarts rich chicken or vegetable stock, plus extra if needed

1 teaspoon honey, or to taste*

Splash of sour cream and/or hot sauce, for serving (optional)

Canola oil for frying

1/4 cup sage leaves

Fine sea salt, to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Coat the squash and shallots with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season generously with salt. Place  the squash and shallots onto the lined baking sheet and roast until the squash and shallots are tender when pierced with a skewer or the tip of a small knife, about 40-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside until needed.

Heat a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat; add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and heat through. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until the fat has rendered and the pancetta is crisp. Remove from the heat, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside until needed.

Return the pan to the heat and add the leeks, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, but not browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sage and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the wine, scraping up any browned bits that have formed on the bottom of the pan (deglaze). Cook until the wine has evaporated, then add the stock.

Scrape the squash pulp from the skin and add the pulp, the shallots (scraping up any browned bits) and honey to the pan; bring the stock to the boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup completely. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and honey as desired. Keep the soup warm until service. (This is where you’d add the splash of sour cream to taste, if desired.)

For the Sage: In a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat 1-inch of oil to 365°F; fry the sage in batches, stirring to separate the leaves, until crisp, about 3 to 5 seconds. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain; season with fine sea salt while still hot.

For Serving: Ladle the soup into warmed soup bowls or cups. Top each serving with some of the crispy pancetta and a few fried sage leaves. Serve immediately.

*The honey doesn’t sweeten up the soup; it just enhances the caramel flavor of the roasted squash.

Cooking With Honey – It’s Time For Caramel!

caramels 2

Autumn is the time for caramel, whether as candies or caramel apples.  This recipe is easy and delicious. Heck, it probably soothes a sore throat too!!

Yield:   18-24 caramels or 3-5 caramel apples

Ingredients:

1 cup Honey

¾ cups Heavy Cream

1-½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

2 Tablespoons Butter

Directions:

Combine honey and cream in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally while it cooks. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches soft ball stage. The easiest way to do this is with a candy thermometer (235 to 240ºF), though you can test it with other methods.

Remove pan from the heat and immediately stir in vanilla and butter. Stir until butter is completely melted and combined. Dip apples in the caramel or pour into a generously buttered 8×8 dish or smaller if you want thick large caramels. Having your dish properly buttered is important for easy removal of the caramels once set.

Allow caramels to cool thoroughly in the refrigerator and then slice into squares.  Store in the refrigerator until serving.

Cooking With Honey – Clubhouse Turkey Burgers With Honey BBQ Sauce

turkey burgers

Below is my version/modification of Whole Foods’ AMAZING Clubhouse Turkey Burger recipe. Even if you don’t think you like turkey burgers you will love these! They are amazingly tender and juicy. You may never eat beef burgers again!!

Of course, the Honey BBQ Sauce is what makes them even tastier…

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

1lb ground turkey

6 strips bacon (about 1/3lb), cooked & crumbled

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup Honey BBQ sauce (recipe follows) or your favorite BBQ sauce

salt & pepper

Buns

Toppings: red onion, tomato, lettuce, bbq sauce

Directions:

Mix together turkey, bacon, cheese, panko bread crumbs, BBQ sauce, salt and pepper in a large bowl then divide unto 4 parts and form into patties. Brush or mist one side of the burgers with extra virgin olive oil or nonstick spray then cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through, brushing or misting the uncooked side with more oil before flipping. Top with toppings and serve on toasted buns. Serve with extra BBQ sauce.

Honey BBQ Sauce

Yield:  3 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

2 cups ketchup

1 cup water

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup honey

1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

1/2 tablespoon onion powder

1/2 tablespoon ground mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Cooking With Honey – Blueberry Lavender Martinis

Lavender-Martini-300x225

I was in Chicago this past weekend and had dinner at the delightful French Bistro Aquitaine. We began with two of their lovely specialty cocktails — I had the Blueberry Lavender Martini made with honey. It was fabulous!

Here is my recreation…

Yield:  2 martinis

Ingredients:

6 large ice cubes

8 oz vodka

3 oz fresh lemon juice

4 Tbsp honey lavender syrup*

12 fresh blueberries, muddled

Directions:

In a martini shaker add the ice, vodka, lemon juice, honey lavender syrup, and muddled blueberries and place top on shaker. Shake until well blended. Pour the drink into the glasses through a strainer, and serve!

*Honey Lavender Syrup:

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup honey

2 Tbsp dried lavender

Heat water until boiling, remove from heat and whisk in honey and lavender, until honey is dissolved. Chill well before using in drinks.

Cooking With Honey – Honey Berry Clafoutis

clafoutis

With berry season upon us, an easy and delicious dessert to make is clafoutis. All you need to do is mix and bake to have a fresh and scrumptious French custardy treat!

Yield:   One 8-inch custard

Ingredients

¾ cups whole milk

½ cup heavy cream

⅓ cup honey

1 tsp orange zest

3 eggs

1 Tbs vanilla extract

1 tsp salt

½ cup flour

2 cups fresh berries of your choice

2 Tbs granulated sugar, plus additional for pan

Powdered sugar for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8-inch pie plate or round cake pan and sprinkle with a little granulated sugar.

Blend together all ingredients except 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and berries. Pour a ¼-inch layer of batter into pie plate, and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, just until a skin forms. Toss berries with sugar while first layer sets.

Once skin forms, remove plate from oven and add berries plus remaining custard batter. Bake until top is golden brown and custard is set (moves as one when jiggled, toothpick comes out clean), about an hour.

Can serve warm, but cool completely before removing whole clafoutis from pan. Store chilled.

Cooking With Honey – Honeycomb Pull Apart Cake

Reblogged from Chronicles of a Beekeeper Wife

Honeycomb Pull Apart Cake

Honeycomb cake image

Do you have some special people coming over, a birthday celebration, or maybe you are going to your annual beekeepers’ potluck? You’ll do no wrong by serving this conversational piece. It is easy to make and fun to serve. The honey lemon glaze is especially tasty, and on a hot summer day, I suggest serving alongside a scoop of lemon sorbet or Italian ice. Either way, serving up this honeycomb cake is going to be a hit at your next gathering!

Prep
You’ll need to purchase this Honeycomb novelty pan. It is made by Nordic Ware (very high quality heavy cast aluminum construction). HONEYCOMB PAN AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE FROM ROMANCING THE BEE – $45 plus shipping and handling.

honeycomb cake pan image
Front side
honeycomb cake pan image
Batter side

You’ll need to pick up several ingredients if you don’t already have them in your pantry.

honeycomb cake ingredients image
Love using local ingredients whenever possible!

Below is the recipe that came with the cake pan.*

Honey Lemon Cake
3 cups cake flour (I used King Arthur Cake Flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened (I used Cabot)
4 eggs
2 Tbsp finely grated lemon rind (I needed 2 large lemons)
1 cup sour cream (I used Cabot)

1 1/2 cups sugar

Glaze
3 Tbsp Honey (I used Heavenly Honey Apiary)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice (I only needed 1 lemon to get this)

Directions
Heat oven to 325° F. Grease and flour pan; set aside.

Tip:  Really get into each cell and side of pan. I used a pastry brush with liquid vegetable oil and floured liberally and tapped it all around and then tapped the excess into the sink.

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, beat butter and sugar on low speed until blended. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Creamed butter and sugar

Add eggs and beat until well blended.

Honeycomb cake batter image
beating honeycomb cake batter image

Add fl0ur mixture, sour cream and lemon rind; blend on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl often. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes.

Grater and lemons with zest
Honeycomb cake batter image

Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Tip: I folded a kitchen hand towel in half and placed it on the kitchen counter. I then gently tapped the cake pan with the batter in it, to make sure that the batter settled into the crevice of each honeycomb cell.

Honeycomb cake going into oven image
See the over rack above pan? It’s too low. Raise it or take out.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan.

Tip: Don’t over bake, although I kept a very close eye on the baking, and I took it out as soon as the toothpick came out clean, I thought the outer edge pieces resembled a plain donut texture and the middle pieces were moister. 

Meanwhile, make glaze: in small saucepan, combine all glaze ingredients and heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves and glaze is warm.

Honey Lemon Glaze image
Honey lemon glaze
Honeycomb cake out of oven image
Gently run knife around edge
honeycomb cake thickness image
Bakes to high volume. Be mindful of oven rack placement.

Invert cake onto cooling rack and brush with honey glaze.

honeycomb pull apart cake cooling on rack image
Placed wax paper underneath in preparation for glaze.
glazing honeycomb pull apart cake image
I gingerly brushed ample glaze on each honeycomb cell.
dirty honeycomb cake pan image
This was the pan after inverting — Cleanup a cinch!
Tip: After glazing, I let the cake thoroughly cool for about 2 hours before I plated it, because the underside of the cake was still really warm to the touch. 

Place on a decorative plate and serve!

finished Honeycomb pull apart cake image

*I don’t see a copyright notice on the packaging so I’m sharing.

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.