Posted by Chunk on Thursday, June 18, 2009
It doesn't get much more comforting than a hot bowl of oatmeal. Unfortunately, instant oatmeal has shaped the view of this food for the past few decades.
Find some steel cut oats, and about an hour to cook and eat them. Though the oats take a long time to cook, this is not an active dish.
Here's what I do:
3 cups Water
1.5 cups Steel cut oats
Healthy pinch of Salt
Milk or Water as needed
Boil the water, stir in the oats, turn down to a simmer, and go about your business for the next 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. About this time the oats may need more liquid and I like to add whole milk as needed to achieve a creamier result but water will work fine. It should take at least 40 minutes to get some nice oatmeal action. When cooking for a family or group of friends it's easy to set out an assortment of toppings so everyone can customize their own bowls.
Note: The actual ratio should be nearly 4 to 1, liquid to oats. I like the added control of adding the last bit of liquid towards the end but it is not necessary.
Now for the toppings...
I usually stir in the toppings right at the end but sometimes you may add them earlier if they would benefit from the cooking. The beauty of oats is that anything goes:
Nuts, Maple syrup/sugar, Brown sugar, Dried fruit, Fresh fruit, Seeds, Cooked pumpkin, Sweet spices, yogurt, brown butter, various cheeses (for the adventurous) etc. Food snobs be sure to always monte au buerre!
This morning I enjoyed Mexican brown sugar and coconut. It paired perfectly with my coffee.