Thursday, May 26, 2011

Memorial Day Picnic Recipes

Dark fall honey makes a great substitute for molasses in baked beans. These beans are quite spicy, so if you want to tone that down a bit, add a little less (or omit altogether) the chipotle pepper.
2 cups dried navy beans (we've actually used black-eyed peas for this recipe with great results)
2 teaspoons
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried ground chipotle pepper
1/2 cup dark fall honey
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste

Rinse and pick through beans to be sure there aren't any stones. Place in a bowl and cover with cold water three inches above beans. Place in fridge and soak over night. (If you're short on time, you can place beans in a pot, add water to cover three inches. Bring just to a boil--just until the small bubbles appear around the edges of the pot. Turn off heat and cover for 1 hour. You'll be ready to continue with the recipe.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large, oven-proof pan (like a Dutch oven) and saute onion and garlic until soften. Drain beans, rinse well, and add to pan. Stir in 4 cups water, chipoltle pepper, tomato paste, honey and salt and stir well. Cover pot and place in oven. Cook for 3 to 4 hours, checking about once an hour to stir and see if the beans need more water. Add more water as needed. Serve hot or at room temp. Beans should be very soft and the sauce quite thick.

Another vegetarian addition: Add a few pats of butter when you remove from the oven to make the beans even more...mmmm!

Omnivorian addition: You can fry 4 or 5 strips of bacon (cut in 1/2 inch pieces) until crispy. Remove from pan, drain on paper towels and reserve. Saute the onion and garlic in the bacon fat. Add the fried bacon when you add the beans. Makes about 8 to 10 servings

Very simple--but deliciously tangy. You can also use sour cream instead of the Greek yogurt (that is if your calorie budget can bear it.)
4 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons celery seeds
Combine well and chill. You can add some shredded carrots for color.
Makes 8 servings

We sent this recipe out last year to the folks who subscribe to our email newsletter list recommending this marinade for the delicious skirt steaks the McElhaney Family Farm sells at the St. James Farmers' Market (and elsewhere). One reader wrote that McElhaney steaks are so good, nothing should be added to them! So, if you want to "gild the lily," try this recipe.

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup summer (or fall) honey
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup canola oil
2 pounds skirt steak

Combine everything except the steak in a jar with a good-fitting lid and shake to mix well. Add the steaks to a zip-lock bag along with the marinade and refrigerate over-night (but not longer). Prepare grill for cooking on medium-high heat. Remove steaks from the bag and discard marinade. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes on each side (slightly less for very thin steaks). Let rest 5 minutes (crucial step!). Slice thinly against the grain and serve slices with freshly grated horseradish or horseradish sauce. This recipe serves 4, but if used for sandwiches it will serve 8.

Looking for dessert? Check out our honey rhubarb pie recipe previously posted!

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