This week I've been sampling some new infused honeys that will be used in ways I don't traditionally use honey. Vinaigrette Salad dressing! I've been buying salad dressing for too long... it's time to start making it myself.
We were fortunate enough to be a part of the WOSU Chefs In The City program, and during their segment featuring honey they gave a great little idea for a vinaigrette recipe using honey - bacon infused honey to be more specific. Isaac was also featured in the segment (yes that's right, he is not too manly to wear a hairnet while bottling), talking about our farm, how the bees make honey, other products we make, and all that good stuff. You can watch it here:
The video doesn't give exact measurements for the recipe, but here are the ingredients, courtesy of Chef John Skaggs from Heirloom :
I also had a customer at the Worthington Market this week who requested an "Orange Basil Infused Honey." While I explained that I probably would not be introducing that to our line-up anytime soon, I told her it was a wonderful idea and I would try it at home for my own use. (I also suggested she buy some of our summer honey and make it herself, too!) So here's what I did:
Zest one orange. Chop fresh basil. Place inside a jelly jar. Add honey. See how easy that was?!
I let it steep for 1 day, then strained it out with my tea strainer. I used a lot of orange zest and a lot of basil, making a very small batch that would be pretty intense with flavor. When infusing honey, the one thing you must be careful about is to not add too much moisture to the honey. Honey will last forever if is has the optimum moisture content (16-18%). We have a special tool called a refractometer that can tell us the moisture content. If honey is above 18%, it can actually start to ferment. So if you add anything with moisture to your honey (such as fresh basil leaves and orange zest), you should use the honey as soon as possible, or refrigerate and use within a few weeks.
And now the Bacon Infused Honey (sorry, vegetarians): Fry Bacon. Put in Jar. Add Honey. Steep until desired flavor is achieved. Eat honey covered bacon for an afternoon snack (yes, it is really good.) **added note: I have received several questions about the storage and shelf life for the Bacon Infused Honey. Like the Orange Basil Infused Honey, you will want to be careful because you have added moisture to the honey. I recommend refrigerating the honey (even though this will cause granulation, this is not a problem... just gently warm the honey in a hot water bath to re-liquify). I would also recommend using within 2 weeks.
I plan to add these to the above ingredients to create a vinaigrette.
Do you think we should add bacon infused honey to our line?