Learn how to prepare some of the most delicious meals using one key ingredient: sweet honey. Serve the salmon with the onions (scallions) sprinkled over.
Honey Balsamic Salmon Fillets
Using honey with oily fish such as salmon is not only delicious, it is also a great nutritional combination. The omega fish oils combine with the vitamins and minerals in honey to make a heart-healthy and tasty supper dish.
4 skin-on salmon fillets, about 200 g(7 oz) each
3 tbsp. clear honey
2 tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. unrefined (superfine) caster sugar
1 tbsp. ground nut oil
4 salad onions (scallions), trimmed and sliced
Wipe the salmon with absorbent paper and place in a shallow dish, skin side down. Whisk the honey with the balsamic vinegar and sugar, and spoon over the fish. Heat the groundnut oil in a large non-stick frying pan (skillet) over a high heat. When the oil is hot, add the fish, skin side down, and cook for 4-5 minutes until the skin is crisp and the salmon is nearly cooked through. Pre-heat the grill (broiler) to high. Spoon any remaining honey mixture over the salmon and place the pan under the grill for 2 minutes until the fish is cooked through.
Cooking time: 8 minutes
A Middle Eastern ‘sweetmeat’ or confectionary from the time of the Ottoman Sultans, baklava is popular all over the eastern Mediterranean, in particular in Greece and Turkey. It is delicious made with Greek flower honey but any floral, fragrant honey would be suitable. The baklava will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature.
For the syrup:
350 ml (12 fl oz / 1-1/2cups) water
300 g (10-1/2oz / 1-1/2cups) unrefined (superfine) Caster sugar
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
150 g (5 oz / 2/3cup) Greek flower honey
1 tsp. rosewater (optional)
For the baklava:
150 g (5 oz / 2/3cup) unsalted butter, melted
18 sheets ready-prepared “filo” pastry (phyllodough)
225 g (8 oz / 2 cups) salted pistachios, shelled and chopped
225 g (8 oz/2 cups) walnuts, shelled and chopped
2 tbsp. unrefined (superfine) Caster sugar
1 tbsp. Greek flower honey
½ tsp. ground cardamom
½ tsp. ground cloves
50 g (2 oz / 1/3cup) salted pistachios, shelled and chopped
- To make the syrup, place the water, caster sugar and the lemon juice and zest into a saucepan with the cinnamon stick.
- Stir together and heat over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and boil gently for about 15 minutes, until thick and syrupy.
- Add the honey and cook over a low heat for a further 2 minutes.
- Cool, remove the cinnamon stick, stir in the rosewater (if using), cover and chill.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC / 350ºF/ gas mark. Brush a 17 x 28 cm (7 x 11 inch) baking tray (pan) with a little of the melted butter. Line the tray with a sheet of filo pastry (phyllo dough) and brush it with melted butter. Top with another sheet of pastry (dough) and butter, and repeat, alternating pastry (dough) and butter until you have used 10 sheets of pastry (dough).
- In a small bowl mix the pistachios and walnuts with the caster sugar, honey, cardamom and cloves, and stir well together. Spoon the nuts over the pastry (dough) and spread out evenly. Top the nuts with another piece of pastry (dough) and brush with butter, and continue until all the pastry (dough) is used up. Brush the remaining butter over the top and then using a small, sharp knife cut halfway through the layers in a criss-cross pattern.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to 150ºC/300ºF/gas mark 2 and bake for a further 35-40 minutes until golden on top.
- Remove from the oven and, using a sharp knife, cut right through to the bottom of the tin. While the baklava is still hot, pour over the chilled syrup and then leave to cool completely. Sprinkle a few chopped pistachios on top before serving.
Honey Mint Julep
A delicious cooling cocktail from the American South, mint julep is traditionally served over crushed ice and made with sugar syrup; honey syrup is a lovely alternative. This will make more syrup than you need for two drinks but is very useful for other cocktails too. Keep in the fridge in a screw-top jar for up to a week.
75 g (1/4cup) honey, such as sunflower or clover
30 ml(2 tbsp) boiling water
6 sprigs fresh mint crushed ice
50 ml(1/4cup) bourbon
soda water (club soda), to taste
In a heatproof jug stir the honey into the boiled water until the honey has dissolved and you have a syrup. Strip the mint leaves from 4 of the sprigs. Crush them slightly into the syrup. Leave until completely cold. Strain into a large jug. For each julep fill a glass with crushed ice and pour over 25 ml (1 fl oz / 2 tbsp.) bourbon and 2 tbsp. mint / honey syrup. Top up with soda and decorate each with a mint sprig.
Honey Dijon Marinated Steak
Who says delicious has to be complicated? This simple marinade turns any cut of beef into a tender and juicy cut that grills up nicely.
1½ lbs (750 g) marinating steak (inside round, outside round, eye of round, sirloin tip or flank), cut 1″ (2.5 cm) thick
¼ cup (50 mL) per serving honey Dijon salad dressing and red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 orange, juice and grated peel
- Pierce steak with a fork and place in plastic zipper bag.
- Combine remaining ingredients and pour over meat.
- Marinate for at least 12 hours or overnight in refrigerator, turning several times.
- Remove meat from marinade and grill on preheated barbecue over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes per side for rare or 7 to 9 minutes per side for medium.
- Discard marinade.
Cranberry Granola Crunch
This delicious granola is easy to make and is a great way to start off your day.
1/4 cup (50mL) vegetable oil
1/2 cup (125mL) brown sugar
1/2 cup (125mL) honey
1/2 tsp (2mL) cinnamon
3 cups (750mL) rolled oats
1 cup (250mL) coarsely chopped almonds
1/4 cup (50mL) ground flax seed
1/4 cup (50mL) sunflower seeds
1 cup (250mL) dried cranberries
- Heat oil, brown sugar and honey in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Stir in cinnamon.
- In a large bowl combine rolled oats, almonds, flax and sunflower seeds. Add oil mixture and stir well.
- Spread in a shallow 9″x 13″ (3L) baking dish lined with parchment paper. Bake 20 minutes in a preheated 350F (180C) oven. Stir in cranberries and bake 10 to 12 minutes longer until lightly browned. Mixture will firm up as it cools
- Break into chunks.