Cook the Book: Granola


I often add dried fruit (raisins, pineapple, or cranberries) to the granola.  If you do add dried fruit, don’t bake it; stir it into the granola just after you’ve taken the granola out of the oven.

1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups bran buds
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 250°.  Put the honey, oil, and vanilla in a small pot; heat until warm.  Mix the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl.  Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and toss thoroughly. Spread the granola evenly onto a large cookie pan (you may need two pans, depending on their size).  Cook for 1 hour or until the mixture is golden brown, stirring once or twice. Cool completely and store in a Ziploc bag or airtight container.

Makes 12 cups.

Granola in the photo has dried cranberries and ginger in it.

Cook the Book: Curried Lamb & Lentil Stew

Curried Lamb & Lentil Stew

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds lamb stew meat
2 large onions, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh pepper
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 cup red wine
3 cups beef stock
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup French lentils

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Season the lamb with salt and pepper and cook until browned.  Add the onions, carrots, garlic, ginger, curry, salt and pepper and cook until the onions are translucent (about 10 minutes).  Add the red wine and beef stock.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer until the meat is nearly tender (about 1 hour).   Add the potatoes and lentils and more stock if needed and continue to simmer until the potatoes and lentils are cooked (about 25 minutes).  Serve over polenta.

Serves 4 to 6.

Cook the Book: Green Olive Tapenade

Green Olive Tapenade

You can make the tapenade up to two weeks in advance.  It gets better with time.  This dip is great with goat cheese and spread on Crostini or crackers.

1 cup pitted green olives
2 tablespoons capers
2 anchovy fillets
1/2 cup packed fresh Italian parsley
2 cloves garlic
1/4  cup extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh black pepper to taste

Because the olives and capers are so salty you may want to soak them in fresh water for a few minutes to release some of the salt.  Drain them after soaking.  Purée all the ingredients in a food processor.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serve with Crostini.

Makes 1 cup