Olive Oil Granola

I have made this several times in the past few months and it’s a keeper.  Its a flexible recipe that you can throw in whatever you have.  I just made a double recipe with half pistachios and half almonds and used dried cherries.  A few months ago we used dried pineapple and raisins and that was good too.

Pistachios are so expensive but so worth it
Pistachios are so expensive but so worth it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before the oven
Before the oven
...and after
…and after
Taste test with yogurt, berries and honey.
Taste test with yogurt, berries and honey.
Perfect for a gift or two
Perfect for a gift or two

Olive Oil Granola

New York Times

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups raw pistachios, hulled
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
  • 1 cup coconut chips
  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup (PJH: I use 1/2 cup)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar (PJH: don’ t need this much – I cut in half)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¾ cup chopped dried apricots

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, coconut chips, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.

Transfer granola to a large bowl and add apricots, tossing to combine. Serve with ricotta and fruit, if desired.

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Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

This was my third attempt at making dolmades over the past year or so and I am happy to report success at last.  I have always loved these ever since Uncle Tom and Aunt Evie introduced them to us, but could never quite get it right.  We were at the West Side Market on Saturday and they were charging $7.00 for a half dozen of them so I said… sam hell… I can make those for much less and much better to boot.

Fennel….our new favorite vegetable that makes everything taste good:  (made a risotto on Saturday w fennel, shitakes, cremini and sausage… awesome).

pine nuts.  an essential ingredient in dolmades:

The slightly cooked mixture of onion, fennel, rice, parsley, dill and mint:

rolling them up…

Not the most beautiful things… and they are a lot of work…but they sure taste good.

Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves)

Recipe 99% from Tyler Florence on FoodNetwork.com after looking at lots of recipes.  I also learned from watching quite a few YouTube videos of Greek Grandmas dolmades techniques.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, halved, cored and diced
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 T. finely chopped dill leaves
  • 1 T. finely chopped mint (or 1 t. dried)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 jar grape leaves, rinsed and drained – the big jar
  • 2 lemons, juiced

Directions

To make the filling, coat a large saute pan with 1/4 cup of the oil and place over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel and lemon zest and stir until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the pine nuts and rice, saute for 2 minutes, stirring to coat. Pour in just 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and lower the heat. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 10 minutes. Scrape the parboiled rice mixture into a bowl and add the dill, mint and parsley; season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool.

Bring a big pot of water to a simmer. Blanch the grape leaves in the hot water for 5 minutes until pliable. Drain then trim the stems and any hard veins from the leaves. Pat dry with paper towels.  The leaves are all really packed tight in the jar.  I found it easiest to separate them by submerging them in water.

To assemble the dolmades, lay a grape leaf on a work surface, shiny-side down. Put 2 tablespoons of the rice filling near the stem end of the leaf. Fold the stem end over the filling, then fold both sides toward the middle, and roll up into a cigar – it should be snug but not overly tight because the rice will swell once it is fully cooked. Squeeze lightly in the palm of your hand to secure the roll. Repeat with remaining grape leaves and filling.

Place the dolmades in a large Dutch oven or wide deep skillet, seam-side down in a single layer. Pour the remaining cup of broth, remaining olive oil, and the lemon juice over the dolmades, the liquid should reach halfway up the rolls, add some water if necessary. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, until the dolmades are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm, at room temperature or cool.

Apple Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • ¼ t. salt
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup oil
  • 4 cups diced apples
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Cream sugar and eggs together.  Add dry ingredients and mix.  Add vanilla, oil, apples and nuts.  Pour batter in greased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake for 45 -55 minutes in a 350 oven.

Topping

  • ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 3 T. butter
  • 8 oz. Cream cheese
  • salt and vanilla

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Shrimp

Cooking Light

Use only 1 t. or less chili paste if you don’t like it spicy.  If the sauce is too thick thin it with a little water.  It should be the consistency of heavy cream.

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup water
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 T. rice vinegar
  • 1 to 2 t. chile paste with garlic
  • 1/2 t. sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt, divided

Shrimp

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Pasta

  • 4 cups cooked thick udon noodles or linguine (8 ounces uncooked)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into julienne strips
  • 3/4 cup chopped seeded cucumber
  • 1/4 cup diagonally cut green onions
  • 3 T. chopped roasted peanuts
  • 2 T. cilantro
  • 4 lime wedges

To prepare sauce, combine the first 6 ingredients and 1/4 t. salt; stir with a whisk.
To prepare the shrimp, toss with 1/4 t. salt.  Saute in nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat for 3 minutes on each side or until done.
To prepare the pasta, combine peanut sauces, shrimp, noodles, bell pepper, cucumber, and onions in a large bowl; toss well.  Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and cilantro.  Serve with lime wedges.

Yield: 4 servings.

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Kirsten Gail

10 servings

  • 2 boxes Uncle Ben’s Wild rice
  • 8 oz. Mushrooms
  • 1 onion chopped
  • ¼ butter or margarine
  • salt and pepper (make sure you put some in because it will need it)
  • 4 cups diced chicken
  • 2 cups canned chicken broth
  • ½ cup blanched almonds
  • ½ pint heavy cream

Sauté mushrooms and onions in butter.  Cook rice according to package directions.  Mix all together.  Bake uncovered for one hour at 350.

Freezes well before or after cooking.

Chicken Casserole

Kirsten’s old time favorite

  • 4 cups diced precooked chicken (2 breasts, 2 legs and 2 thighs)
  • 1 box frozen French beans (separate with fork)
  • ½ small jar pimentos
  • 1 ½ cans cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ cup milk
  • slivered almonds
  • bag of prepared stuffing

Mix all ingredients.  Put dressing on top.  Bake for ½ hour at 350 until brown.  Mix in dressing with rest of casserole before serving.

Porridge

Evie Davis

  • 3 cups water
  • ¾ t. salt
  • 1 2/3 old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup dark molasses
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 eggs beaten to blend
  • ½ t. each cinnamon and ginger
  • ¼ t. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350º.  Boil water and salt in sauce pan.  Decrease heat to medium-low and cook oats for 5 minutes stirring frequently.  .  Add all remaining ingredients.  Transfer to buttered 6 cup soufflé dish.  Bake for approximately one hour or until set.

Serve with milk or ice cream