Archive for honey
Want to know how to make this delectable duck dish? Tune in for the live simulcast 30 January 2013 on The Health and Wellness Channel live web feed, 2-4 pm (Eastern). A one hour presentation on food and obesity will be followed by a cooking demo of this piece of poultry perfection. We will also feature a live twitter chat following the presentation, during the Q&A session. If we use your question live, you will win an autographed copy of Eating Well, Living Better: A Grassroots Gourmet Guide to Good Health and Great Food!
For those that missed our appearance several weeks ago on Southern Living’s Daytime TV, here’s the clip. Enjoy!
What better way to open the month of April, which welcomes us as fools (and I with a total malapropism of Beatles classics) than with the Foole of Strawberries. Strawberries are a treat; delicious sun sweetened harbingers of the bounty to come, they are among the first of fruits to give yield. They are also among the top five fruits in terms of delivering antioxidants (and a great source of vitamin C) per weight of fruit. In addition to antioxidants, they provide a host of phytonutrients like anthocyanins, ellagitannins, flavonols, terpenoids, and phenolic acids. This results in strawberries helping the body reduce dangerous levels of inflammation. A diet rich in strawberries has been shown to decrease inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP).
Sage is powerful herb that has been revered throughout history. Its Latin designation, salvia officinalis comes from the Latin root salvere meaning “to be saved.” It is well known for its cleansing abilities and contains many of the same types of compounds (volatile oils, flavonoids (including apigenin, diosmetin, and luteolin), and phenolic acids, including the phenolic acid found in rosemary, which is closely related to sage—rosmarinic acid) found in strawberries. Rosmarinic acid acts via a different pathway to synergize with the anti-oxidant benefits found in strawberries. Sage also contains an enzyme known as superoxide dismutase (SOD) which gives it an unique capacity to mediate oxygen mediated cell damage such as that seen in inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and atherosclerosis. There is also evidence (Pharmacological Biochemical Behavior, June 2003) supporting what ancient herbalists knew to true: consuming sage can make you sage, or at least improve memory and brain function.
A fool (or foole) is a dessert of English origin, first mentioned in 1598, but with origins likely much older. It combines seasonal fruit (gooseberries were among the original) with a flavored whipped cream. This version reduces the lactose by adding the tangy flavors of chèvre, goat cheese, which also acts to boost the health benefits. Flavored with natural honey, this sweet treat embodies the balance of sweetened, slightly tangy whipped cream and chèvre, bright sun ripened strawberry goodness and a savory, herbaceous note of sage that heralds the arrival of spring. Like the fool, it appears on the surface simple and a mindless pleasure to enjoy and dismiss. Like The Fool, who is in truth a Mage, this dessert packs a nutritional powerhouse of vitamins, antioxidants, phytophenols and a host of other compounds to render under to it a title of healthy eats. And as in Nature, it seeks and achieves Balance being delicious AND nutritious; A Sage Foole, indeed!
Sage Strawberry Fool
- 1/4 cup honey + 1 Tbs
- 1 cup mead
- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- 6-10 fresh sage leaves
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 ounces heavy whipping cream
- 2 ounces chèvre
- ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
Gently heat the mead and 1/4 cup honey in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. While the wine is heating, thinly slice the strawberries and remove the stems. Place in a bowl. When the wine has reached a simmer, remove from the heat and add the star anise, cinnamon and sage. Pour over the strawberries and allow to rest for at least an hour, covered. To serve, whip the chèvre, vanilla and honey together in a stand mixer until it is well beaten. Add the cream and whip until peaks form. Remove the strawberries from the mixture, discarding the herbs and liquid. To serve layer the cream base and fruit alternately. Serve with a sprig of mint (mint is a taxonomic relation of sage).
Please visit our honey inspired recipes published in the latest edition of Today’s Diet and Nutrition:
Sometimes simple is good. In fact, most times simple is good; which is why I take no offense at constantly being labled a rather simple guy. Here is an appetizer/dessert that is simple but delicious. Some fresh kiwi, pureed and strained and ladled over some camebert cheese with honey. All baked in some puff pastry goodness until golden brown. A perfect (and easy) holiday treat.
Here in the South, we like to do some things slow. It’s not quite on the Island Time of the more southeastern Caribbean locales, but we are definitely a notch less hurried than our Northern brethren. We speak a little slower, chat a little longer, linger a bit over our iced tea and cook a little more deliberately. That process yields things like slow cooked pork barbeque, for which the South is rightly famous. Here we used that process to slow cook some beef short ribs for several hours, smoking them to delicious perfection. The cranberry glaze kept the taste in season, and also added a honey-sweet heat that formed a delicious crust. Keeping the ribs submerged overnight assured a moist rib when the smoke cleared. This glaze would work equally well for chicken or pork.
- 6 Beef Short Ribs
- 1 quart water
- ½ cup salt
- 22 oz dark beer (I use Rogue’s Shakespeare Stout)
- 2 Star Anise
- 1 stick Cinnamon
- ¾ pound (~12 oz) Cranberries
- 1 cup apple sauce
- 1-2 Jalapeño pepper, rough cut (leave in seeds for additional heat)
- 6 Tbs Honey
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
Heat the quart of water with the salt to dissolve. Cool and add along with beer to brine the ribs overnight. Add the remaining ingredients together in a separate pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer until the mixture is reduced by about 1/3 and the cranberries have split. Strain through a colander to remove the large pieces and cool.
Prepare your smoker. Before you smoke the ribs, and frequently as they cook, coat the top of the ribs with some of the glaze. Halfway through the cooking process, turn the ribs and continue to glaze. Remember to reserve enough glaze (about 1 Tbs per rib) to top prior to serving.
Grilled meat is great any time of year. So is mead, serve chilled during the warmer weather and mulled with spices during the colder. No doubt one of man’s most ancient alcoholic brews, mead was used as a medicinal tonic being derived from healthful honey. Together the grilled meat and lamb form a sweet natural pair straight from the pasture. I love serving grilled lamb loin chops because each delectable chop serves as its own portion control (I use 2 small chops per person). The delicate lamb flavor is accentuated with a dash of Dijon and citrus-honey and thyme notes from the mead reduction. A drizzle of reduction prior to serving brings the flavors of the meadow to the palate.
Dijon & Citron-Honey Mead Lamb Chops
- Lamb Loin Chops
- 2 Tbs Citron, Thyme and Honey Mead Reduction (recipe follows)
- 1 Tbs Dijon Mustard
- Thyme leaves for garnish
Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Combine the mead reduction and Dijon mustard and coat both sides of the chops. Grill the chops until rare, medium rare. Allow the chops to rest, then drizzle with additional mead reduction, garnish and serve.
Citron, Thyme and Honey Mead Reduction
- 1 Tbs Honey
- 2 ½ cups Mead (Honey Wine)
- 1 cup sliced citron
- ¾ oz fresh thyme sprigs
Mead can be found in most places that sell wine. If you do not have citron (also known as Buddha’s hand or Buddha’s fingers) you can substitute thin lemon slices. Combine all ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer to reduce the volume by 2/3. Filter through a fine mesh sieve. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.