Society

Deck the halls with combs of honey

If you are looking for a sweet way to enhance your holiday fare and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills, think honey.

Home cooks like honey for its versatility and array of culinary benefits. Because of its unique flavor profile, honey complements and enriches a variety of foods. From baked goods to marinades, honey provides balance to any dish and also adds a hint of natural sweetness.

There are more than 300 varietals of honey found in the United States (www.honeylocator.com), making the culinary opportunities truly endless.

For a delicious holiday meal, try Honey Lavender Pork Loin with Caramelized Bananas. The pork is coated with honey, succulently tender after a juicy roast in the oven. Due to the humectant nature of honey, the meat’s moisture is locked into the loin, creating a tender and moist bite with each forkful.

Honey’s emulsification properties naturally make it a great binder and thickener for sauces. The honey, matched with a hint of lavender, creates a delicate and sweet sauce to top the pork. The Honey-Lavender Sauce will be sure to wow your holiday guests.

More than just a drizzle, let honey dazzle your holiday celebrations this year. For more information about using honey as a versatile culinary ingredient, and for more honey recipes and how-to culinary videos, visit www.honey.com.

Use this recipe to brighten up the holidays with your family and loved ones:

Honey Lavender Pork Loin
with Caramelized Bananas
4 servings, cook time 40 min (roast)

Pork:
1 tbs. grape seed oil
1¼ lbs. pork loin
2 tbs. salt
¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbs. honey
1 tbs. lavender leaves, mashed

Honey-Lavender Sauce:
3 tbs. honey
1 tbs. lavender leaves, diced
½ tsp. salt

Caramelized Bananas:
½ tbs. butter or coconut oil (optional)
3 large bananas, sliced

Pork—Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon grape seed oil. Season pork loin with salt on all surfaces. Sear pork loin on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side (8 to 12 minutes total). Remove loin and place into foil-lined baking pan. Add chicken stock to skillet and deglaze by scraping brown bits from bottom of pan. Add 2 tablespoons honey and 1 tablespoon lavender and stir. Pour over pork loin and bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until internal temperature is 145°F. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Proceed with sauce and caramelized bananas.

Honey-Lavender Sauce— Combine 3 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon lavender and salt. Add roasting pan juices. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened.

Caramelized Bananas— While sauce simmers, add butter and/or coconut oil to medium skillet over medium heat (if using nonstick skillet, can skip oil). Add banana slices and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until slices soften and turn golden brown.

Finish—Slice pork loin into ½-inch slices. Spoon banana slices on plate and arrange pork medallions over banana. Drizzle sauce over all. Garnish with additional lavender leaves and serve immediately. Recipe courtesy of Jessie Erwin, RD, for the National Honey Board.


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2013-11-28 digital edition



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