Currently cooking from In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite by Melissa Clark
I might have mentioned that I’m on a granola kick. Lately, I can’t get enough of the stuff, whether I’m sprinkling it on greek yogurt or eating it by the handful. And although I’ve been perfectly satisfied with my go-to coconut granola recipe, I figured I’d better try this one. You know, to be fair. Or something.
This is a standard granola recipe with one big, glaring change. Instead of using a neutral vegetable oil or butter, Clark’s recipe (which comes to her via Nekisia Davis of Early Bird Granola) uses olive oil. This gives the granola a savory note, a little more oomph, and makes it not quite as sweet as other granolas. You can change out the nuts (Clark used pistachios and pumpkin seeds; I used almonds and pumpkin seeds) as well as the dried fruit (I don’t care for dried fruit in my granola, so I left it out). Oats, coconut flakes brown sugar, maple syrup, salt and cinnamon round out the recipe. Everything is tossed together and then baked until brown and crispy.
While I enjoyed the granola, I don’t think it will replace my usual granola recipe. I didn’t really taste the olive oil, and the granola didn’t get as crisp as I would have liked, though I might have just needed to bake it longer. The granola was also slightly greasy.
I haven’t been baking much, and I’m still trying to decide on my next cookbook. The one thing that I have been doing is making this granola at least once a week. It’s nutty and toasty and full of crunchy things. I’ve been eating it on yogurt and straight out of the jar by the handful. I liked it so much, that I included it in my Christmas candy packages to friends and family.
The original recipe is from the Tasty Kitchen website. So far, the only change I’ve made is to not include the dried cranberries or chocolate. Honestly, I like it plain. It is plenty sweet from the brown sugar and agave syrup. One of these days, I’d like to try using honey or maple syrup instead of the agave syrup, and I’d like to experiment with different combinations of nuts and seeds. Recipe after the jump.
Another detour from the grains cookbook. Deal with it.
Part of my morning routine involves browsing food blogs and copying recipes that look really good. The fact that I will have to live to be 300 years old to try every recipe that I’ve copied doesn’t deter me in the least.
One of those blogs is written by Mark Bittman. Besides being a cookbook author, Bittman also writes a food column for the NY Times. His recipes are usually quick and easy; I don’t think I’ve tried a bad one yet. So, when I saw the video and recipe for his Parmesan Cream Crackers, I didn’t even try to resist. Next thing I knew, I was in the kitchen dumping flour, salt, parmesan and butter into the food processor. Add some milk, process a bit and less than 5 minutes later, I had cracker dough. Five minutes after that, I had the dough in the oven. Seriously, it was that easy.
I took some liberties with the recipe. First, I thought I had cream but I didn’t. So I used milk. I also added some dried rosemary to the dough and sprinkled coarse salt on top. The only issue I had with the recipe is it says to roll the dough out to a 1/2-inch thickness. I thought that was way too thick for crackers, so I went to about 1/8 of an inch. I probably should have cooked the crackers a little longer; the ones in the middle weren’t quite crunchy. However, that didn’t stop us from eating them all for lunch.
Obviously, this isn’t from the grains cookbook, but if you try these nuts, I don’t think you’ll mind the diversion. In fact, you might just get down on your knees and thank me. What can I say? I simply can’t stop baking sweet things (or eating, them, either)!
If I ever get motivated to hand out little Christmas presents to friends, these nuts will have a starring role. I found this recipe on smittenkitchen.com, one of my favorite food blogs about a month ago. I immediately earmarked it, went out and bought a bunch of almonds, and then proceeded to let the almonds languish in the cupboard for a month.
Sigh! If I had only known how good these were going to be. They are sweet, salty, cinnamony and just a bit spicy. They are dead easy to make and even easier to eat. They are good as is, but I’ve already got some changes in mind. I would have liked more of the salty, so I’ll increase the kosher salt to 2 teaspoons. Neither Bryan nor I could really taste the cayenne pepper. This time, I used 1/8 teaspoon. Next time, I’ll go up to 1/4 teaspoon. I’m also curious to try different spices. But first, I think I need to go eat some more of these.