Sweet and SavorySeptember is National Honey Month and we are celebrating with some of our favorite recipes featuring this marvelous, magical food!
Started in 1989 by the National Honey Board and observed every September, National Honey Month has been a way to support American beekeeping, bring attention to the importance of our apian friends, and, of course, celebrate all things honey.
Honey truly is a wonder product—a single-ingredient food whose story is older than history itself, it has been used in cooking, medicine, and more for at least 8,000 years. On average, a hive will produce about 65 pounds of surplus honey each year. Beekeepers extract it, strain it, and bottle it. That’s it. If the label says “pure honey”…that is what you are getting; nothing has been added from bee to bottle.
The color, flavor, and aroma of honey differs depending on the nectar of flowers visited by the bees that made it. There are more than 300 unique types of honey available in the United States alone, each originating from a different floral source. Buckwheat, clover, wildflower, even avocado…want to see what kinds are produced or sold near you? Check out the National Honey Board’s Honey Locator!
If all this talk of the supremely sweet treat has put a “rumbly in your tummy,” as our old friend (and DEFINITE honey connoisseur) Winnie the Pooh would say, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Read on for a few fun and easy recipes to put honey through some of its myriad paces.
Honey and Herb Glazed Bacon-Wrapped DatesINGREDIENTS
- Large dates (medjool dates are great)
- Goat cheese
- Pecan halves (feel free to sub pistachios or other nuts--or omit entirely)
- Rosemary and thyme
- Salt and pepper
Slice dates lengthwise, open, and discard pit. Then, fill the dates with softened goat cheese using a knife or pastry bag and place half a pecan inside (they may fit better sideways).
Wrap each date in bacon and place on a plate or baking sheet seam side down. Set aside pan.
Mix together the remaining ingredients for the glaze. Set aside.
Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, place each date in the pan, seam side down, to sear and seal the seam. While dates are searing, drizzle each with the prepared honey glaze.
Immediately transfer the dates to a 400°F oven and bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Remove from the oven. Use tongs to turn the dates around in the pan to coat in any extra honey glaze. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with any additional honey.
You can also use cream cheese instead of goat cheese, and/or proscuitto instead of bacon.
Adapted from What Molly Made
Honey Bourbon Chicken WingsINGREDIENTS
- 4 pounds chicken wings and drummies
- 4 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 clove garlic, peeled, crushed
- 3/4 cup bourbon, divided
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 T hot pepper sauce (such as Red Hot)
- 2 T honey
Heat oven to 425°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with sides with parchment paper or heavy-duty foil; spray the foil with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, toss chicken with the salt and pepper and 2 teaspoons of the oil. Place chicken on pans.
Bake uncovered 30 minutes; turn chicken over, and rotate cookie sheets on oven racks. Bake 20 to 30 minutes longer or until golden brown and juice of chicken is clear when thickest part is cut to bone (at least 165°F). Broil on low 1 to 2 minutes to brown on the outside.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add remaining olive oil and garlic; sauté until golden, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of the bourbon; boil until most of the liquid is absorbed; 3 to 4 minutes.
Whisk in remaining 1/4 cup bourbon, ketchup, hot pepper sauce and honey. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, toss chicken with sauce. Serve warm.
Adapted from Bourbon & Honey
Honey BBQ MeatloafINGREDIENTS
- 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
- ½ cup plain panko bread crumbs
- 1 T plus 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 T dijon mustard
- 4 T smoky barbecue sauce
- 1 T honey
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together the ground beef, panko, 1T of the worcestershire sauce, the mustard, 3 T of the barbecue sauce, the salt, and pepper. Do not overwork the meat.
Shape the mixture into a long, thick log and place in an oiled baking dish. Be careful not to pack the meat too tightly or you'll end up with a very dense, tough loaf.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 T barbecue sauce, the remaining 2 tsp worcestershire sauce, and the honey. Spread evenly over the meatloaf bake for 45 minutes. Slice and serve!
Adapted from Andie Mitchell
Prosciutto Pear Honey ToastsINGREDIENTS
- 1 small sliced baguette
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 T goat cheese
- 1 pear, sliced into small pieces
- 6 slices prosciutto, cut in half both length and width
- 1 T honey
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- fresh thyme sprigs for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush with the olive oil. Cook for about 5 minutes until the slices begin to brown.
Wrap each piece of pear with a piece of prosciutto. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until the prosciutto starts to become crispy.
Top each sliced baguette with a small amount of goat cheese and a roasted pear with prosciutto.
Drizzle each crostini with honey and balsamic vinegar and garnish with a sprig of thyme.
Adapted from LouLouSucre
Honey-Brined Pork Chops with Creole Mustard Glaze
- 3/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup honey (wildflower or clover)
- 1 cup hot water
- 3 cups cold water
- 4 each, 12-14 oz. pork chops, bone-in, double cut chop
- 1/4 cup Creole Mustard
- 1/4 cup honey (wildflower or clover)
- 2 T water
- 2 T olive oil
Place the salt, honey, and hot water for the brine together in an 8-quart container and whisk until the salt and honey have dissolved into the water. Once mixed together, add the cold water and place all pork chops into the brine mixture. Cover, and refrigerate for 6-8 hours.
Set oven to 375° F.
After 6 hours, remove pork from brine and rinse under cold water, then pat dry. Combine mustard, honey and 1 T of water in a small bowl and reserve.
Place the olive oil into a large cast-iron skillet or pan and heat on high, then add the chops to the hot pan, allowing to sear for two minutes on one side. Once seared, turn chops over and brush with glaze and immediately place skillet or pan directly into heated oven for at least 15-20 minutes. Internal temperature for the pork should be 155° F. Remove pan from oven, and place the chops on a cutting board with the glazed side down and allow pork to rest.
While the pork is resting, place your skillet back onto the stove on low heat. Add the remaining glaze to the pan + the 1T of remaining water. Using a wooden spoon, smoothly stir the mixture together and scrape the bottom of the skillet to incorporate the leftover bits of pork chop in the glaze. Continue stirring until the liquid thickens and becomes glaze-like, it should not take long, no more than a minute or so.
Slice the chops into 5-6 slices each, place the slices onto a plate in a fan-like shape, and brush or spoon drizzle the desired amount of glaze onto the pork.
Adapted from The American Honey Board
Bee's Knees Honey CocktailINGREDIENTS
- 1/4 (2 oz.) gin
- 2 T honey
- 2 T fresh lime juice
Shake until chilled and strain into a coupe glass.