oats n' notes

Food & lifestyle from the the granola factory bakery

Category Archives: entertaining

Burrata with Heirloom Tomatoes and Toasted Bread

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Prep Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2-3

Ingredients

  • 1 ball of burrata
  • 1-2 heirloom tomaotes, 4 oz. each
  • 1/4 cup of capers, rinsed.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Finishing Quality Olive Oil
  • Fresh Basil
  • 1 loaf of rosemary-olive oil ciabatta
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

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Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice tomatoes, lengthwise in 1/3″ thickness. In a meausuring glass, combine garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil and microwave for 45 seconds. Let it sit for at least five minutes for the flavors to blend.

Arrange sliced tomatoes on a serving plate. Meanwhile, brush the bread with the olive oil and garlic mixture and toast in oven for 5-10 minutes. After toasted, add the bread to the plate, along with the burrata in a small serving bowl. Drizzle the remaining olive oil and garlic mixture over the tomatoes. Add the capers a few drops of balsamic vinegar, basil, parmesan and crushed maldon sea salt. Serve at room temperature.

Peach and Blueberry Pie

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Peaches and blueberries are two of the season’s best fruits. There flavors work great together in this pie recipe, and the homemade caramel adds a unique sweetness.

Makes 8 Servings

Pie Crust

  • 6 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 sticks + 6 Tbsp. salted butter, sliced into small chunks.
  • 1 cup of frozen Crisco, sliced into small chunks.
  • 1 cup of ice-cold water.

Pie Crust Directions

Process flour and salt to blend. The add butter and the Crisco and process until the dough has pea-sized pieces. There should be no big chunks of butter or Crisco in the mix.

Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl. Create a small well in the middle of the dough and pour 3/4 cup ice water into the well. Mix the dough with a fork until the pea-sized pieces become larger. The dough should be moist, but not too wet. You can add the remaining 1/4 cup of water if need be. Use your hands to form the dough into two large balls. Roll each dough ball out between two sheets of parchment paper. Refrigerate dough until ready to use.

Filling

  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon (scant) ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds firm but ripe peaches, peeled, halved, and sliced thin
  • 2 pints fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten to blend with 2 teaspoons water (glaze)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (cinnamon sugar)

Pie Directions:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Place foil-lined baking sheet in bottom of oven to catch any spills. Roll out 1 pie crust disk on lightly floured surface to 13 1/2-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Fold edges under and crimp decoratively, forming high rim (about 1/2 inch above sides of dish). Chill crust 30 minutes. Line crust with foil; fill with dried beans. Bake crust for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and take aluminum and beans from the crust. Put the pie crust back in the oven for another 15 minutes until it is pale and golden. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out second pie crust disk on floured surface to 13 1/2-inch round. Cut into 3/4-inch-wide strips. Place strips on prepared baking sheet. Chill while preparing filling.

For filling:
Combine 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl. Add peaches, blueberries  and lemon juice and toss gently to coat. Let stand 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 11 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter and cream (mixture will bubble vigorously); stir caramel until smooth. Strain juices from peaches into caramel; cool to lukewarm. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix the caramel and flour, and then add this to the peaches and blueberries; toss gently.

Take a handful of flour sugar and coat the bottom of the pie pan. This will soak of some the juices from the fruit to keep the bottom of the crust from becoming soggy. Then, transfer fruit filling to crust, mounding in center.

Arrange 6 dough strips in 1 direction across top of pie, spacing apart. Working with 1 strip at a time, arrange 6 more strips in opposite direction atop first, lifting strips and weaving over and under, forming lattice. Gently press ends of strips to edge of baked bottom crust to adhere. Trim overhang. Brush lattice strips (but not crust edge) with egg yolk glaze. Sprinkle strips with cinnamon sugar.

Bake pie 35 minutes. Tent pie loosely with foil to prevent overbrowning. Continue to bake pie until filling bubbles thickly and lattice is golden brown, about 25 minutes longer. Cool pie on rack.

Granola Croutons

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by Suzanne Virgilio

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE salads. Salads are the opening number to a dinner that introduces the season to be celebrated. I suppose one reason salads are so popular is that it allows us to eat something delicious and nutritious. What could be better? When it comes to making salads, in my world, the crunchier the better! I’m a huge fan of croutons, nuts & smoky flavors; so I thought, why not develop a crouton that incorporates all my favor things? Not only delicious, but also good for you! I hope you enjoy this blog offering; even if your salad is your meal, you are eating well!

Savory & Sweet Granola Croutons

Oven 350

Bake 10-15 minutes, until golden

Makes about a dozen 2-inch croutons

Ingredients

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • ½ cup Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup Granola Factory Honey Pecan Granola
  • ¼ cup oat flour
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp quinoa
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

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Procedure

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a liquid measuring cup combine the olive oil, egg white & honey. Combine well with a fork. Set aside
  • In a medium bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Give the liquid mixture a good stir again and pour over the granola mixture. Use a rubber spatula to combine.
  • Line a 9 X 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Spread the granola mixture onto the pan using an offset spatula. Spread to an even thickness (or thinness).
  • Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes until golden. Croutons will spread together and become one sheet.
  • Allow crouton to cool completely. Mixture will harden.
  • Once cooled break into crouton size pieces. Store in airtight zip lock until ready to use. Can be made 1 day in advance

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When the air becomes crisp and the leave begin to change colors, I crave this delicious reflection of the season’s offerings. Combine your favorite greens and garnish with your favorite apple slices, dried cranberries & shaved Parmesan Reggiano. The following vinaigrette completes a perfect fall or winter salad.

Enjoy!

Maple Vinaigrette

Makes approximately 1 cup

Store in refrigerator until serving

Allow to come to room temp. before serving

Ingredients

  • 1/4-cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup Canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp coarse grain Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 crushed clove of garlic

Procedure

  • Combine the first 5 ingredients in a liquid measuring cup or small jar.
  • Whisk mixture with a wire whisk or fork to combine.
  • Add 1 crushed clove of garlic and allow it to macerate in vinaigrette. Remove clove of garlic before serving

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Caramel Apple Pie Bar with Granola Crumble

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by Dea Castrejon

So, if you didn’t already know, here at the Granola Factory, we make the amazing, deliciously decadent and addictive Bethlehem Bars.  Yesssss, they are simply magnificent!  It is an oat shortbread cookie, topped with chocolate chunks, roasted pecans, homemade salted caramel, and shortbread crumbled on top!

Upon thinking up new granola recipes for this blog series, I thought it would be so great to do a bar!  And I am proud of this guy!  It is a salted caramel apple pie bar topped with a Native Berry granola crumble!  Do it…make it now!

CARAMEL APPLE PIE BAR WITH NATIVE BERRY GRANOLA CRUMBLE

Crust

2 sticks of unsalted butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 1/4 cups flour (reserve 1/2 cup for crumble)

Filling

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

Crumble

1/2 cup shortbread dough reserve

3/4 cup Native Berry Granola

Salted Caramel

2 cups granulated sugar

12 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon flaked sea salt

See posted link for directions on caramel: http://www.browneyedbaker.com/homemade-salted-caramel-sauce-recipe/

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Add the flour until just incorporated.
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Reserve 1/2 cup of the dough in a separate mixing bowl.  Add the granola to this and set in the refrigerator until later.
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In a parchment lined baking dish (I used an 8×8 pan), press the shortbread dough into the bottom of the pan.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until a golden tint starts to appear on the crust.
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While the crust is baking, peal and slice your apples.  In a mixing bowl, combine apples, flour, sugar, and cinnamon.
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Once crust is golden brown, add apple pie layer to the crust.
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Then add the crumble on top.  Finish it off with a light drizzle of salted caramel (the recipe is posted in a link above).
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Place the baking dish back in the oven for another 15 minutes.  Let cool for about 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
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Enjoy with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream and a drizzle of salted caramel!

Peach Muffins With Granola-Streusel

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peach muffin_cropped

by Suzanne Virgilio

These muffins always got rave reviews when served to guests at our inn, especially when “Scholl’s” peaches are in season. You will no doubt be asked to share this recipe as the possibilities of creating a different muffin is as easy as choosing whatever fruits are available throughout the spring and summer.

Yield: 2 dozen 4-inch muffins, or 1 dozen 6-inch muffins

Bake Time: 18-20 minutes for 4-inch muffins | 25-30 minutes for 6-inch muffins

Granola-Streusel Topping

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup Granola Factory Honey Pecan Granola
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, cut into pieces, softened
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Procedure

  1. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients
  2. Using clean hands or a pastry blender, cut butter into mixture until butter is incorporated and resembles small peas. Set aside.

Muffin Batter

  • 1-cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 12-16 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly spray muffin pans. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine butter & granulated sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  4. Add eggs, 1 at a time and mix after each addition.
  5. Add vanilla and mix.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine.
  7. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and fold to combine using a rubber spatula.
  8. Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups
  9. Top batter with sliced peaches and prepared granola-streusel.
  10. Bake according to size of muffin (see above) and test with a toothpick for doneness.
  11. Allow to completely cool before removing from pan.

Enjoy!

peach muffin

Crostini with Crumbled Bacon Granola Topping

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TAPAS CON FIONA

by Dea Castrejon

We had the pleasure of cooking tapas with a new friend of ours from Madrid, Spain. Fiona Redondo, one of my husband’s coworkers, is temporarily living here in Bethlehem for a six-month work stint.  During this time, we have been fortunate enough to meet up on a few occasions, where we have learned more about her, as well as the Spanish culture.

On our most recent visit, Fiona explained that “tapas en Madrid” is a very popular practice among the public on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, especially in the summertime. For anyone who is unfamiliar, tapas are appetizers, snacks or small plates of food in Spanish cuisine. These “tiny meals” are usually enjoyed with a company of friends over some sort of beer or wine. Fiona also explained that the serpentine streets of Madrid are heavily spotted with tapas bars, each known for certain specialties, and all are invariably packed with people for this weekly tradition.

So in honor of our wonderful new friend, and of course the utility of granola, we will be uniting a little bit of Spain with the taste of The Granola Factory.

Fiona and I put together a beautiful tapas plate: crunchy toast with fresh mozzarella, arugula, sliced peaches, and a crumbled, crispy mixture of bacon and honey pecan granola. The final touch to our plate was a drizzle of honey balsamic vinegar reduction. This is easily one of the prettiest pieces I have ever made, and I can attest, the taste matches the eye-appeal!

I am so excited to share this recipe with you!

Crunchy Toast with Crumbled Granola Topping

*Makes 24 crunchy toasts

1 sourdough baguette

7 pieces of bacon

1 cup Organic Honey Pecan Granola

1 ball of fresh mozzarella cheese

2 cups arugula

1 or 2 peaches, sliced

1 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoon of honey

Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Place the bacon on a foil lined baking sheet and cook for 8 minutes. Drain any grease, flip the bacon, and cook for another 8 minutes, or until crunchy. Set on stovetop to cool. Once cool, chop up bacon into small pieces (like “bacon bits”), and mix in with a bowl of granola. Set aside until you assemble your tapas.

While bacon is still cooking, you can gather and prepare the rest of your tapas ingredients. Slice peaches and fresh mozzarella. Set aside. Next, grab a small frying pan to start the honey balsamic reduction. Turn stovetop to medium high heat and pour in balsamic vinegar. Let this bubble up a little bit, stirring the vinegar every so often. As the vinegar starts to thicken (about 5-7 minutes), add honey. Not only does this help thicken the reduction more quickly, but the sweeter taste will certainly complement this dish.

Line another baking sheet with foil and cut baguette into ½ inch slices. Lay out the pieces of bread on the sheet and place in oven. Because the oven is sitting at such a high temperature, these pieces of bread will only take a couple of minutes to become crunchy (about 3-5).

Remove bread slices from oven and immediately start to assemble. Start with a piece of crunchy toast. Add a slice of mozzarella, a couple of arugula leaves, and a slice of peach. Top toast with a spoonful of the granola bacon mixture, and to end, drizzle about ½ tablespoon of reduction on each crunchy toast. Plate two pieces for each tapas dish. How pretty is that!

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IMG_2126 Apparently, the rule in Madrid is that you order one tapas and move on, but after tasting these bad boys, I think we will take another round of vino and tapas!

Enjoy! Or, as they would say in Madrid, “¡Buen provecho!”

Jicama, Grapefruit & Avocado Salad topped with Granola and Whipped Mascarpone

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SWANKY SUMMER SALAD

by Dea Castrejon 

Have you ever been thoroughly blown away by a new dish ordered at a restaurant?  As a foodie family, we are always trying new restaurants, waiting for those one-of-a-kind dishes to “wow” us.

Well, one of my favorite restaurant dish discoveries, to date, has been the Opaque Salad at the Pecan Grill in Lubbock, Texas.  This salad is so simple, so elegant, and it is constructed flawlessly!  Per the menu’s description: “Texas pink grapefruit, asian pear and avocado salad, constructed with whipped pecan praline mascarpone.”  Gosh, I love this salad, and it is so pretty!

Typically, when I find my favorite fares, I want to recreate them, so I can enjoy them whenever I want.  Not to toot my own horn, but I think my recreated recipe stands on par with the Opaque Salad served at the Pecan Grill.

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Opaque Salad…the Granola Factory way

*Makes 1 salad

1 asian pear (substitute 1/2 jicama in the summertime), peeled and cubed

1/2 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned

1/2 avocado, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons mascarpone

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced

2 tablespoons Granola Factory Organic Honey Pecan

Okay, this is pretty straightforward.

Step One: peel fruit skin off of asian pear or jicama (jicama is used below).  Cut into sugar-cube like squares.  Set aside.

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Step Two: repeat process with grapefruit.  Peel skin completely off.  Remove grapefruit from inner casing and section off into small pieces.

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Step Three: Cut avocado in half. Thinly slice, and when ready to serve, use a spoon to carefully scoop out the slices.

Step Four: pour balsamic vinegar in a small frying pan and turn on stovetop to  medium/high heat.  Stir often until vinegar thickens (5-7 minutes).  Turn on low, and get ready to serve.

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Step Five: Plate your dish.  I like putting the asian pear in the middle, sided by the avocado and grapefruit.  Top with a dollop of mascarpone, drizzle with balsamic reduction, and sprinkle with organic honey pecan granola. Enjoy!

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This salad has become a staple in my household.  With only 6 ingredients,  this recipe is fresh, vibrant, and enticing.  These three fruits blend ideally: creamy notes of avocado, juicy bursts of grapefruit, and the slightly sweet and crisp texture of the asian pear/jicama.  On top of this (literally), the creamy, rich mascarpone, couples with the sweet zing of balsamic reduction, while the roasted pecans and speckled granola flakes enhances the all around complex flavor of this delightfully refreshing salad.  Ditch the oven on hot summer days, and enjoy this salad that is sure to please!

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