On Food: Honeybee here to stay in Palisade
The fourth annual International Honeybee Festival in Palisade last weekend brought the importance of the honeybee, not only to our local produce, but to the world’s food supply, into clear focus.
This festival can do nothing but grow, as appreciation and awareness of the impact bees make, is realized by all.
My friend Chuck, started his “beekeeping” adventure with one bee hive.
I’ve been on the receiving end of some awesome honey and were fortunate to take part last year in Chuck’s last harvesting of honey for the season.
The first taste of that honey was amazing.
September is National Honey Month, but spring, to me, is the time for a national honeybee celebration. It’s when those little darlings get busy pollinating.
You’d better be thinking about them as you taste that first peach or enjoy some of the other fruits of their labor this summer.
Now, let’s get to cooking with local honey, which you can find at many area farmers markets and fruit and vegetable stands.
First, here’s some honey bee buzz about cooking with honey from the National Honey Board and me:
■ Make sure you purchase 100 percent pure honey, none of that honeyed flavored imitation.
■ Sauces, salad dressing and marinades: substitute up to half the granulated sugar in recipes. Honey is a little sweeter than sugar so you may want to use less. I usually do.
■ The color and flavor of honey depends upon the bee’s nectar source. There are 300 unique kinds of honey in the United States. Generally, lighter color honey has a milder flavor.
■ Baking with honey: For each cup of honey you use: reduce any liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup, add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees.
Honey-Lime Glazed Chicken
Makes 6 servings
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced, seeded jalapeno pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
6 (about 3 pounds) bone-in chicken breast halves
Combine all ingredients except chicken in small bowl; mix until well blended. Place chicken in shallow baking dish; pour half of marinade over chicken. Cover, refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Reserve and refrigerate remaining marinade. Grill chicken over medium-hot coals about 15 minutes, turning and basting with reserved marinade, or until chicken is about 170 degrees internal temperature. Reserve two chicken breasts for use in Thai-Style Salad with Shredded Glazed Chicken (see recipe), if desired.
Thai-Style Salad with Shredded Glazed Chicken
Makes 4 servings.
1 medium head Napa cabbage or romaine lettuce, shredded (about 6 cups)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, sliced (1 1/4 cups)
2 medium carrots, coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
2 small oranges, peeled/cut into segments
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 Honey-Lime Glazed Chicken, shredded, see recipe
Honey Lime Dressing
Combine all ingredients except Honey-Lime Dressing and peanuts in large bowl; toss until well blended. Pour desired amount of Honey-Lime Dressing over salad; toss until well blended. Sprinkle each serving with peanuts just before serving.
Honey Lime Dressing
Makes 1/2 cup.
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
3 tablespoons lime juice
Dash of cayenne pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Combine honey, grated lime peel, lime juice and cayenne pepper, mix well. Whisk in vegetable oil until blended.
Honey Lime Dressing 2
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup lime juice
Whisk all ingredients together.
Dixie Note: I use dry roasted peanuts and mandarin oranges.