Posts Tagged ‘honey’

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

Monday, January 18th, 2010

There are two things I love about this recipe, taken from the March 2007 issue of Cooking Light magazine.

First, it uses boneless skinless chicken thighs. If you’ve ever tried to eat healthy, you probably found yourself eating a lot of boneless skinless chicken breasts. You hear all the time that white meat is healthier than dark meat, that the skin is terrible for you, etc. And while that’s technically true, even dark meat poultry can be a healthy choice. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are the embodiment of that. They have a bit more fat than the breast meat, it’s true–but they’ll also bring a lot more flavor to your dish, and tend to be a bit more moist than boneless skinless chicken breasts. And they’re just as convenient! If you prefer thighs and legs when you order your chicken from a fast food place, you’ll probably be much happier with boneless skinless chicken thighs than with breasts.

Second, it takes advantage of the broiler, a feature of my oven that I severely neglect. We live in the city, on the 16th floor, which makes grilling a fairly complicated option. Enter: the broiler. Basically anything you can grill you can cook under your broiler. It doesn’t take the place of the taste of real charcoal grilling, but if you’re using a gas grill, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs
Adapted from Cooking Light, March 2007

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.

Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute. Remove chicken from oven and turn over. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 chicken thighs) CALORIES 321 FAT 11g FIBER 0.6g

Potica

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Potica is a traditional Slovenian pastry made with flaky dough and a sweet nut filling. You might be wondering what I’m doing making Potica, which is a reasonable question.

I suppose it started with my mom, who loves the stuff. It’s not exactly easy to find in stores, so she was always estatic to find someone had brought it to work for a holiday treat or for sale at a baked goods table at some event.

Then there’s my husband. He goes crazy for Potica. Both sides of his family make it, he grew up eating it…and for about as long as I’ve been cooking with him, he’s wanted me to learn how to make it. My standard response was that we didn’t have the counterspace, and while that used to be true, it’s not any longer. So it was time to learn to make Potica.

David was happy to organize the event, by purchasing a not-so-subtle three pounds of walnuts from Costco, and inviting his mom over to teach me. So it came to be that Dave’s mom came over a couple of weeks ago, with well-used loaf pans and a couple of worn, aged recipe cards (one for the dough, one for the filling).

She maintains that the recipe is not enough–you need to be taught to make this tricky pastry, and I certainly understand her point. For one, the recipe is an old family affair that involves measurements like “enough milk” and “just enough flour.” For two, it really was tricky work, stretching the dough so super thin. (Literally, thin enough to read a newspaper through!). No rolling pin will get you to dough that thin, it’s got to be done by hand. I was very grateful to have an experienced player in the kitchen, let me tell you.

Was it worth it, in the end? I have to say yes. For one, it’s a favorite of David’s, along with my mom and my granny, three people I love very deeply. And the look on my mom’s face when she realized what I was handing her was priceless. I also enjoyed hearing how much Granny liked it. In some ways, I’m not looking forward to the work that the next batch will require, but at the same time, I’m looking forward to making a batch on my own.

Plus, since David ran out last week, I expect I’ll be seeing another not-so-subtle bag of walnuts from Costco any time now.

Potica (Walnut Pastry)
Makes 4 large rolls

For the Filling:

  • 3 sticks butter
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 to 2 cups of milk, divided
  • 2 lbs ground walnuts (I ground them using the fine plate on our Food Grinder attachment for the KitchenAid mixer).

For the Dough:

  • 12 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 sticks margarine (melted)
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, well-beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1  packet of dry active yeast, or the equivalent

1. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add honey, sugar, and salt.

2. Beat the eggs with 1/2 cup milk and add to the nut mixture.

3. Add more milk, a little at a time, until the nut paste is smooth enough to spread. You’ll probably need about a cup of milk, but it could be more.

4. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid the paste sticking to the bottom. Let stand for at least an hour at room temperature while preparing the potica dough.

5. To make the dough, heat margarine, sugar, and salt together in a small saucepan pan over medium-low heat.

6. Beat the 4 eggs with 1 cup of milk. Add a small amount of the margarine mixture to the beaten eggs and whisk to slowly raise the temperature of the eggs. Remove from heat and add the egg mixture to the margarine in the sauce pan. Whisk constantly to keep the eggs from curdling. Set aside, away from heat, and allow to rest until the mixture is cool to the touch.

7. Dissolve yeast  in 1/2 cup of warm water with a teaspoon of sugar. Stir into milk mixture.

8. Add 6 cups of flour to the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Add the milk/yeast mixture and mix until just combined. Fit your mixer with a dough hook, and mix on high.

9. Add additional flour about a cup at a time as the dough hook begins to shape the dough. When the dough is a smooth ball, but still sticky to the touch, turn the dough out onto a counter covered with flour.

10. Knead the dough, adding flour as necessary, until smooth. Place the dough in a bowl,  cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to give the dough a chance to rise. Let rise for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

12. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

11. Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, work to roll and stretch the dough to a rectangle, about 1/16th of an inch thick. Work carefully so as not to put holes in the dough. When the dough is thin enough it will be almost translucent. Carefully spread with one quarter of the nut mixture, and carefully roll up the dough. Place on a baking sheet, covered with a towel, and allow to rise for at least 10-15 more minutes. Repeat until all four rolls have been made.

7. Place each roll on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can put two rolls on one full size baking sheet, but be sure to leave space between them. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour, until the dough is golden brown and the filling is set. The roll will be firm to the touch when the potica is done.

8. Allow to cool completely before slicing into 1 inch thick slices to serve. Potica rolls stay fresh for about a week if wrapped well, but can be frozen as well.


Corniest Corn Muffins with Honey Butter

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

This recipe came to me by way of my friends Jordan and Roxy, who brought these as the dinner rolls for our annual Fake Thanksgiving. Everyone ooh’d and aah’d and begged for the recipe, including myself, and Jordan was happy to oblige: he found the recipe for these corn muffins over at Smitten Kitchen, who in turn, borrowed the recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours.

So, now that that’s settled…Corn muffins. These turned out to be the perfect cornbread, in my opinion. Just a little bit sweet (but not too sweet), and with the perfect crumb (that is, crumbly, but not dry). They were also pretty easy to make, and had me wondering why I ever needed a Jiffy mix. Even David, who doesn’t like cornbread was almost converted here. I don’t think he’ll be craving them anytime soon, but he ate some, which is an achievement in and of itself.

I upped the ante a little bit by mixing up some honey butter, which was super simple and totally worthwhile. If the corn muffins were good without the honey butter, they were heaven with it. So good!

Corniest Corn Muffins
From Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours

Yield: 12 regular-sized muffins or 48 miniature ones

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 tablespoons corn oil (I used olive oil, because that’s what I keep around)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup corn kernels – fresh, frozen or canned (in which case they should be drained and patted dry; I used frozen.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and  salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, melted butter, oil, egg and yolk together until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. The batter will be lumpy, but don’t worry about it. The lumps will work themselves out as the muffins bake. Stir in the corn. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes (12 minutes for mini muffins), or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from the pan.

Honey Butter

  • 1/2 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Pour the honey over the butter and mash together with a spoon. Slather on warm cornbread muffins. Devour. 🙂

I used salted butter, because I like the salty sweet combination, but you certainly don’t have to.