Honey Rosé Plum Cobbler

Honey Ros  é Plum Cobbler  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Honey Rosé Plum Cobbler | Image: Laura Messersmith

I adore fall and the smoky scent of leaves, the crisp brightness, the enjoyment of cool cheeks and a cozy sweater. I anticipate the energy change from the hot laziness of summer, but I also sort of dread it – the beginning of the all too rapid transition into full-on winter. Slushy side walks, cold fingers, wearing my duck boots nearly 24/7 – no thanks.

But let’s focus on the here and now – the blazing blue skies the last lingering summer produce. Who doesn’t need a great late-summer early-fall recipe to take advantage of the glorious wealth of plums that hit the markets in September and generously hang on until October? Definitely not a delicate berry, but a bit more tender-hearted than the sturdy apples and pears to come in oh like t-minus 1 week (not that I’m really complaining.)

Honey Ros  é Plum Cobbler  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Honey Rosé Plum Cobbler | Image: Laura Messersmith

Plums have the depth to stand proudly alongside other robust flavors and add their tart sweetness to the dry rosé. This cobbler topped with buttery dough – is waiting to grace your dinner table.

Honey-Rosé Plum Cobbler (serves 6)

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons whole milk, divided
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup dry rosé wine
1/3 cup clover honey
2 1/2 pounds assorted plums, pitted and cut into 8 wedges each
2 tablespoons coarse sugar, aka sugar in the raw

Optional for serving: ice cream or whipped cream

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush 6 oven-safe ramekins with softened butter.

For the biscuits, combine the 1 3/4 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup milk and olive oil to the flour mixture. Stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.

For filling, combine the wine, honey in an extra-large skillet whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Stir in the plums. Cook and stir over medium-high heat about 8 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; keep warm.

Unwrap dough and roll out to 1/2-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut into rounds using a 1-inch round cutter. Divide plums among the ramekins filling nearly to the tops. Arrange the biscuits over the filling, slightly overlapping as needed. Brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of milk and sprinkle the biscuits with the coarse sugar.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until biscuits are golden. Place a baking sheet below the dish to catch an drips during baking.

Remove from oven and let stand 30 minutes before serving with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.

Adapted and lightly re-written from Better Homes and Gardens’ Honey Rosé Plum Cobbler by David Bonom.

Honey Ros  é Plum Cobbler  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Honey Rosé Plum Cobbler | Image: Laura Messersmith

Small Kitchen Friendly?
I used 6 (7 ounce) oven-safe ramekins, pastry brush, medium mixing bowl, measuring cups & spoons, liquid measuring cup, spatula, large skillet, whisk, chef’s knife, medium cutting board, small fluted biscuit cutter, and rimmed baking sheet.

Honey Ros  é Plum Cobbler  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Honey Rosé Plum Cobbler | Image: Laura Messersmith

Honey Lemon Saffron Chicken

Honey Saffron Chicken  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Honey Saffron Chicken | Image: Laura Messersmith

I’ve never been to Malibu, but after reading the Malibu Farm cookbook cover to cover it feels like I just got back from the Left Coast. Helene Henderson’s writing is straightforward and the recipes she created emphasize produce of the highest quality grown by her local community of farmers, beekeepers, and herdsmen. The dishes are homey and familiar, something you could throw together at a moment’s notice, with enough international flair to feel fresh.

Malibu Farm Cookbook

One caveat – the preparations are simple and the instructions bare bones assuming the reader knows details like how hot a skillet should be to pan-fry fish or cook an egg. Most recipes and their ingredients are approachable, perhaps with the exception of the whole roasted lamb or boar sausage, but even experienced cooks will find lots to inspire with these riffs on California cuisine. At this point the pages of my copy are bristling with tabs noting the dishes I want to make – particularly exciting as the summer approaches and ingredients like sweet corn and plums come into season.

For the moment I’ve settled on the Honey Lemon Saffron Chicken which pairs the savory depth of chicken legs with the bright, light lemon and honey marinade. The skin turns deep mahogany as the sugar in the honey burns and caramelizes. Finishing the cooking in the oven maintains the juiciness of the meat and ensures it’s perfectly done when the pan emerges.

Honey Lemon Saffron Chicken (serves 4)

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon (1 medium clove) grated garlic
3 tablespoons wildflower honey
1 pinch saffron strands
1/4 cup (1 large) fresh lemon juice
4 bone-in, skin on chicken legs
kosher salt

Instructions:
In a small sauté pan, cook the butter and grated garlic together over low heat for 4-5 minutes or until the garlic turns soft and fragrant. Off the heat, stir in the honey and juice from the lemon. Allow to cool.

Sprinkle both sides of the chicken legs liberally with kosher salt. Place in a ziptop plastic bag and pour in the cooled marinade. Press out the air and seal tightly making sure each piece of chicken is coated in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large sauté pan, heat 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat and place the pieces of chicken skin side down in the pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the chicken skin is deep brown and crisp. Turn the chicken over, skin side up, and place in the oven. Roast for 20-15 minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers 170 degrees. Serve immediately.

Re-written and adapted from Helene Henderson’s Honey Lemon Saffron Chicken in Malibu Farm Cookbook (page 111).

Small Kitchen Friendly?
Surprisingly, yes! I used one small sauté pan, one large sauté pan, a small cutting board, utility knife, tongs, a microplane grater, and a ziplock bag.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own.

Honey Saffron Chicken  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Honey Saffron Chicken | Image: Laura Messersmith

Honey Thyme Chicken & Apricot Kebabs

Honey Thyme Chicken and Apricot Kebabs  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Honey Thyme Chicken and Apricot Kebabs | Image: Laura Messersmith

Summer, especially days when it’s too hot to move are made for recipes like this one. The chicken is tender and flavorful, the apricots are fresh and the whole shebang is lightly lacquered with honey and bright herbs. Assembly takes just a few minutes, minimal effort and very little planning, but the results are phenomenal.

I realize that this is the second recipe I’ve posted from Food + Wine that features apricots – I might be just a little obsessed – but I think it has more to do with Justin Chapple’s inventive way of combining classic ingredient pairings. Apricots and honey given a modern twist with fresh thyme. Perfect.

Honey Thyme Chicken and Apricot Kebabs  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Honey Thyme Chicken and Apricot Kebabs | Image: Laura Messersmith

Honey Thyme Chicken & Apricot Kebabs (serves 4)

Ingredients:
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
8 small apricots
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon water
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper

Special Equipment:
Cast iron grill pan
8 long bamboo skewers

Instructions:
Put the bamboo skewers in water to soak for 30 minutes.

Mince the thyme leaves and whisk together with the honey and water. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.

Halve and pit the apricots length-wise, divide the chicken thighs into 1 inch pieces. Thread the 3-4 pieces of chicken and apricot onto each skewer (I recommend keeping them separate for ease of cooking.) Brush the kebabs with olive oil and season with kosher salt and black pepper.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until the chicken is just cooked through, about 10-12 minutes total, the apricots will need about 5 minutes total.

Brush the hot kebabs with the honey and thyme mixture and serve.

Lightly adapted from Food + Wine’s Honey Thyme Chicken and Apricot Kebabs by Justin Chapple.

Honey Thyme Chicken and Apricot Kebabs  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Honey Thyme Chicken and Apricot Kebabs | Image: Laura Messersmith

Small Kitchen Friendly?
Yes! I needed a medium cutting board, chef’s knife, liquid measuring cup, measuring spoons, a cast iron grill pan, tongs, and a pastry brush. You'll also need bamboo skewers, and a plastic wrap-lined sheet pan will also be helpful during assembly.

The Verdict:
Chicken thighs and kebabs are a match made in grill heaven only improved by the addition of the sweet herbal glaze of the honey and thyme. And, as we’ve established already, stone fruit is amazing when it has a hint of char and smoke from the grill. I served the kebabs for a dinner party over a bed of fluffy couscous with a little green salad on the side. Light, easy, perfect for a summer evening.

Honey Thyme Chicken and Apricot Kebabs  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Honey Thyme Chicken and Apricot Kebabs | Image: Laura Messersmith

Roasted Chicken with Honey & Aleppo Pepper

Roasted Chicken with Honey & Aleppo Pepper  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Roasted Chicken with Honey & Aleppo Pepper | Image: Laura Messersmith

Barbecue chicken with its spicy-sticky coating caramelized just this side of charcoal black is a summer classic. But after all the promise of the bronzed color, the flavor can be a little underwhelming since the sauce never really makes contact with the meat.

As I was paging through Food + Wine’s most recent issue featuring their list of Best New Chefs I spotted this recipe for chicken that reminded me of the tang and sweet heat all the best barbecue sauce has to offer. The key difference: time and also thyme (rosemary too.) Chef Zoi Antonitsas of Westward in Seattle mixes together a gorgeous marinade of honey and spicy pepper for a hit of fresh herbs.

Personally, I love when a recipe combines a familiar technique – marinating, roasting – with a flavor combination that’s new to my palate. I’d never tasted Aleppo pepper before and I was intrigued by the fresh herb and honey combination. One taste and I can see why Chef Antonitsas is garnering so much great press.

Roasted Chicken with Honey & Aleppo Pepper   | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Roasted Chicken with Honey & Aleppo Pepper | Image: Laura Messersmith

Roasted Chicken with Honey and Aleppo (serves 4)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons Aleppo pepper
2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts

Instructions:
In a large liquid measuring cup whisk together the olive oil, honey and red wine vinegar with the Aleppo pepper, kosher salt, minced garlic, thyme and rosemary. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade in a small bowl and refrigerate.

Place the chicken breasts in a large zip-top bag and pour the remaining marinade in and turn to coat. Refrigerate overnight turning periodically to ensure even contact with the chicken.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Arrange the chicken skin side up on the baking sheet. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the largest piece registers 160°.

Transfer to a platter. Drizzle the chicken with the reserved marinade, sprinkle with salt and serve.

Slightly adapted from Chicken Legs with Honey and Aleppo by Zoi Antonitsas in Food + Wine magazine July 2015.

Roasted Chicken with Honey & Aleppo Pepper   | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Roasted Chicken with Honey & Aleppo Pepper | Image: Laura Messersmith

Small Kitchen Friendly?
Yes, this is really simple. I used a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, measuring spoons, a whisk, medium cutting board, and chef’s knife. I also needed a gallon-sized zip top bag, small storage container, foil, and a rimmed baking sheet.

The Verdict:
We both loved this recipe, which has the extra bonus of being really, really easy to prepare. Just a little mincing, some patience, a hands-off cooking approach and dinner is on the table! But, the simplicity of the ingredients and preparation belies the superb balance and clear flavors in the sauce. Mike and I are already dreaming up new ways to incorporate the marinade - maybe with beef or salmon? Please try this, you won’t be sorry!

Roasted Chicken with Honey & Aleppo Pepper   | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Roasted Chicken with Honey & Aleppo Pepper | Image: Laura Messersmith