Whether you're making a glaze for meat or a dressing for salad, the combination of orange juice and honey works because the acid in the juice tempers the sweetness of the honey. Heat the honey in the microwave to soften it,so that it combines with the orange juice, and then add other complementary flavors. Add grated lime, ginger or mint to sweet dessert sauces. Soy sauce, garlic, rosemary and ginger complement orange juice and honey in meat glazes or in a vinaigrette.
Sauces for Fruit and Desserts
Orange juice and honey pair naturally with fruit and sweet desserts. Add a bit of chopped mint to the mixture and pour this sweet sauce over mixed fruit such as berries, melon and peaches. The sauce amps up the flavor of the fruit and also keeps the peaches from browning. Whisk powdered sugar with orange juice and honey to make a glaze for pound cake, cinnamon rolls, coffee cakes and other desserts. For a thicker, creamier frosting, beat in real butter. Combine orange juice, honey and cornstarch and heat until the sauce thickens for a quick pancake syrup.
The basic ingredients for a vinaigrette include one part vinegar to two or three parts oil, whisked together to form an emulsion. Other flavorings determine the character of the dressing. Substitute orange juice for some of the vinegar and add a bit of honey to a basic vinaigrette for a delicious citrus salad dressing. Serve this dressing with a salad made of spinach or romaine lettuce, red pepper slices, green onions, mandarin oranges, blue cheese, bacon pieces and pecans or cashews. You could add soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil and sesame seeds to the vinaigrette for an Asian inspired dressing. Store homemade salad dressings in the refrigerator and use them within three to four days for best flavor.
Meat Glazes and Marinades
Citrus and honey make a fine marinade for mild-flavored meats, such as poultry and pork. Place the meat in a baking dish or plastic bag and pour the orange juice and honey over it. If you'd like to re-use a marinade, try cooking and thickening it with cornstarch or boil it first and then add a bit of orange marmalade or apricot jam to thicken it. This thickened sauce can be brushed on grilled meat, fish or ham at the end of the cooking time to create a sweet, savory glaze.
Marinades add flavor to meats, but they can also prevent food safety challenges. To use marinades safely, always refrigerate any meat and marinade in a refrigerator set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Never leave the marinating meat at room temperature, such as on the counter top. Cook marinated chicken and fish within two days. Cook marinated beef, pork and lamb within five days, according to Food Safety.gov. The marinade may contain bacteria that was present in the meat. Accordingly, you should discard it or bring it to a full boil before eating it. Make sure you cook the meat thoroughly. Chicken should be cooked until a meat thermometer inserted in the meat registers 165 F. Cook beef, pork and lamb to 145 F, according to Food Safety.gov.
Types of Juice
Orange juice is available fresh, as a frozen concentrate or even canned, and most of these varieties can be used in sauces and marinades. For the freshest flavor in salad dressings and dessert sauces, squeeze the juice from an orange or use commercially freshly squeezed orange juice. Use almost any type of orange juice in meat marinades. A spoonful of frozen orange juice concentrate can usually be substituted for orange juice when combined with other liquids. For an intense orange flavor, add a splash of orange extract with the orange juice.