Saturday, May 30, 2015

Bag-Ripened Tomatoes

A lot of fuss is made in the markets about "vine-ripened" tomatoes.  Sure, it's great if you can leave a tomato on the plant until it's ripe, pick it, and use it within an hour.  What the grocery stores don't tell you is that, in order to wait until a tomato is ripe before it is picked, they have to refrigerate it immediately and keep it cold at all stages of transport and storage, or it will get too ripe in the days to a week before you buy it.  To be fair, that is how all tomatoes are treated, even if they're picked mostly green.  Unfortunately, that means that most Americans do not really know what a tomato tastes like.  The taste and texture are killed below 50º.  What we get in the produce aisle is a pale imitation of a real tomato.  The ones in cans were not of the correct size or had imperfections and were processed immediately, making them taste slightly better than fresh.
Day 1
I have three different varieties of tomato growing: cherry, beefsteak, and Bradley.  After almost drowning Brad last year, he has become a hearty plant and is putting out good-sized fruit.
Day 2  Already ripening
The squirrels, birds, and other wildlife in the neighborhood love Brad.  And the beefsteak and cherry tomatoes are prone to attracting pests.  I sprayed everyone with a semi-organic compound that smells like an Indian restaurant, but that mostly keeps away the bugs.  If I want a home-grown tomato, I have to pick it within a day of noticing the color change.  I've gotten very good at predicting how long it will take them to ripen in a bag.
Day 3
As fruits ripen, they give off ethylene gas.  This makes other fruits want to ripen, which is why clusters of tomatoes tend to turn red at the same time.  If you want to ripen a tomato, pear, banana, plum, avocado, or other fruit that is commonly bought under-ripe, put it in a paper bag and fold it closed.  The ethylene gas becomes concentrated and accelerates the process.  Use a paper bag and not plastic.  Plastic will make moisture collect and rot the fruit.  You also want a little fresh air.  Do not wash the fruit first.  Never wash fruit or vegetables until you're ready to use them.  They last longer because imperfections are less likely to develop mold.  I just wiped the tomatoes with a paper towel and put them in the bag.
Day 4  You can really see the pink of the Bradley
Do check the bag regularly, about once a day.  Once the tomatoes are fully ripened and slightly soft to the touch, you can wash them and slice up the most flavorful, slightly sweet tomato you've ever had.  The bag becomes an ongoing project, like sourdough, as more of your tomatoes start to ripen.  It almost becomes like opening a present, trying to see which ones have magically ripened overnight to grace your salad or other recipe.  The batch I started in the Day 1 photo topped some Ultimate Margherita Pizza.
Day 5  Some old friends, mostly new

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Chickpea Veggie Burgers

I tried to play the "don't go to the grocery store" game again.  I had already started soaking the garbanzo beans when I realized that my original idea to put these on gorditas wasn't going to work.  You shouldn't put a fried patty on a fried bun.  So I picked up some hamburger buns and sweet potatoes to have on the side, plus a couple little things I had prepared to do without for a few days.  I love grocery shopping on my days off, but forcing myself to go on the way home from work is exhausting.

I started with this recipe from BBC Good Food, then had to estimate non-metric measurements.  Complicating it even more, I chose to use leftover matzoh meal instead of breadcrumbs.  I think I didn't use enough, because they kind of fell apart.  Either that, or I added too much lemon juice.  Half of one of my lemons is considerably more than half a market lemon.  I also think I over-processed the mix.  This does not affect the taste of the burger, just its texture.

These are easy to compare to falafels because both are chickpea-based and have some of the same flavorings.  Plus, they leant themselves to a yogurt dressing instead of mayo or ketchup.  I was also reminded of the lentil patties I made once.

1 15oz can chickpeas or 2/3 C dry
*1 large carrot
*1 lemon
1 tsp cumin
*1 clove garlic
*1 bunch coriander (cilantro)
1 egg
1/4 C breadcrumbs
*1 small red onion
olive oil
kosher salt
ground pepper

1.  If using dry chickpeas, soak for at least 18 hours and drain.  Simmer for 1 hour in lightly salted water and drain.  For the can, drain and rinse.

2.  Get out the food processor.  Peel carrot and cut off ends, then use the processor's shredder to grate it.  Switch to the regular blade.  Add zest of the lemon and the juice of half of it (about 2 Tb).  Cut onion in half.  Hang onto half of it for burger garnish and coarsely chop the rest.  Toss in processor, along with chickpeas, cumin, garlic, breadcrumbs, egg, a generous sprinkle of pepper, a pinch of salt, and half of the cilantro.  Pulse until well mixed, but not completely puréed.  Refrigerate for 30 min to let it firm.

3.  While that's resting, you can make up your garnishes.  Slice the onion, maybe slice a tomato and some cucumber, and pull off the toughest stems from the remaining cilantro.  I made a dressing by combining a 6 oz container of plain Greek yogurt with about 1/4 tsp dried dill and 1 Tb chopped fresh mint.

4.  When ready, heat 1 Tb olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  The original recipe made four fat burgers.  Mine wouldn't hold height and I made 8 thinner ones.  Fry for about 4 minutes per side, until well browned and crispy.  Toast hamburger buns, slice pitas, or go healthy with whole-grain rolls. Place tomato and/or cucumber on bottom to support the patty, then the patty itself.  Top with cilantro leaves and a dollop of yogurt or other sauce of choice.

Difficulty rating :)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Persian Rice

This was in the running for my Purim dinner, being Persian, but I never got around to it.

So what makes Persian rice different than others?  First off, no, I didn't burn it.  What you see in the picture is actually slightly lighter than it's supposed to be, but I was trying very hard not to burn it.  That brown crustiness is called tahdig, and is the intended result of this process.  Persian rice is drier and looser than your average long grain rice.  At least, it's supposed to be.  Mine was a touch sticky because I used Jasmine and you're supposed to use Basmati rice.  Since I prefer sticky rice, I didn't mind, but you should really use the basmati if you're going for the authentic feel.

This being my first time trying to make it, I faithfully followed the post from My Persian Kitchen.  (Except for the Jasmine rice part.)  You can see that her tahdig was much crispier than mine and you could crack it with a spoon.  Her photos of the process are so detailed that I didn't take many, and I can't really simplify the method.

I did feel horrendously guilty about how much water this took, just to make four servings.  Rinsing, soaking, cooking, doing the dishes… Gallons.  Can't use the shower bucket for that!  I need to start thinking about water usage when I decide what to cook.

1-1/2 C basmati rice
2 Tb plain yogurt
pinch sugar
pinch saffron
1 Tb vegetable oil

1.  Wash rice in a bowl several times, until the water is clear, to remove the surface starch that milling creates.  Fill bowl with more water and a touch of salt, and let the rice soak 4 hours or overnight.

2.  In a large NON-STICK saucepan, bring 4-1/2 C water to a boil.  In a little side cup, grind together sugar and saffron into a powder.  Add 2 Tb of the boiling water to it and let it dissolve while you go back to the main pot and add 1 tsp salt.  Drain rice and add to boiling water.  When water returns to the boil, cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until mostly cooked and very little standing water remains.  Stir it a couple of times during this step to ensure even cooking.
3.  While the rice is cooking, combine saffron water and yogurt in a bowl.  (I used the one I had soaked the rice in.)  Drain cooked rice in a sieve and rinse with cold water to stop it cooking.  Rinse out pot, then add 1 Tb water and 1 Tb oil to bottom of saucepan.  Swirl it around the bottom of the pan until you have a layer of oil and water a couple of millimeters thick.  The oil will fry the rice to get the dark color, and the water will turn into steam and work its way up into the rice.  Also, they will work together to keep the rice from sticking to the pot.

4.  Spoon about 1/4 C of the cooked rice into the yogurt and mix until combined.  Spread this in a thin layer on the bottom of the saucepan.  This is going to be the tahdig.  Spoon the rest of the rice over it, making sure to cover all parts of the yogurt mix.  Tap the rice a couple of times with the back of the spoon to make steam holes.

5.  Return pot to the heat and cook, uncovered, on high for 8 to 10 minutes.  You're going to hear the tahdig frying.  The first instinct is to panic that you're burning your rice.  Just watch the kitchen timer.  Once the ten minutes are up, turn the heat down to the simmer that you're used to when making rice.

6.  This step, I'm going to start using every time I make rice.  Wrap the inside of the lid with a kitchen towel.  It's going to absorb the steam so it doesn't drip back down onto the rice.  And the handles on my lids are metal and I always need to use a towel or oven mitt to lift them anyway.  Cover the saucepan with the wrapped lid and cook on the lowest setting for one hour.  Yes, a full hour.  For white rice.  I know.  On the other hand, that's when I put my chicken in the oven so they would be done at the same time.  You have to plan your meals like that.

7.  Now, for the reason you used a non-stick pot.  Turn off the heat and get a plate slightly larger than the saucepan.  Invert it over the pan, then flip the whole thing over.  With luck, you'll get a solid thunk to tell you that the rice turned out in one-ish piece.  Remove the saucepan to find out how you did.  Ta-da!  From what I understand, the "perfect" tahdig is a mixture of practice and luck.  After making this once, you'll have some idea how your saucepan is at browning and whether or not you used enough oil, cooked it the right amount of time, etc.

Difficulty rating :-0

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mix vs Scratch

After the borderline debacle of the carrot muffins, I decided to haul out a cake mix I'd gotten on clearance before Passover for the next treat I brought to work.  It got me thinking about why we use the mixes, until I broke down the pros and cons.  I really need to get a radio for work.  Two hours by myself is way too long to be alone with my thoughts.  While I was setting up bacon after only 3 hours of sleep, I started to make up a children's book called The Yummy Little Pig.

Anyway, some insight into why we use manufactured cake mixes:
  • Consistency.  You get the exact same result every time.  And it's generally a proven recipe that people like and therefore continue to buy.
  • No measuring.  It saves you very little time in real life, maybe three minutes, but the "Dry Team", as Alton Brown calls it, is pre-measured and mixed for you.
  • Convenience of ingredients.  People who bake a lot won't notice this, but those who only do it on special occasions may not have baking powder, or cocoa, or cake flour, or even vanilla extract.  For these folks, they don't have to buy several ingredients that they will never use again.  What the box has you add is generally ingredients they expect everyone to have at home: water, eggs, oil, and sometimes milk.
  • Price.  Again, not really an issue for those who bake a lot, but it saves money for someone who doesn't need a whole can of baking powder for one teaspoon.  The cheap ingredients are in the box, which the company can then sell inexpensively because they make it in bulk.

But there are also reasons to bake from scratch:
  • Changing the batch size.  You've seen me make 1/3 and 1/2 cake batches often, either as a way to try a new recipe or because I have a smaller group to feed.  I also did some massive math when I made Techie and Writer Smurf's wedding cake, which was several batches of an already large recipe.  Throwing a double or triple batch of a boxed cake mix into a 14" round x 3" cake pan would be a risky venture.  It may turn out fine, or it could implode under the unexpected weight.  For this mix, I did split it up into 12 cupcakes and one 6" round.  Being a deep pan, the 6" did not rise evenly and cracked a lot.  Frosting.
  • Unique recipes.  While there is a greater variety of cake mixes on the shelf than there was even a few years ago, sometimes you feel like making something that doesn't exist.  Yes, there are plenty of semi-homemade recipes that combine the convenience of a mix and the creativity of a from-scratch recipe.  Aside from commercial frosting mixes, I'm not always impressed.  If you're going to all that trouble, just spend a few extra minutes measuring out the dry ingredients.
  • Bragging rights.  Let's face it, being able to say you baked a cake from scratch nowadays makes you look awesome.  Frankly, baking it from a mix instead of picking one up at the market is pretty impressive.  And we all know that anything home-made doesn't have nearly as many calories as something from a box.  (That was a joke; not having nutrition information listed should never imply that your own food is healthier.)

Regardless of which way you go in your own kitchen, everyone will love you for presenting them with cake.  There's just something special about cake day.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Cilantro-Lemon Chicken

The reason I tried to grow cilantro a couple of years ago was because I always have too much left over after the reason I bought it.  May 6th, I was still staring at most of the bunch I got for Cinco de Mayo.  I went into Pantry Project mode, just to see if I could make use of what I had lying around instead of grocery shopping.

My garden may not be as productive this year, but I have some things to harvest.  That pile of not-chicken on the left in the photo are the last little artichokes of the year.  Four barely made the one serving, they were so small.  If they hadn't been enough, I was going to throw in some carrots from the last bag I bought.  Tomatoes have been ripening, too.  The eggplant is finally starting to flourish, despite the half-inch long grasshopper that has been treating it like a Vegas buffet.  We may have to move on from Neem oil to actual pesticide.  And I have so many lemons on the tree right now, it didn't make sense to go out and pick up the more traditional limes.

PS, the marinade makes a decent salad dressing.

*1/2 C lemon juice
1/4 C olive oil
*1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp K salt
1/2 C cilantro leaves
1 lb boneless/skinless chicken breast

1.  Place lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt, and cilantro in the blender and run it on high until thoroughly blended.  For some reason, my garlic refused to pulverize.  Must have gotten stuck under a blade.

2.  Place chicken in a small casserole, just big enough to fit comfortably.  Pour marinade over chicken, cover with plastic wrap, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight.  Turn chicken periodically.

3.  An hour before serving, preheat oven to 325º.  Remove plastic wrap and cook uncovered until juices run clear when pierced, about 45-55 minutes.  You can add vegetables for roasting to the pan, like carrots, squash, potatoes, etc.  Allow cooked chicken to rest 5 minutes before slicing.  Serve with pan sauce and extra cilantro for garnish.

Difficulty rating  π

Friday, May 15, 2015

Triple-Cheesy Tamales

This is the tamale version of a grilled-cheese sandwich.  It was coming up on Cinco de Mayo and I had various things in the middle drawer that were going to go bad if I didn't do something with them.  The little bits only added up to enough for ten tamales, but that was all the corn husks I had left in the bag, so it worked out well.

I know, you're probably thinking it's not worth the effort for only ten tamales, but it wasn't a big deal.  Wrapping dozens of the things is a chore.  This was just like a more elaborate than usual dinner.  If I had done the beans out of the can instead of making not-refried from scratch, the active work time would have been about half an hour.

1 C masa harina
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika or chili powder
1 C low-salt vegetable broth
*1/4 C cream cheese
*2 oz crumbled feta cheese
*1/2 C shredded cheddar
1  Roma tomato, diced
10-12 corn husks

1.  An hour before starting, soak the husks in boiling water.  Leave them in there to soften until needed.

2.  In a bowl, stir together masa flour, baking powder, salt, cumin, and paprika.  Stir in vegetable broth to make a paste.  In another bowl or stand mixer with the paddle, beat cream cheese until soft.  Beat in feta crumbles.  Add masa and beat until smooth.

3.  In another bowl (or wash out the first one and dry it), toss together the tomato and cheddar.  If desired, set aside some of the cheddar for later as garnish.  I had an extra small tomato off the plant and used that for garnish as well.  Oh, and some cilantro.  And Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

4.  Set up your steamer pot.  There should be an inch of water in the bottom and a steamer basket or colander should fit securely inside the rim.  Get the water simmering while you assemble the tamales.

5.  Lay a corn husk on a kitchen towel, pointy side toward you.  Spread about 3 Tb masa mix in center, then spoon 1 Tb of tomato mix on top.  Fold in the sides, fold up the point, and if you don't trust it to hold together use a strip of husk to tie it shut.  Place in basket, open side up, and move on to the next.

6.  When the masa, filling, and husks are all used up, place basket over the now lightly-boiling water.  Cover with a towel, put the lid on the pot, and steam for 90 minutes.  Check the water level every half hour or so.  Allow tamales to set and cool for about 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish as desired.

Difficulty rating :-0

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Chocolate Date Nut Loaf

I was perusing the Bible, looking for breakfast ideas, and the word Date caught my eye.  Then I read the recipe, and this is one crazy quick bread!  I suspect someone tried to do just chocolate and nuts, but decided it needed a special kick that also provided moisture and chewiness.  Instead of going for the obvious and picking raisins, the author tried dates.  This also allows you to reduce the amount of added sugar.  I decided to play along, but cut back on the walnuts after they took over the flavor profile of the carrot cake.  There's a similar recipe in Grandma's recipe box that uses cocoa powder instead of chips, but I decided to go for the more chocolatey version.

The cookbook warns you to make this the day ahead, and you really do need to.  Not only does it take a long time to bake, it takes twice as long to cool.  Plus, this kind of quick bread really needs half a day to rest before slicing so it doesn't fall apart.  Mine spent the night in the fridge.

I used my older copy of the Bible while I was making it, the one without calorie counts.  After the fact, I looked it up in the newer edition.  The whole loaf clocks in at over 4,000 calories.  With the ten slices I got out of it, that's still pretty intense.  I'm pretending that the half a cup of walnuts I omitted made more of a difference than they really did.  Or, I could just cut each slice in half again and make it a reasonable portion.  Nah.

3/4 C boiling water
1 C pitted dates, finely chopped
1 C semi-sweet chocolate morsels (6 oz)
1/4 C butter
1 egg
3/4 C milk
1 tsp vanilla
2-1/2 C flour
1 C chopped walnuts or pecans
1/3 C sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

1.  Chop the dates and place in a small bowl.  Pour the 3/4 C boiling water over them and let sit while you prep everything else.  Chop nuts if you bought whole and set aside.  Melt chocolate and butter either over a double boiler or in the microwave (30 second increments, stir) until smooth.  Beat together egg, milk, and vanilla.
2.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease a standard loaf pan.  Note I'm doing this after the ingredient prep.  Step 1 takes longer than it takes an oven to preheat.

3.  In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  Stir in the walnuts. Being coated with flour first will keep them evenly distributed in the batter.

4.  Add the milk mixture and dates with their water.  Stir until just moist.  Add chocolate and stir until it is as distributed as you want.  I was going for a slightly swirled look, and it ended up a little more mixed than I expected.  You can also go for completely uniform, which is what the authors intended.

5.  Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake.  The recipe said 1 hour, 10 minutes.  I started checking after 45 and it was closer to an hour.  You don't want it to "brown", because by the time you can see browning on a chocolate cake, you've burnt it.  Stick a toothpick in the crack to get to the middle without leaving marks.  There will be some streaks of melted chocolate on the toothpick, but you shouldn't see or feel gooeyness.

6.  Cool cake in pan for at least 10 minutes.  It will be too fragile to remove before that.  Carefully turn out from pan and cool thoroughly, at least one more hour.

7.  To serve, refrigerate cooled cake a couple of hours, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.  Slice with a serrated bread knife through the wrap to reduce tearing of the cake.  Remove plastic strips and serve either room temperature or warmed.

Makes one loaf, 8 to 12 slices

Difficulty rating  :)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Carrot Cake

Some of the people at work requested carrot cake, which I found surprising because they're all into healthy eating and exercise.  This is as close as most of them get to eating poorly.  And we work at a bakery...I know.  I decided to do this recipe as cupcakes for easier portion control, even though icing a layer cake isn't all that hard.  It also gave me the freedom to cut any recipe I chose in half and make less.  Oh, and because we were at a mandatory evening meeting and I was only going to get three hours of sleep before my next shift at 1 am.  Yes, I'm the one who wanted to be a baker….

When I went online to research recipes, my internet went out.  I actually had to - gasp - get out a cookbook!  In the process, I rediscovered the Treasury of Country Cooking, which is three small cookbooks from the '70s bound as one.  I have to make more of those recipes.  It's all down-home stuff that would have been common in the '60s.  Real comfort food, and most can be made without any fancy gadgets.  That didn't stop me from shredding the carrot in the food processor and whipping the frosting in the stand mixer, but neither is required.  The third book's carrot cake recipe was what I had in mind, including the recipe for frosting.

The only thing I ended up not liking about this version was the lack of height.  The recipe specifically states that it is for a rectangular pan, but I was making muffins.  They came out flat.  Moist, properly baked, and maybe a little more on the nutty side than I expected, but as flat as you wish more cakes would end up.  If you want crowned muffins, or even some height to a full sheet, add a teaspoon of baking powder to the recipe.

2 C sugar
2 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
[1 tsp baking powder]
1 tsp salt
1 Tb cinnamon
1-1/2 C vegetable oil
4 eggs
*3 C grated carrot (about 3 large)
*1 C chopped nuts (optional)
1 tsp vanilla

1.  Grease and flour a 13" x 9" x 2" cake pan or two 8" round pans or prepare muffin pans for 2 dozen.  Preheat oven to 350º.

2.  Sift together sugar, flour, soda, [baking powder,] salt, and cinnamon.

3.  In a separate bowl, beat eggs, oil, and vanilla.  Slowly stir into flour mixture until moistened.  Add carrots and nuts and mix until evenly distributed.

4.  Spread in pan(s) or portion into muffin liners.  Bake for 20 minutes, then start testing every 5 for doneness with a toothpick.  The muffins should be ready before 30, the large cake as long as 40.  Cool in pan.  The large cake may be iced in the pan, or you can turn out the smaller versions to ice separately.

1/2 C butter (not margarine)
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb powdered sugar

1.  In stand mixer with paddle, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy.  Add vanilla and incorporate.  Beat in powdered sugar a little at a time until frosting is stiff and fluffy.  If desired, set some aside to color for those cute little carrot decorations.  I was tired and reserved a handful of whole walnuts.

2.  If frosting is too soft, refrigerate for half an hour before using.  A frosted cake must be refrigerated or eaten within 4 hours.  Unfrosted, it can be left at room temperature for 24 hours.

Serves 16 to 24, depending on shape and portioning

Difficulty rating :-0 for shredding/grating the carrots

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Blackberry Rhubarb Jam

I cracked open the last jar of guava jam from last year and realized I needed to do some canning.  While I'm not a huge jam person, I am a scone person and like toppings on hand at all times should the urge to whip up a batch strike.  Jam on matzoh is also pretty good, if I don't feel like baking for tea time.

Blackberries were on sale, but not exactly what I had in mind.  Then I saw some fresh rhubarb and decided to put the two together.  Rhubarb blends well with berries of all kinds, as they both have that sour and tangy undertone.

As for the debate over whether rhubarb is a fruit or vegetable, botanically it's a veggie.  It is classified as a fruit because it is so sour that everyone adds lots of sugar to it and treats it like a fruit.  The debate always makes me think of the song "Veggie-Veggie, Fruit-Fruit" from Epcot's Kitchen Kabaret that closed many years ago.

I use a lot of lemon juice in my canning because I get the lemons off the tree instead of using bottled juice like you're supposed to for consistent acidity.  I'm sure my canned goods are safe, but I put in a little extra insurance.  At the very least, it keeps the colors bright for months.  If you're using juice out of the lemon, go with the 3 Tb in the recipe.  From a bottle or not canning, you can do 1 Tb and add the other two as water, if you even need it.

1/2 lb rhubarb
6 oz blackberries
3/4 C sugar
3 Tb lemon juice

1.  Cut the rhubarb stalks in half lengthwise, then 1/4" cuts (like celery for tuna salad).  Slice the blackberries in half through the core.  Place the fruits, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and heat over medium until boiling.  If canning, start setting up a water bath and jars for a 1 pt yield.
2.  Stir jam periodically as it approaches a boil.  It will be giving off a lot of liquid to distribute.  You also don't want to scorch the sugar before it dissolves.  After a few minutes at a low boil, you will see a little scummy foam.  Skim that off with a spoon to reveal the jewel-like jam below.  Continue to boil until everything has broken down and the rhubarb fibers have separated, at least 30 minutes.  Skim off foam as necessary.

3.  Once jam is cooked and thickening, either portion into jars and process in a water bath for 12 minutes or cool in an open container in the fridge and use within a week or two.

makes about 1 pint

Difficulty rating  π  (maybe :) if you're canning)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Matzoh Granola

Oh, it's still going on.  There's slightly over two boxes left, and that's with having it on the side with soup for lunch.  I haven't made this much matzoh-based food in such a short time ever.  I was going to make some of my regular granola to take to work, then hit upon this notion.  There are plenty of recipes online, but they all look a whole lot like my regular recipe, so I just did that with a substitution of crushed matzoh by volume.

And I think this is my 600th post!  Not bad for almost five years.

For those of you who missed the other recipe

1-1/2 C crushed matzoh (2 sheets, or farfel out of the box)
1 C sliced or chopped nuts
1/3 C unsweetened coconut flakes
2 Tb brown sugar
3 Tb maple syrup or honey
2 Tb vegetable oil
1/4 tsp salt
up to 1 C mix-ins like dried fruit or chips

matzoh farfel
1.  Preheat oven to 250º.  In a medium bowl, combine farfel, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.  In a separate bowl, combine syrup, oil, and salt.  Pour syrup over the dry ingredients and stir to combine.  It's a hard sell to get it to stick to the matzoh.

2.  Spread out mixture evenly on a baking sheet.  Parchment will make cleanup easier, but it isn't critical.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes to check for doneness.  When the nuts look toasted and everything starts to dry, it's ready.

3.  Allow mixture to cool to room temperature before adding mix-ins.  Store cooled granola in a sealed container for up to a week.

Makes about 1 quart

Difficulty rating  π