Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Crunchy Granola

January 23, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, breakfast things, cereals, groups, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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crunchy granola

Granola and yogurt with half a banana is my go-to weekday breakfast. I used to make a big batch of my own cereal every couple of weeks, but then I got lazy and started buying it again. New York City, and Brooklyn in particular, is big in the small-batch granola scene (Surprised? I bet not.), and I have dutifully tried every little cutely packaged and expensive hipster brand I can find at local gourmet shops. Some are great, and some not so much, but homemade is even more delicious– and definitely cheaper– than the best brand I know of.

This Crunchy Granola reminds me of how fresh and easy to make homemade granola is. One of the best parts of going DIY is that you can customize your mix and put in all the bits and pieces you like the most (no thanks, goji berries). I like almonds and pecans, dried cherries, seeds and coconut in big chips. I like extra salt and a little less sweet stuff. I like it well-toasted and a combo of clumps and loose bits. One little trick that I usually do with my homemade granola is to toss the coconut on the tray (I use a metal sheet tray) at the very end, turn the oven off and let the tray cool down along with the oven…extra crunchiness without burned coconut. Oh, and never add the dried fruit until the granola’s out of the oven and cooled. I’ve screwed that one up before and it doesn’t taste good. This batch was just perfect though and I’m already looking forward to tomorrow’s brekkie.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Bircher Muesli

August 29, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Posted in around sydney, breakfast things, cereals | 19 Comments

bircher muesli

Despite my love of oats, muesli has always had bit of a negative connotation for me.  Why would I ever want that dry, sawdusty stuff when I could have deliciously toasted granola instead?  It wasn’t until we were living in Sydney, where it’s a café breakfast staple, that I finally discovered Bircher muesli.  Oh, Bircher muesli…where had you been all my life?  Better late than never, I guess.

With Bircher muesli, dry oats are soaked for at least a couple hours (overnight’s best), eliminating the whole sawdust thing.  While you could use any number of liquids (such as OJ, milk or water) as your soaking medium, I prefer the light, neutral sweetness of apple juice.  Next you add in lots of tasty bits…yogurt, fruit and nuts.  Here I used grated red apple, along with strawberries, blackberries, sliced almonds, hazelnuts and unsweetened coconut flakes, but it’s really anything goes with the fruit and nuts.  (Sliced peaches are incredible in this, as is rhubarb compote!)  To me, the grated apple is the only really essential fruit, both for moisture and texture, so I would definitely not omit that.  I’ve used all types of apples in the past, though, red or green..whatever you have…grate them skin-on.

This is such an easy and and satisfying breakfast, and a great way for oat lovers to get our fix when it’s hot outside.  Thank you Maximilian Bircher-Benner!

Bircher Muesli– makes 2 large or 3 small servings

1 cup rolled oats (the “old-fashioned” kind)
½ cup + 2 T unsweetened apple juice
½ of a coarsely grated apple
5 oz plain yogurt
pinch of ground cinnamon
handful of toasted nuts and/or coconut flakes
handful of fresh berries and/or sliced stonefruit
honey or maple syrup for drizzling

-Put the oats and apple juice in a lidded container and leave in the refrigerator to soak overnight.

-The next morning, stir the grated apple, cinnamon, yogurt and half of the toasted nuts and/or coconut into the soaked oats. Spoon into bowls and top with fruit and remaining nuts.  Drizzle with honey or maple syrup.

Breakfast Couscous

September 8, 2007 at 6:04 pm | Posted in breakfast things, cereals, out of town | 18 Comments

breakfast couscous

Sounds weird, right?  Maybe even a little gross?  No, bear with me…it’s good.  Honest.

R and I were in Shanghai in August.  It’s a crazy city– crowded, and with tons of new construction going up all over the place.  In the middle of it all, I ran into someone I used to work with in New York years ago in my past life as an investment banker.  But that’s a different story.

As a break from stuffing ourselves with crab xiao long bao , we headed over to a “western” cafe in Pudong called Slice for breakfast one morning.  I wanted to go there because I had read that a Shanghai-based baker from New Zealand named Dean Brettschneider makes the breads.  I am a big fan of his book Taste (and am searching secondhand bookstores for his previous and now out-of-print book Baker…if anyone has it, are you taking bids?), so I naturally wanted to try his stuff.  I happily munched away on the best bagel and rye bread I’ve had since leaving NYC, while Rich ordered this couscous stuff off the menu.  It had dried fruit and nuts, yogurt on top and just a touch of sweetness. 

I was poking through the pantry the other day, and noticed that I had just enough couscous left for one person.  Why not make breakfast couscous with it the next morning?  I completely eyeballed everything, so I won’t give a hard and fast recipe, just a basic guideline. 

breakfast couscous

Breakfast Couscous
this would also be good with some sweet spices, like a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom, mixed in

-Make as much couscous as you like (for one serving, I used 1/2 cup of dried couscous), according to package instructions, but add a touch of honey to the hot water so it can be absorbed into the couscous along with the liquid.

-Put as much dried fruit as you want to use (I used a handful of dried apricots, chopped, and some dried cherries) into a small bowl and cover with boiling water to plump while the couscous sits.

-When your couscous has absorbed the water and softened, fluff it up with a fork. Drain the dried fruit and mix into the couscous.

-Portion into serving bowls.

-Sprinkle with nuts (I used chopped almonds, but pistachios would be great, too) and top with a couple of spoonfuls of plain yogurt.

-Drizzle honey on top.

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