Archive for the 'grains' Category

Aimée’s Maple Walnut Granola

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I realize that one can only have so many formulas for granola, and at some point you settle into a regular combination you can mindlessly mix up and bake without much in the way of measuring.

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This is one such recipe. It comes from our friend Aimée, who has written her first cookbook, which focuses on seasonal eating from her urban homestead, and we’re celebrating with a virtual book launch of sorts, a bunch of us food writer friends choosing recipes to make and share this week as it makes its way into bookstores. (Also, I’m traveling a lot this week, and like to have a baggie of granola to take on the plane. I like to at least pretend to be that person as I devour as many packets of Biscoff cookies as I can coax out of the flight attendants.

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Since homemade granola is in constant rotation in our house, I chose hers to give a go; it’s very similar to my default granola, save for the applesauce and maple flakes (which, sadly, are not as readily available in Alberta). I had a jar of my sister’s crabapple sauce on my shelf, pink and sweet-tart, and so mixed some up, subbing sliced almonds for the sunflower seeds I had none of – that’s the great thing about granola, you can mix and match nuts and seeds and add whatever kind of dried fruit you like at the end.

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Cheers Aimée! Your book is beautiful. (And so is the granola!)

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Maple Walnut Granola

Homemade granola is a household staple that tastes better than anything you can buy and is much cheaper to make yourself. Ours is sweetened with maple syrup, while applesauce aids in forming those delicious clusters.

Noah and Mateo like their breakfast version plain, no raisins or other dried fruit, merci, although I shake in a few sunflower seeds and walnuts for texture. For an extra-special version of this granola, I add 1/4 cup (60 mL) organic maple flakes for a burst of sweetness. They’re available from online retailers and some Canadian grocers.

Makes 6 cups (1.5 L)

2/3 cup (150 mL) applesauce
1/2 cup (125 mL) pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon (4 mL) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) cinnamon
4 cups (1 L) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup (250 mL) walnut pieces
1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup (60 mL) organic maple flakes (optional)

1. Position oven racks in middle and top third of oven and preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, stir together applesauce, maple syrup, oil, salt and cinnamon. Add oats, walnuts, sunflower seeds and maple flakes, if using. Stir well to combine everything, taking care that the oats are fully coated.

3. Divide the oat mixture between the baking sheets and spread to an even layer. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown, rotating the baking sheets and giving the granola a stir halfway through the baking time.

4. Turn off oven. Dry granola for 15 minutes in the oven with the door slightly ajar, then cool completely on the counter.

Excerpted from Brown Eggs and Jam Jars, by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque (Penguin)

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February 11 2015 | breakfast and grains | 6 Comments »

Shrimp & Grits with a Fried Egg

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I came back home from Miami with a pound of grits in my bag, just because I could.

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Grits are popular in the southern states – they’re made of cornmeal, simmered until thick, just like cream of wheat. (Did you love cream of wheat as a kid? I still do. I rarely have it, in order to preserve that taste of nostalgia.) You can simmer your grits with milk to make it creamier, and add soft roasted garlic or minced jalapenos to spice it up, or a big handful of grated aged cheddar in this case, to provide a bed for buttery, spicy shrimp.

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I always forget how quickly I can cook up a pan of shrimp – with butter, garlic and a shake of dry barbecue rub, they’re done in under three minutes. How much faster can food get? And while I have a pan buttery and hot, it’s too tempting to crack in an egg to catch those flavourful bits. More drippy yolk for those cheesy grits to catch.

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Shrimp & Grits with a Fried Egg

2 cups water
1 cup milk
3/4 cup grits
pinch salt
1 cup grated aged Gouda or white cheddar
2 Tbsp. butter
salt and freshly ground pepper

Shrimp:
1/2 lb. raw, peeled, tail-on shrimp
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 Tbsp. dry barbecue rub (optional)

fresh Italian parsley, torn or chopped
eggs, for frying (optional)

In a medium saucepan, bring the water and milk to a simmer. Slowly whisk in the grits and add the salt; cook, whisking often over medium heat, for 5-10 minutes, or until thickened to the consistency of cream of wheat. Stir in the grated cheese and butter and season with salt and pepper.

Set a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter and oil. When the foam subsides, add the garlic and cook for a minute, then add the shrimp and sprinkle with barbecue rub. Cook, turning the shrimp as you need to, moving them around the pan, just until they turn opaque. Divvy the grits between shallow bowls and top them with shrimp. If you like, crack some eggs into the pan (as many as people you’re feeding) and cook them sunny side up or over easy in the spicy butter in the pan. Place them alongside the shrimp and dribble any butter left in the pan overtop. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Serves 4-6.

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May 21 2014 | grains and one dish and seafood | 49 Comments »

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