Necklace by Brian Watson
Jewelry with a New Twist by Brian Watson
January 24, 2014
Artinfusion members geared up in their best retro apres-ski wear for the Dec. 21 "Winter A-Go-Go event.
Hip, Cool, and Funky!
January 28, 2014
Show all

Cr(EAT)e Food Blog — Dazed and Infused: A Quick and EASY Glimpse into Infusing Distilled Spirits, Salt, and Honey

Lavender-Saffron Honey

Lavender-Saffron Honey

in·fu·sion noun: a drink, remedy, or extract prepared by soaking the leaves of a plant or herb in liquid. The process of preparing an extract by soaking the leaves of a plant in liquid.   Every chef, gourmet, cook, or mixologist on the planet holds great affinity for infusing—playing Food God through manipulating a canvas substance by simply introducing another element.  As a young chef, I recall the first time I pressed my face into a jar of sugar and vanilla pods that had been stored in an air tight container; I was amazed at the difference this simple task made to the sugar. And now it’s a staple in my home kitchen, used for everything that includes sweetener— from my morning coffee to easy ways to flavor custards, cakes, and quick breads.

I’ve included three easy recipes for infusing salt, honey, and vodka that are sure to impress even your most discriminating dinner party guest.

My Eleven Herbs de Provence salt is perfect as a pinch of sodium-with-attitude for fish, chicken, pork, and especially lamb.  It’s another staple in my home kitchen, an accoutrement that gives a fragrance of peace and tranquility throughout whatever it touches.

Next up is my rustic-chic clover honey infused with lavender and saffron; perfect for embellishing hot teas, oatmeal on these cold Ozark mornings, or as an interesting ingredient for braising liquids, glazes, and marinades for meats and veggies that might be roasted or grilled. Don’t forget to use local honey to help remedy seasonal allergies; or that lavender will be readily available this spring and summer at the Bentonville and Fayetteville Farmers’ Markets.

Finally, my Slumdog Martini, inspired from the Oscar-winning Danny Boyle film and  made with saffron-infused vodka, is a wonderful apéritif for your next dinner party. Light, whimsical, and utterly delicious with just a whisper of saffron—faintly reminiscent of leather and fresh tobacco.

Live, Love, and EAT with ART!

Eleven Herbs de Provence Salt

Eleven Herbs de Provence

Eleven Herbs de Provence

Ingredients

  • 2 cups kosher sea salt
  • 1/3 cup finely minced rosemary
  • 1/3 cup finely minced sage
  • 1/3 cup finely minced thyme
  • 2 Tbsp fennel seeds, ground
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp dried lavender, ground
  • Zest and Juice of 4 oranges

Technique

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl mix all ingredients except juice thoroughly and then evenly combine, making sure to break up any clumps of zest that might form. Stir in juice thoroughly.
  3. Spread salt on a sheet pan lined with parchment.
  4. Dry salt in oven stirring occasionally until bone dry to the touch, about 1-2 hours.
  5. Store in an airtight container once cool.

  Lavender-Saffron Honey

Lavender-Saffron Honey

Lavender-Saffron Honey

Ingredients

  • 3 cups local clover honey
  • 2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1/3 cup dried lavender buds
  • Zest of one orange
  • Pinch of salt

Technique

  1. In a medium-sized pot, heat the honey over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until very hot but not boiling. Do not boil.
  2. Once honey comes to a simmer, lower the heat then carefully stir in the saffron, lavender, orange zest, and pinch of salt.
  3. Cover and let steep until completely cool, 3-4 hours. Stir occasionally. Store anywhere from 2 to 12 hours, but you can store it with the saffron and lavender in it even longer to make it stronger. Simply store to taste.

Once cool, strain through a fine mesh sieve and cheese cloth, then store in an airtight container.     Slumdog Martini

Slumdog  Martini

Slumdog Martini

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. saffron-infused vodka (Created by adding a pinch of saffron to your favorite vodka)
  • 1 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ oz. fresh ginger syrup
  • 1 lemon twist
  • 1 blood orange wedge

Technique Combine the first four ingredients in an iced steel, shake vigorously, then serve straight up in a martini glass; garnish with lemon twist wrapped around blood orange wedge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *