Honey Baby – Recipes With Local Cranberries

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New to the Plymouth dining scene, Honey Baby is an upscale, modern cocktail lounge that offers a relaxed "must chill" atmosphere and a creative menu of craft cocktails and off-the-charts bites.

“We’re going to take care of you, make you comfortable and do our best to put a smile on your face while you relax and enjoy,” says chef/co-owner Nina Peters. “We don’t know much about lounging, but we know a few things about cocktails and great food. The rest we can figure out together.”  

Honey Baby's sister restaurant, The Tasty, is located just steps away. Built with the same “kitchen creativity is king” mindset as its neighbor, Honey Baby delivers an evolving and eclectic selection of tastes. A few dishes on the menu, such as the Swedish Meatballs, feature seasonal cranberries. Served with caraway-cranberry jam, this dish is a sweet/spicy twist on a traditional comfort food.

In the mood for a cocktail? Try the Runaway Train Cocktail, an amalgam of tequila blanco, house-made cranberry syrup, a splash or two of lime juice and clementine shrub. The drink is strained into Art Deco-era stemmed glassware with a black salt rim and garnished by a cocktail stick of sugared cranberries (cocktail recipe below).

Owner/Chef Mike Peters, Owner/Mixologist Nina Peters
Mixologists Jonathan Keith and Camiron Lanoue

The Runaway Train Cocktail

The Runaway Train Cocktail

Ingredients 

2 oz. Bribon Tequila Blanco

1 oz. Fresh lime juice

¼ oz. Clement Creole Shrubb

1 oz. Cranberry Syrup (recipe below)

Black salt, for glass rim

Sugared fresh cranberries, for garnish

1 cinnamon stick

Decorative cocktail sticks

 

Cranberry Syrup  

2 c. local fresh cranberries, roughly chopped with a knife or food processor

2 c. sugar

1 c. water

Orange peel, in strips from ½ fresh orange

Place all ingredients into a medium saucepan until just simmering. Reduce the heat, and cook for 15 minutes. (Take care to not cook the fruit too long as that will release too much fruit pectin, resulting in a jam-like consistency). Stir in the orange peel and cinnamon stick, set aside to steep until the syrup cools to room temperature. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Store in a bottle or covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

 

Cocktail Assembly

In a cocktail shaker filled generously with ice cubes, combine all ingredients, cover and shake vigorously.  Strain the cocktail into a black salt-rimmed martini or cocktail glass. Garnish with cocktail stick threaded with sugared cranberries, serve immediately.

 

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Swedish Meatballs with Gravy and Caraway Cranberry Jam

From Chef Michael Peters Honey Baby 

Swedish Meatball Ingredients
1 lb. ground beef

½ medium onion, coarsely grated

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 small knob of ginger, finely grated

½ c. panko breadcrumbs

1 egg

½ c. chopped fresh dill and parsley

1/8 t. ground allspice

1/8 t. garlic powder

1/8 t. white pepper

1/8 t. cayenne pepper

Pinch of powdered clove

Fresh nutmeg, grated 

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cranberry Jam (recipe below)

Gravy (recipe below) 

 

Preheat oven to 375° F. In a food processor or large mixing bowl, combine onion, garlic and ginger and process or mix by hand until well incorporated. 

Add panko crumbs and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Combine the seasoned crumbs with the garlic, ginger and onion mixture until evenly moistened. Add the remaining ingredients and mix by hand until thoroughly combined. Adjust seasoning as desired. 

Using a scoop, spoons and/or your hands, form the mixture into 1-ounce meatballs by hand. Place meatballs on a lightly greased sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the sheet pan, cover and set aside to keep warm.  Reserve the sheet tray pan drippings to prepare the gravy. 

For the Gravy

2 c. heavy cream

½ c. beef demi-glace (or 1 c. beef broth)

½ c. sherry or white cooking wine, divided

½ medium onion, coarsely chopped

½ stick butter

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 T. Dijon mustard

1 sprig fresh rosemary

3 sprigs fresh thyme

4 sprigs fresh dill

Use a splash of the sherry or cooking wine to deglaze the meatball sheet pan. Scrape the beef bits into a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Warm the liquid over low heat, add butter and flour, stirring continuously to make a light roux. Stir in the remaining sherry or cooking wine and demi-glace or beef broth. (Handle carefully as the alcohol from the sherry may ignite. This is typical and will diminish quickly.) 

Continue stirring, adding in remaining ingredients one at a time, cooking until gravy thickens to desired consistency. Add more broth, sherry or wine to thin out, or conversely, add a little floured butter to further thicken.

Carefully place meatballs in the gravy and simmer for a few minutes over low heat. Serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles, with Cranberry Jam as a condiment. 

Cranberry Jam

2 c. cranberries

1 medium fresh orange, halved and squeezed, reserving juice

1 c. water

1 T. real maple syrup

1 cinnamon stick

4 allspice berries

1 t. caraway seeds

3 pods black cardamom

8” square of cheesecloth or a paper coffee filter

Kitchen twine

Place cranberries, water, syrup, zest and orange juice in a medium sauce pot. Using either a square of cheesecloth or a paper coffee filter, place all spices in a small pile in the center, gather the edges and tie off with kitchen twine, creating a spice sachet. Place the sachet into a saucepan and simmer over low heat until cranberries start to burst. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. Remove sachet and stir jam to incorporate flavors. Serve immediately or store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator up to one week until serving.

Serve mushrooms atop mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

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