March 5, 2012 § 7 Comments
I’m a fan of Steel-Cut Oats. We’ve established that before. I relegated the Quaker Oats man to just a few cookie recipes. Never shall a rolled oat appear in my breakfast bowl.
A quick recap of my steel-cut oatmeal recipe has me throwing in a handful of raisins when the oats are just about done and letting them plump up with steam. In the bowl they recipe a sprinkling of slivered almonds and a sometimes-generous pour of maple syrup. Five out of seven days that’s what I’m eating for breakfast. The other two days? I’ve skipped breakfast altogether.
Thanks to Jody and Ken over at The Garum Factory, I now have a new side of steel-cut oats to explore: the savory side. Their last post shined the light on how versatile steel-cut oats can be once you move beyond the sweet expectations. Exhibit A: Their Steel-Cut Oats with Eggs, Preserved Lemon and Olives.
For my first time exploring of the savory side, I tread a simpler path. I topped my Steel-Cut Oats with a poached egg, black pepper and parsley. Yeah, delicious. Really delicious.
I poached the egg separately, but a friend had a super suggestion: As the steel-cut oats are finishing—let’s say for the last three minutes—make a divot in the oats and crack the egg right into that puddle. Cover, and the egg “poaches” right in them there oats. And you only have to dirty one pot, she said.
Oh, to be as smart as she.
Have you explored steel-cut oats’ savory side? What yumminess have you found there? Do tell! Share your savory suggestion—I so want to give it a try.
February 11, 2011 § 3 Comments
Where have you been all my life, steel-cut oats?
Ten years ago, I don’t believe I had ever eaten oatmeal. Maybe I had had one of those wimpy packet of instant oatmeal, if you want to call that oatmeal. Mom had a container of Quaker Oast around the house, but it was for cookies only, not breakfast. So, my uneducated and untested opinion of oatmeal was that its gloppiness reflected its taste and I wanted nothing to do with it.
Then Jennifer came along and made me the world’s best oatmeal. It wasn’t the instant stuff, and it wasn’t the quick oats, I don’t think. It was rolled oats, for sure, with that familiar flattened, flake-like appearance. Boil, stir, simmer, toss in some raisins for a minute and Whammo! Five minutes later there’s a tasty breakfast. With a pour of maple syrup and a smattering of slivered almonds on top, of course. Mmmm … nice and hearty. For the most part, I leave the oatmeal making to Jennifer. She’s good at it. It’s her job.
One day on a visit to New York, our friend Bernadett raved about the flavor of steel-cut oats. Now that’s a whole other animal, for sure, steel-cut oats. That familiar flaky oat appearance? Not happenin’ with steel-cut oats. When you look at rolled oats, you can’t really get a good idea of what that flake was previously. Not really. It is a smushed something. But when you look at steel-cut oats, its “grain-ness” just jumps right out at you. It looks like the oats we used to grow back on the farm—just chopped crosswise into smaller pieces. Cooking time—well, let’s say it’s not a breakfast food appropriate for a gotta-get-out-the-door morning.
Thanks to my baking of Flour’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and the depletion of our rolled oats, we found ourselves in front of the bulk bins at Whole Foods. Steel-cut oats in a bin to the left. Rolled oats in a bin to the right. We had experience with rolled. We knew we liked rolled. But we heard great things about steel cut. Plus, they were on sale. Steel-cut, it is.
Recipe (for 2)
- Put a scant 2 cups water in a small 2-qt. pot. Add a pinch of kosher salt. Heat on high until boiling.
- Stir in a generous 1 cup of steel-cut oats. IMMEDIATELY turn heat down as low as it can go. Cover.
- Set timer for 15 minutes. And go write your morning blog post.
- When timer goes off, stir in a handful of raisins. Cover. Set timer for 5 minutes.
- Divide into two bowls. Top with your favorite stuff. Enjoy.
*IMPORTANT NOTE! Jennifer just told me to leave the lid slightly ajar. This way we don’t get those flair-ups that result in oatmeal goo dripping down the pot and onto the stovetop that she just cleaned.
Don’t expect your typical oatmeal experience. Like I said before, this is a whole other animal. It’s more grainy. More chewy. More nutty. Less gooey. Maybe there’s less of a viscous texture because the oat hasn’t been smushed and there is less surface area. I dunno. But I do know that I prefer it.
Nutrition? Is it better for you? More nutritious? Maybe. Or maybe it’s the same. Honestly, I don’t really care about the details so much. I do know it’s oats, and it’s a whole grain, and it’s good for you. And, it’s filling.
Now I can be like my mom and keep that container of rolled oats exclusively for the cookies.