"What's for Dinner?!" I'm always thinking about it, thought I'd share.

"What's for Dinner?!" I'm always thinking about it, thought I'd share.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Turkey Moussaka

Traditionally this dish is made with potatoes, yogurt, lamb or beef.  I am omitting all of these and substituting turkey.  It makes for a lighter version of this classic and a nice change of pace.

2 large eggplants (about 2 3/4 pounds), unpeeled and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus to taste
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups whole, peeled, canned tomatoes (with puree), roughly chopped
1 bay leaf

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons Pecorino Romano

Bake the eggplant: Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Brush the eggplant slices on both sides with the oil and lay on 2 small or 1 large foil-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake until the eggplant is soft, about 25 minutes. Set aside covered.

Make the meat sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the turkey, oregano, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon. Break the meat up into small pieces and season with the 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until just cooked but still slightly pink inside, about 1 minute more. Add the tomato and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Cover, and cook until the sauce is thickened and fragrant, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the milk, salt, and nutmeg. Return to the heat and while whisking constantly, bring to a boil. Simmer 2 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and stir to cool. When the sauce is cool, whisk in the egg and yolks.

Lower the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a 9 x 13 x 2-inch casserole dish with the oil. Scatter the breadcrumbs over the bottom of the pan. Lay half of the eggplant in the pan, overlapping the slices if needed. Cover with half of the meat sauce and smooth with a rubber spatula. Repeat with the remaining eggplant and meat sauce. Pour the custard sauce over the layered mixture and smooth with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle with the Pecorino Romano and bake, uncovered, until lightly browned and the custard is set, about 1 hour.

Remove the moussaka from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to serve on warm plates.  Enjoy!

Hungarian Goulash

4 tbsp. sunflower or canola oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
1 1⁄2 lbs. beef chuck, trimmed
   and cut into 1⁄2" cubes
1/2 c. Red wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground
   black pepper, to taste
1⁄4 cup sweet paprika
2 tsp. dried marjoram
2 tsp. caraway seeds
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, cut into 1⁄2" cubes
2 medium parsnips, cut into 1⁄2" cubes
1 1⁄2 #medium new potatoes, peeled
   and cut into 1⁄2" cubes
1 tomato, cored and chopped
1 Italian frying pepper, chopped

Heat oil in a 5-qt. dutch oven over medium heat. Add beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, stirring only once or twice, until the meat is lightly browned, about 6 minutes.

Add onions, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to high. Stir in paprika, marjoram, caraway, and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add wine and using a wooden spoon, make sure to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pot.  Reduce liquid by half.  Add carrots, parsnips, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Simmer, covered, until the beef is nearly tender, about 40 minutes.

Add potatoes and cook, uncovered, until tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and peppers; cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with rye bread, if you like.  Serve and Enjoy!

SERVES 4 – 6

Weekly Menu Feb. 18th - Feb. 22nd

Chicken and White Bean Cassoulet

Pasta Bake with Sausage and Fennel

Turkey Moussaka

Vegetable and Bean Enchilada

Hungarian Goulash
Brown Rice with Peas

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Italian Rice and Peas

5 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 garlic clove
1 medium onion, quartered
1/4# sliced pancetta
2 (2- by 1-inch) strips lemon zest
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 (10-ounce) box frozen baby peas
1 c. Arborio rice
1/3 c. grated parmesan

Bring broth to a simmer in a saucepan, then keep at a simmer.

Meanwhile, turn on a food processor and drop in garlic, processing until finely chopped. Turn off processor, then add onion and pancetta and pulse until finely chopped.

Cook onion mixture with zest in oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring once or twice, until onion is softened and just beginning to turn golden, about 6 minutes.

Cook peas in broth 2 minutes. Strain broth into onion mixture, reserving peas, then stir in rice. Cook, covered, over high heat, stirring once after 5 minutes, until rice is al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in peas, cheese, remaining tablespoon butter, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Transfer to a warm bowl, serve and Enjoy!

Broiled Chicken and Artichokes

8 skinless boneless chicken thighs (2 1/2 pounds)
12 oz.  bottled marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered if whole
3 Tbsp.  extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
2 to 3 Tbsp. grated parmesan

Preheat broiler.

Toss chicken and artichokes with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then broil on rack of a broiler pan 3 inches from heat, turning chicken once (do not turn artichokes), until lightly browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Transfer chicken and artichokes to a platter and stir remaining tablespoon oil into chicken juices in bottom of broiler pan. Pour juices over chicken and sprinkle with parsley and cheese, serve and Enjoy!

Capellini with Shrimp and Creamy Tomato Sauce

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1# peeled large shrimp
3 large garlic cloves, forced through a garlic press
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 c. sweet (red) vermouth
1 (14- to 15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 c.  heavy cream
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2# capellini pasta

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook shrimp and garlic with oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, turning once, until golden, about 2 minutes total. Stir in vermouth and tomatoes, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet. Add cream and briskly simmer until sauce has thickened slightly, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice.

Meanwhile, cook capellini in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta.

Serve immediately on warm plates, topped with shrimp and sauce. Thin with some of reserved water if necessary.  Enjoy!

Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus with Parmesan

Ok, you got me, I'm already longing for Spring and the beautiful baby asparagus which goes so great with the nuttiness of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.  This is one of those recipes that I make year round, it's terrific.

1# asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1# Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 c.  grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in upper third.

Toss together asparagus, potatoes, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large shallow baking pan, spreading evenly. Roast, stirring once, 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and roast until cheese is melted and golden in spots, about 3 minutes more.  Serve and Enjoy!

Italian Sausage with Fennel, Peppers, and Onions

4 Italian frying peppers (Cubanelle) cut into 2-inch pieces

1 large fennel bulb, bulb quartered, then cut into 2-inch-wide pieces and 1/4 cup fronds coarsely chopped (discard stalks)
1 large onion, quartered and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 1/2 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage links, halved crosswise
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat broiler.

Toss together all ingredients except fennel fronds with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large shallow baking pan. Broil 4 inches from heat until sausage is browned and vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Turn over and stir, then broil until sausage is just cooked through and vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes more. Serve on warm plates, sprinkled with fennel fronds and Enjoy!

Yucatán Style Pork Chops

I find nothing warms up the cold weather like grilling meats outside and serving a warm weather meal.  This time of year I spend a lot of time pretending it's Summer already.  This recipe works with Chicken, Shrimp, and Beef, but Pork is most authentic.

2 c. water
3 Tbsp. coarse kosher salt
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. whole allspice
1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
4 large bone-in rib pork chops
(1) 11 3/4 x 8 1/2 x 1 1/4-inch disposable aluminum baking pan (to catch drips)
2 c. wood chips, soaked in water 1 hour
(4) 6 x 3 3/4 x 2-inch disposable mini aluminum loaf pans (for wood chips, if using gas grill)
1 large white onion with skin, quartered through core with some core still attached to each piece
1/2 c. fresh orange juice
1/2 c.  fresh lime juice
1/4 c. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro plus 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 small green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, sliced
1 bunch red radishes, trimmed, sliced
Warm corn tortillas

Stir water, kosher salt, bay leaves, allspice, and black peppercorns in medium bowl until salt dissolves for brine. Arrange pork chops in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Pour brine over. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour, turning occasionally.

For charcoal grill:
Remove top rack from barbecue. Place 1 aluminum pan in center of lower grill rack for drip pan. Light briquettes in chimney; carefully pour onto lower grill rack, forming piles on either side of drip pan. Drain wood chips; scatter wood chips evenly over coals. Return top grill rack to barbecue.

For gas grill
Remove top grill rack from barbecue. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). If using 2-burner grill, light 1 burner. If using 3-burner grill, do not light center burner. Drain wood chips. Stack 2 mini loaf pans (one inside the other); fill with 1 cup wood chips. Stack remaining loaf pans; fill with 1 cup wood chips. Place pans directly on flame (if using 3-burner grill, place both pans on 1 lit side). Place aluminum baking pan on unlit portion of grill. Return top grill rack to barbecue.

Grill onion quarters until browned (skin may burn), about 3 minutes per side. Cool and peel. Thinly slice and place in bowl. Add orange juice and lime juice. Season onion mixture to taste with salt. Mix in chopped cilantro.

Remove pork from brine; pat dry, then grill covered over drip pan until cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer to plate; let rest 10 minutes.

Arrange cabbage on platter. Top with pork, avocado, and radishes. Drain onion; scatter over pork and vegetables. Sprinkle chopped cilantro leaves over. Serve with warm corn tortillas and Enjoy!

Grilled Pork Chops with Saté Sauce

This make for a fast and easy take on a Southeast Asian specialty dish.  Serve it with steamed rice or cumin scented rice for a terrific, fast weekday meal.

1/2 c. unsalted roasted peanuts
1/3 c. well-stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbsp. water
1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp. roasted red-chile paste or red-curry paste (preferably Thai Kitchen)
1 1/2 Tbsp. Asian fish sauce
1 Tbsp. chopped shallot
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
4 thin (1/3-inch) bone-in pork chops (1 1/2 pounds total)

sliced cucumber; chopped peanuts; lime wedges

Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas).

Purée all ingredients except pork in a blender. Transfer to a small heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring, over medium-low heat. Thin sauce if desired with 1 to 2 Tbsp water.

Pat pork dry, then sprinkle all over with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
Oil grill rack, then grill pork, covered only if using a gas grill, turning once, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes total. Serve with sauce and Enjoy!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Banana Blueberry Muffins

It took me until the age of forty to learn that I am allergic to wheat.  Since then, I haven't touched the stuff.  It turned out to be the root cause of the migraine headaches I used to battle.  It also was the cause of tremendous lower intestinal issues.  Within days of cutting all wheat from my diet my energy level was soaring and in the first 90 days I lost about forty pounds without changing my excercise routines.  This was a real life changing discovery (I credit my wife, another story)!  From that point forward my quality of life has been unbelievably better!!  

So, here's a recipe for a wheat-free muffin which I make to take the edge off of the urge to have something I shouldn't.  It has become a staple in our house and is a very tasty alternative.  I found using the basic formula of almonds, flaxseed, baking powder, eggs, oil, and sour cream I can make any recipe that traditionally calls for wheat flour.  Omit the sugar and you can make any type of savory version you can think up.  I also make this in loaves for a bread alternative.

2 C. almond meal (Trader Joe's has it all the time)
1/4 C. ground flaxseed (Trader Joe's)
3/4 C. light brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
Dash of fine salt
1 very ripe banana
2 large eggs
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. vegetable oil
1 C. frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with oil (Pam or non-stick spray will do).  Combine the ground almonds, flaxseed, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and mix well with a spoon.

In another bowl, mash the banana until smooth.  Stir in eggs, sour cream, and oil.  Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients.  Mix thoroughly.  Fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them half-way.  Once complete, place muffin tin on a sheet pan and place in the center of the oven.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 45 minutes.  Remove from oven.

Cool in the muffin tins for 10-15 minutes.  Now, turn out the pan and transfer the muffins to a baking rack to cool completely.  Serve and Enjoy!

* Once completely cooled, you can store muffins
 in a zip locked bag in the refrigerator for a week and the freezer for a month.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Crab Louie Salad

San Franscico has long been credited for the creation of this iconic salad.  You could easily add poached shrimp to the mix or if you're really feeling decadent, chunked lobster meat!  Now, that's totally gilding the lily!!

For dressing-
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup-based chili sauce
1/4 cup minced scallion
2 tablespoons minced green olives
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon bottled horseradish
Salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2# jumbo lump crabmeat
Iceberg lettuce, shredded
Tomato wedges
Hard-boiled egg

In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, chili sauce, scallion, green olives, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, bottled horseradish, and salt and pepper to taste.

Pick over crabmeat, then divide among 4 chilled plates lined with shredded iceberg lettuce. Garnish with capers and wedges of tomato, hard-boiled egg, and lemon and serve with dressing.  Enjoy!

Chesapeake Bay Style Crab Cakes

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 small red and 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
1/4 C. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp. capers, drained
1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. Old Bay
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2# lump crabmeat, drained and picked to remove shells
1/2 C. Panko bread crumbs
1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten

For frying
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 C. olive oil

Place the 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons oil, onion, celery, red and yellow bell peppers, parsley, capers, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, crab boil seasoning, salt, and pepper in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat and cook until the vegetables are soft, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, break the lump crabmeat into small pieces and toss with the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and eggs. Add the cooked mixture and mix well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Shape into bite-sized crab cakes.

Heat the butter and olive oil for frying over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the crab cakes and fry for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until browned. Drain on paper towels; keep them warm in a 250 degree oven and serve hot.  Enjoy!

Caramelized Onion Dip

Years and years ago I found this amazing recipe from Ina Garten, without a doubt the queen of entertaining.  I've used it ever since and haven't found a better recipe.  This is the bomb!

2 large yellow onions
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 C. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. mayonnaise

Cut the onions in half and then slice them into 1/8-inch thick half-rounds. (You will have about 3 cups of onions.)

Heat the butter and oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions, cayenne, salt, and pepper and sauté for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes until the onions are browned and caramelized. Allow the onions to cool.

Place the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add the onions and mix well. Taste for seasonings. Serve at room temperature and Enjoy!

Super Bowl Party Menu

It's Coast against Coast, San Fran vs Baltimore, who's going to come out on top?  I know one thing, all my guests are going be winners with this dynamite party I'm concocting!  

"The best of San Francisco" vs "The best of Baltimore"

From Baltimore, representing The Ravens

Crab Cakes served with Cocktail Sauce and Tartar Sauce

Pit Beef Sandwiches with Horseradish Sauce

UTZ potato chips, Caramelized Onion Dip

Chesapeake Bay Party Nuts

Smith Island Cake

From San Francisco, representing The 49ers

Crab Louie Salad

Chinese Pork Fried Rice

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Peanut dipping sauce

"It's It"
(Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches dipped in Chocolate)

Baltimore Style Pit Beef Sandwich

It's Superbowl time and every year I pit one city's food against the others for a fun, delicious party for friends and family!  This year it's Coast against Coast, Baltimore vs San Franscico!  A long standing tradition in and around Baltimore is their awesome Pit Beef Sandwiches.  Although the city is not known for their BBQ, this sandwich is incredible.  I adapted this recipe by Steve Raichlen in the New York Times. Enjoy!

Beef Rub:
2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper

3# Beef top round
2-3 Tbsp. Vegetable oil

8 kaiser rolls or 16 slices rye bread
1 sweet white onion, sliced thin
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced thin (optional)
Iceberg lettuce (optional)

Horseradish sauce:
1 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. prepared white horseradish, or to taste
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste.

One or two days prior to cooking, prepare the beef round.  Combine ingredients for the rub in a bowl, and mix. Spread all over the beef, rubbing it into the meat. Place in a baking dish, and cover with plastic wrap. You can cover the beef with the rub for a few hours, but for maximum flavor, leave it for a couple days in the refrigerator, turning once a day.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Heat either a cast iron pan or heavy bottomed skillet over high heat.  Add oil and let smoke.  Carefully place beef in pan and sear all sides to crusty, dark brown.  Place beef into hot oven and cook to rare, about 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and transfer to a cutting board; let it rest 10 minutes.

Slice beef thinly across grain. Pile beef high on a roll or bread slathered with horseradish sauce. Garnish with onions, tomatoes and sliced lettuce. Serve and Enjoy!

Lamb Chops with a Turnip Purée, Spinach in Marsala

This is a terrific dish for a cold winter supper.  The thyme is infused into the meat for a scrumptious, classics flavor.

1 1/2 pounds turnips, peeled, cut into 1" pieces
Kosher salt
1/2 C. heavy cream
3 tsp olive oil, divided
2 1/2 # rack of lamb (1 or 2 racks), bones frenched (the bones are cleaned of meat and fat)
Freshly ground black pepper
5 sprigs thyme, divided
1 C. dry Marsala
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 bunches flat-leaf spinach, trimmed

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cook turnips in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water until tender, 10-15 minutes. Drain. Return to pan; add cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until cream coats turnips, about 4 minutes. Purée turnip mixture in a food processor or with an immersion blender until smooth. Cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Cook fat side down until brown, 5-8 minutes.
Turn lamb over. Tuck 4 thyme sprigs under; place in oven. Roast until medium-rare, 15-25 minutes. Remove and let rest on a plate for 10 minutes.

Drain fat from skillet; add Marsala. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring and scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet, until reduced by half, 5-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add garlic and remaining thyme sprig; stir until beginning to brown, about 1 minute; discard garlic and thyme sprig. Add spinach by the handful, tossing and allowing it to wilt slightly between additions. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 4 minutes.

Cut lamb between bones into chops and serve on a warm plate with spinach, turnip purée, and Marsala sauce.  Enjoy!

The Best Granola

This has become a staple in the house.  It's fantastic over yogurt, a bowl of fresh berries, hot oatmeal or just by itself.  You can mix it up with any nut or dried fruit you like, have fun with it.  Swap maple syrup or agave, for that matter, for the honey.  Each will give you a subtle shift of flavor.  Love chocolate, once completely cooled, throw a handful of chocolate chips into the mix, the kids will love it!

1 large egg white
3 C. old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 C. chopped nuts (such as almonds, pistachios, pecans, or walnuts)
1 1/2 C. coconut shavings
1/4 C. Honey
1/4 C. Vegetable oil
1/4 C. sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. (packed) light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 C. dried cherries or cranberries

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Combine 1 large beaten egg white, 3 cups old-fashioned oats, 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (such as almonds, pistachios, pecans, or walnuts), 1 1/2 cups coconut shavings, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon in a large bowl; toss to combine. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake granola, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and dry, 40-45 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet (it will crisp as it cools).

Mix in 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries.  Serve and Enjoy!

DO AHEAD: Granola can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.