Myra’s Maple-Almond Granola

by Hilary Gauntt on September 21, 2017

Myra Goodman and her husband Drew founded Earthbound Farm in Northern California’s Carmel Valley in 1984. 30 years and 3 cookbooks later they are still living and working on their large organic farm, and this granola is a family favorite. Myra’s college years were spent in Vermont, where she fell in love with the local maple syrup; a key ingredient in this healthy, tasty breakfast/snack/treat!

When I read this recipe I remembered the jug of maple syrup we brought back from a trip to see the fall colors last year; forgotten in the pantry. So happy to put it to such good use. This makes enough to share and is superior to commercially produced granola, in my humble opinion. My husband, the family cereal eater, gave this two thumbs up.

4 1/2 cups rolled oats

3/4 cup raw, shelled sunflower seeds

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped raw almonds

2 Tbs. cinnamon

1 1/4 cups pure maple syrup (preferably Grade A dark color and robust flavor)

1/3 cup canola oil

1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir. Add syrup and oil; stir. Line a rimmed 17x12x 1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread granola on paper; set on middle oven rack.

Bake until granola begins to brown,about 25 minutes. Stir; bake until light golden brown, dry and fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes more. Stir again; watch at end so granola doesn’t burn.

Place sheet on cooling rack. Add the raisins, stir and let cool. Serves 16.


Nigel Slater’s Baked Fish with Parmesan Crumbs

by Hilary Gauntt on September 15, 2017

This couldn’t be easier or more delicious. For people who are unsure about cooking fish, this is a perfect recipe! Chef Slater tops his flaky white fish with breadcrumbs mixed with butter and Parmesan cheese, and bakes for about 15 minutes. Viola! Restaurant quality fish dinner.

4 flounder fillets (2 pounds total)

salt and freshly ground pepper

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs

4 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large baking dish, season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Mix the Parmesan with with bread crumbs, melted butter and olive oil, and sprinkle over the fillets. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked and the topping is golden. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4.

Note: I used halibut, which was done in 9 minutes! So check your fish earlier to be safe.


Greek Festival Lemon Chicken

by Hilary Gauntt on September 7, 2017

Every June the St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in San Diego holds a three day festival of wonderful food and dancing. Church members spend weeks preparing all kinds of Greek food and pastries, with volunteers working the grills to prepare this classic Lemon chicken, with garlic and oregano. It’s a simple marinade, but after grilling each piece is dipped back into more of the warmed, reserved sauce and that’s what makes this special.

I poured the remaining delicious marinade over the chicken and the sauteed corn I was serving it with. I suggest you do the same!

1 cup vegetable oil

2 Tbs. dried oregano

1 tsp. garlic powder

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Juice of 2 or 3 lemons

4 bone-in chicken breast halves (or whole chicken legs, or a combination)

Pour oil into a bowl and stir in oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Slowly add in lemon juice, stirring well. After adding juice of two lemons, taste and add more juice if you prefer the flavor to be more lemony. ( I did.)

Divide the marinade in half; use half to marinade the chicken and reserve the rest.

Put the chicken with half the marinade in a covered bowl or zip-top bag and place in the refrigerator, preferably overnight.

To grill chicken, use mesquite charcoal if possible. When fire is very hot, lay chicken pieces on grill, discarding the marinade. Grill chicken, turning once, (8-10 minutes per side, depending on thickness of the meat) until internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. While chicken is grilling, warm up remaining marinade (you can do this in a pot on the grill if there’s space.) Remove chicken from grill and dunk each piece once into warm, reserved marinade. Serve right away. Serves 4.
Note: My breasts were quite large, so I cut each half breast in half before marinading. Added the full amount of lemon juice and a bit extra garlic powder. Considered using fresh garlic and oregano, but honestly this is so easy and delicious it doesn’t seem necessary!


Tomato Gratin Lasagna

by Hilary Gauntt on September 1, 2017

Another recipe that requires ripe summer tomatoes! I don’t think of lasagna as either light or summery, but this lovely dish is both. Layers of beefsteak heirlooms alternate with no-boil lasagna noodles and ricotta cheese mixed with garlic and basil. In about half an hour, you have a wonderful side dish or a vegetarian main course. Better try this before the ripe tomatoes disappear! From Cooking Light magazine.

1 15 ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided

4 tsp. grated garlic, divided

1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided

3/4 tsp. black pepper, divided

4 lb. firm globe and beefsteak heirloom tomatoes (about 5 large), cored and cut into 1/2″ thick slices

6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 Tbs. white or red wine vinegar

Cooking spray

9 no-boil lasagna noodles (such as Barilla), divided

2 oz. whole grain bread, torn into pieces

2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir together ricotta, eggs, 1/4 cup basil, 2 tsp. garlic, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

Remove and discard seeds from one-third of the tomato slices. (if tomatoes are particularly seedy or juicy, remove seeds from one half of the tomatoes. Combine all tomato slices, 1/4 cup oil, vinegar, remaining two tsp. garlic, remaining 1 tsp. salt, and remaining 1/2 tsp. pepper in a large bowl; toss gently to combine.

Coat a 13 X 9 inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange 1/3 of the tomato slices in a single layer on the bottom of the baking dish; top with 3 lasagna noodles. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the noodles; top with 3 lasagna noodles. Arrange 1/3 of the tomato slices in a single layer over the noodles, and top with 3 remaining noodles. Arrange remaining noodles over top, shingling if necessary. Pour any tomato juices from bowl evenly over lasagna. Cover baking dish with foil, and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place bread in a food processor; pulse until coarse crumbs form, 4 to 5 times. Heat remaining 2 Tbs. oil in a large skillet over medium. Add breadcrumbs; cook, stirring often, until toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; cool 5 minutes. Add cheese and remaining 1/4 cup basil; toss.

Remove lasagna from oven, remove foil. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over lasagna. Return dish to the oven; bake at 375 until top is browned, about 10 minutes. Serves 8.

Note: I baked this at home in the afternoon to take to dinner with our friends. The tomatoes on the top didn’t completely cover the top layer of noodles, and they looked like they needed a bit more time. At dinner I popped it (room temperature) into a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes, and that did the trick. So you may need to cook this a bit longer. Also, I really like the idea of making the crumb topping from whole wheat bread, but may use white bread crumbs next time. The dark crumbs not as appetizing somehow.


Ina’s Summer Garden Pasta

August 26, 2017

What a fabulous almost no-cook dinner this is for a warm end-of-summer evening! The recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa At Home cookbook a decade ago, but Ina just posted it on her Instagram account and reminded all of her legions of fans this is what we should be making now! Four hours ahead, you […]

Read the full article →

Creole Shrimp And Creamed Corn

August 20, 2017

Looking for another way to use the wonderful summer corn? This is a fresh take on shrimp and grits, which I first tasted last year on a trip to Charleston. I thought it was so wonderful I ordered it for dinner two nights in a row. This recipe substitutes creamed corn for the grits, which […]

Read the full article →

Mustard Grill’s Sweet-and-Sour Coleslaw

August 10, 2017

Mustard Grill is our favorite stop for lunch when entering Napa for a wine country vacation. The locals have nicknamed it “the fancy rib joint with way too many wines.” I remember a curry slaw they were known for awhile back, but this one from their cookbook is also really special. Thinly sliced cabbage, bell […]

Read the full article →

Pork Chops With Dijon Sauce

August 2, 2017

Pork cooked with mustard, cream and white wine is a traditional dish served in the Burgandy region of France. In Normandy, sliced apples would be added. This recipe from Julia Reed uses bone-in pork chops simmered in this luscious combination of ingredients; and its as delicious as it sounds! I prefer to make it with […]

Read the full article →

Tomatoes with Herbs and Almond Vinaigrette

July 28, 2017

After many delays, Dan Kluger is opening his highly anticipated “Loring Place” restaurant in Greenwich Village next month. He has worked for a “who’s who” list of restaurateurs in New York City, and he chose the restaurant name for the area in New York where his father grew up playing stick ball on the cobblestone […]

Read the full article →

Peach and Arugula Salad with Blue Cheese

July 21, 2017

Oh those gorgeous juicy peaches are back, and this is my new favorite way to use them. The recipe came from (of all places) Parade Magazine. Perfect for a night when you already have the barbeque fired up, as you grill the peach slices for about a minute before tossing with arugula, red onion, blue […]

Read the full article →