It’s a tough balance at the moment between writing posts that are relatively timeless and acknowledging that the reason we’re cooking and baking so much at the moment is because of a pandemic that’s forcing people all over the world to stay home. One of the things we’ve really been missing is eating out, so we’ve been trying to bring some of our favourite dishes into the home, resorting one weekend to actually having an NYC themed weekend complete with homemade pizza, bagels and a DIY dive bar in the living room.
One of the dishes that’s been missed, but relatively simply to replicate at home, was the jalapeño cornbread from Caravan in London. It’s a versatile cornbread, perfect as a side, a snack or as we served it, for brunch; fried, covered in chipotle butter, spring onions and fried egg.
A good cornbread recipe shouldn’t be difficult. It’s a simple mixture of polenta/corn flour (not cornflour, that’s a whole different thing), sweetcorn and jalapeño peppers. The main recipe simply calls for spring onions (scallions) mixed through, but if you replace some of that with chopped jalapeño peppers it gives an excellent spicy kick.
We serve this with a simple chipotle butter, just like the one they do at Caravan. You can find the recipe for both in their cookbook, but we only had chipotle paste to hand rather than chipotle chillis themselves, and it worked just as well with that.
Lockdown is still going. We’ve stocked up on dried goods but we’re avoiding going to supermarkets, opting mainly for a veg box delivery and buying dried goods like flour, nuts and seeds from specialised online stores or smaller local independent shops. We’ve been finding places like this to be well stocked and quieter. As such, access to normal cereal has been minimal, but access to the components to make granola has been significantly easier. So we finally felt it was time to try and make a homemade granola recipe.
I’ll keep this pretty simple. The key ingredients in this recipe are as follows, and you can mix and match some of the other bits.
Oil – we used butter
Syrup – we used a split of 50/50 split of honey and golden syrup, but different ratios and different syrups will work
Nuts – we used a mixture of different nuts but you can mix and match. Opt for a cheaper nut for the bulk like a walnut unless you’re feeling particularly flush. We also used some seeds.
The key is the oil and sugars as they’ll get the granola nice and crunchy and help it cling together. The types of nuts you use are less essential and more come down to flavour combinations, what you can get hold of and what you can afford to use. For clarity, we used almonds walnuts, pistachios, flaked almonds and pumpkin seeds. The main nuts being almonds and walnuts.
This recipe will make about 1kg of granola, you can multiply it to make more.
A simple granola with mixed nuts and desiccated coconut.
Servings: 20portions (around 50g each)
195gsyrup(we used a mixture of honey and golden syrup)
100gmixed seeds & flaked almonds(we used flaked almonds and pumpkin seeds)
150gMixed nuts(we used walnuts, almonds and pistachios)
Preheat your oven to 150°C (130°C fan assisted) and line a couple of large baking trays with greaseproof paper.
In a medium sized pan, melt the butter with the sugar, syrup and zest. You want the butter to have melted and combined but you don’t want the mixture to boil.
Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Pour the syrup and butter mixture over the dry ingredients, mixing well until all of the dry ingredients are coated.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking trays, making sure they’re well spread out and in one single layer on each tray.
Place the trays in the oven, baking for 10 minutes undisturbed.
Remove from the oven and turn the mixture in each tray. Return to the oven and keep checking every 5 minutes.
The granola will be done when the mixture has turned a golden brown colour. Be very careful not to overcook. It will likely still seem a bit soggy when you take it out, but it will crisp up as it cools.
Allow to cool completely in the trays and transfer to an air-tight container once cooled.