Sunday, July 15, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Granola

What tastes like dessert but you can eat it for breakfast? This fabulous recipe for homemade granola.

My husband was craving chocolate granola last week but living in Hawaii the price of a small box of granola is about $7 and I'm not even sure I could find chocolate granola at our local country grocer. (I think my husband's parents spoiled us both by bringing us some chocolate granola from Europe. You can eat an entire box of that stuff with it's real European chocolate. Delicious!) 

This recipe is delicious in it's own right. I especially enjoyed the addition of coconut shavings and almonds to make an Almond Joy breakfast cereal. 

What I REALLY like about this recipe (besides the chocolate) is the technique of leaving the granola in the cooling oven overnight. I've made granola before and it takes a lot of time and tending as you stir the oats. If I'm not careful my granola will turn out overcooked on top and undercooked underneath. Worst of all, having the oven on for an extended period heats up my kitchen and we're all against a hot kitchen, aren't we? This process allows for the oats to dry out to a pleasant crispiness and saves me a lot of work!

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Chocolate Granola

1/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c canola oil
1/2 c honey
1/2 c cocoa
7 cups old fashioned oats
Optional ingredients: 1 cup mini chocolate chips, 2/3 cup slivered almonds, 2/3 cup coconut

  1. In a small sauce pan combine brown sugar, oil, and honey; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa.
  2. Place oats, nuts and coconut (if desired) in a large bowl and stir in the sugar/cocoa mixture. Thoroughly coat the oats with the syrup by stirring and then using the back of your spoon to press the oats and spread the syrup. If you're not opposed to sticky fingers you can mix with your hands to get better coverage. It may not seem like enough syrup but just keep stirring until all the oats are colored with cocoa.
  3. Spread the oat mixture in a 11x14 baking pan or 2 9x13 pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes turn off the oven. If you're adding chocolate chips, remove the pans from the oven at this point and sprinkle the chips on top before returning the pans to the oven. Yes, you read correctly. Leaving the pans in the oven 1-2 hours or over night helps the granola to finish cooking. Store in sealed containers or jars.
Who Dished it first? Lynn's Kitchen Adventures with slight alterations by me.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pulled Pork with Black Pepper Vinegar

We had a yummy Independence Day picnic this week. My sister was in town and when I asked her if she knew of any 'pulled meat' sandwich recipes she shared this Bobby Flay favorite found in her Good Housekeeping magazine. (Why not experiment with a new recipe on a holiday?!? That's how we roll in my house.) 
The pepper rub for the meat may seem intimidating but it's the perfect amount of spice. I especially liked the addition of the mustard vinegar to the sandwich. Delicious!

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Pulled Pork with Black Pepper Vinegar

1/3 c ancho chile powder
2 T sweet Spanish (smoked) paprika
1 T ground dried Oregano
1 T ground coriander
1 T dry mustard
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t chile de arbol powder or cayenne
kosher salt and pepper
1 bone-in pork shoulder (5-6 lbs.), trimmed
12 hamburger buns

Dressing:
1/2 c rice vinegar
1/4 c Dijon mustard
1 T honey
3/4 c plus 2 T canola oil

In a small bowl, combine all spices and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place pork on jelly-roll pan. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; rub spice mixture all over pork. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
Place pork in 6-quart slow cooker bowl. Add 1 can (14 oz) lower-sodium chicken broth. Cook, covered, on Low 10 to 12 hours or until tender when pierced with tip of knife and cooked through (165 degrees F).
In blender, puree vinegar, mustard, honey, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper. With blender running, add oil in slow stream until emulsified. Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Transfer pork to clean pan; cool slightly. Shred meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding bone and fat. Mound meat on platter; drizzle with some of vinegar sauce and any accumulated pan juices. Serve pork on buns with remaining sauce and topped with coleslaw. (My preferred 'slaw recipe is found HERE.)

Who Dished it first? Bobby Flay in Good Housekeeping July 2012
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