Monday, January 17, 2011

Don't Fear The Sprouts, Man!

So, I'm trying to eat locally and in season.  A bit of a challenge for someone who likes to plan way in advance for meals, like me.  But kind of fun, too.  Anyway, most recently this lead me to brussel sprouts.  They are apparently in season right now.  Or so I've been told.  Here is a recipe that even the kids will tolerate.  A little.

Bacon Brussels

15-20 fresh brussel sprouts
3 slices bacon (I like center cut because it's way less fatty)
olive oil
fresh ground pepper
Splash or two of Balsamic Vinegar

Cut the bottoms off of the brussel sprouts.  Hang onto the leaves that fall off in the process.  Put the rest of the bulbs in a food processor and pulse briefly.  I have a small processor, so I had to do this in several batches.  But the idea is to just chop it up a little.  You'll  have a lot that's pretty shredded, but then still some big chunks, and the leaves that you set aside earlier.  While you're doing this, throw the bacon on a large skillet and cook it to whatever level you like your bacon.  Remove to cool.  When you're done, put  all the sprout pieces in the skillet.  If you used normal bacon you can either drain the grease first and then use olive oil, or you can cook the sprouts in the bacon grease.  My bacon didn't really leave any grease in the pan, so I poured a little olive oil over the brussel sprouts and tossed the mixture.  Saute all this for 5-8 minutes.  You want them to stay tender crisp.  Meanwhile, chop the bacon.  Then salt and pepper the brussel sprouts to taste, splash in the vinegar, and finally top with the bacon.

I think it would also be yummy with Parmesan cheese and/or toasted pine nuts. But I haven't tried either yet.

Give The Gift of Granola

So, someone at my house thinks it's weird to give granola as a gift.  But every time I've gifted this granola, the receiver asks for the recipe.  You decide.

Great Gift Giving Granola

4 C. old-fashioned oats (very important!  Don't use quick oats!)
1 C. wheat germ
4 T. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. Nuts & Seeds (I used sunflower seeds, pepitos, and ground flax)
1 C. Dried fruit (I used sweet cherries, wild blueberries, and orange cranberries)
1/4 C. maple syrup
1/4 C. honey
6 T. Canola oil
2 T. water
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Combine oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt, and seeds in a large bowl.  Set aside.
Combine syrup, honey, oil, water, and almond extract in a small saucepan.  Heat to a simmer over medium heat.  Stir really well, then pour over dry ingredients.  Combine the two mixtures thoroughly.
Pour into two 9x13 pans (I think it bakes better in glass than metal pans) sprayed with cooking spray.  Place in 275 degree oven and bake for 35 min.  Add dried fruit, stir, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until it's browning.  It will crisp up a little more as it cools, so don't over bake it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chiles Rellenos Casserole

I don't know if this is cheating, but Weston and I just made a DELICIOUS recipe from his mom's blog. You can click here or just paste the following into your browser for the recipe: