Gordon’s Christmas Muesli

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I’m a big sucker for both Gordon Ramsay, and Christmas. Especially Christmas, but I really respect Gordon Ramsay.

Because he wasn’t well known in the U.S. until he exploded onto food television, many Americans weren’t aware that he’d had a long, tough, distinguished and successful culinary journey up to that point.

And he still is successful. His restaurants have been awarded 16 Michelin stars.

Gordon, since we’re on a first-name basis, and Christmas are represented beautifully in a book called “Christmas with Gordon, published in 2010.”

I’ve bookmarked many recipes, and made a few since I first bought the book. But this year while looking through it, a recipe popped out at me that I thought would also make a great gift, which is Christmas Muesli.

It’s not an especially unique recipe, especially for Gordon Ramsay. Beef Wellington is typically associated with the Ramsay name. But I’m excited to make the muesli as gifts.

It’s been many years since I made my own granola. It was so healthy, that only I would eat it. Lots of raw grains, rolled grains, toasted grains, toasted nuts, toasted seeds and no sugar. Yep, that’s why I was the only one who liked it.

But this recipe doesn’t contain lots of sugar. Instead there are an abundance of dried fruits. And, it’s also pretty.

Here’s the recipe.

Christmas Muesli
Makes about 1.3 kg
printabe recipe at bottom

400 g porridge oats
75g unsweetened desiccated coconut
100g skinned hazelnuts
100g skinned Brazil nuts, roughly chopped
100g soft light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
180ml water
120ml groundnut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
75g pitted dates, roughly chopped
75g dried apricots, roughly chopped
75g dried cranberries
50g crystallized ginger, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.

Combine the oats, coconut, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, brown sugar, and ground spices in a large bowl. Mix well.

Whisk together the water oil, vanilla and salt and then stir into the dry ingredients.

Spread the mixture out in two large, shallow roasting trays.

Toast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring and swapping the trays occasionally, until the muesli is golden and crisp, checking frequently towards the end.

Leave to cool.

Stir in the dried fruit and crystallized ginger.


Store in an airtight container.

I found some tall containers that would be perfect for the granola, and used a plastic baguette bag to line them.

Much prettier!

Enjoy with milk or any milk substitute, or plain yogurt. It’s honestly the best granola I’ve ever had! I’ve already made another batch…

 

 

Peach Sauce

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I actually made this peach sauce in the early part of September, back when ripe peaches were abundant and fragrant. But I don’t think it’s inappropriate to post about this peach sauce in October, because the sauce is quite versatile. It can be kept refrigerated for an indefinite period of time, so it’s very handy for whenever you want to use it. It’s simply a peach-based sauce. I call it a sauce because it’s thicker than a syrup, but not as sweet and thick as a jam.

I really had nothing in mind except pancakes when I made the peach sauce. I love real maple syrup, but there’s nothing like a not-too-sweet syrup based on fruit. When I cooked for my children, I made many varieties of my own syrup, because that way, like with everything else home-made, you can control the ingredients. Ingredients like honey or agave nectar instead of too much white sugar and corn syrup. Plus, there are no additives and nothing unnatural.

But then I had company in mid-September – yes, I’ve had lots of company of late – and I thought of making yogurt parfaits for breakfast, using this sauce.

I find it challenging to figure out what to serve overnight guests for breakfast. Some friends of mine I can simply hand a yogurt to as they leave, but other guests expect something a little nicer from me. Plus, there are the egg people, the no-carb people, the bacon people, the smoked salmon people, and so forth. Sometimes I just want to wake up before my guests, have my Nespresso espressos, and pull something I’ve made ahead of time out of the fridge.

So that’s when I decided to make yogurt parfaits, using the peach sauce. I made yogurt parfaits for all the guests I had at the house the weekend of my daughter’s wedding. They seemed to be a big hit, so that’s what I’m making again.

I was inspired by a photo I saw once in a magazine of a yogurt parfait served in a trifle bowl. It was beautiful to look at, but you need a lot of company for that preparation. But a yogurt parfait served in an individual dish is also beautiful, so that’s what I’m doing again.

Peach Sauce

4 peaches
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Peel the peaches, then place them in a pot. Add sugar and lemon juice.sauce

Add a few drops of water, then cover the pot with a lid, and cook gently until you can see steam coming out of the pot. At that point, remove the lid. Stir the peaches well, then simmer over low heat until most all of the liquid evaporates.

sauce1

sauce2

Let the peaches cool, then run them through a food processor using the disc with the largest holes. You are just trying to remove the peels, for the most part.

sauce3

This is what the “sauce” will look like.
sauce4

If you prefer, you can use a funnel and keep it in a bottle and place in the refrigerator.

sauce5

To make the yogurt parfaits, simply layer the peach sauce in between yogurt, granola, and fresh fruits. If you make them a day ahead, the granola softens a bit, but I don’t mind that at all.

parfait1

note: Of course, you can add more sugar if you want a more syrupy sauce. I just personally don’t like anything that sweet. Especially for breakfast.