Oatmeal's probably used to being mistreated.
We either rush it, expecting it to perform in an instant, or hover over it, wielding our spoon until it plays dead.
Just like rice, oats need space, time, and, as it turns out--butter--to reach their full potential.
When I discovered from the lovely, recently-released Whole Grain Mornings that it was not, in fact, author Megan Gordon, but rather her boyfriend-now-fiancé who ingeniously advised toasting steel cut oats in butter before cooking them, I had to wonder if any other members of this rare man-like species existed.
Then my thoughts returned to breakfast, and a tablespoon of butter and 5 minutes later, I was ogling a pan of chestnut-colored steel cut oats that smelled more like these.
I can't recall now, how I managed to resist stirring my oats in the 25 minutes and more than 4 cups of liquid that they needed to do their thing, yet I did.
Now oatmeal gets a roomy pedestal of its own.
Toasty steel-cut oats
Adapted from Whole Grain Mornings
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 cup steel-cut oats
- 3-1/4 cups water
- 1 cup milk or almond milk
- 1 Tbsp. turbinado sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed sauté pan set over medium heat. Add the oats, and toast, stirring occasionally, until a ravishing aroma is achieved, about 5 minutes. Pull the pan off the heat.
Meanwhile, in a stock pot larger than you think you need, bring the water, milk, sugar, and salt to a gentle boil, then pour in the toasted oats. Stir until your boil returns and then drop the heat to low. Prop a lid half-on and half-off the pot.
Simmer the oats, stirring just once or twice to avoid sticking and scorching, until the texture has thickened and the oats are soft yet chewy, about 25-30 minutes. Don't fret if the mixture still seems too liquid-y--it will get thicker.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow it a few minutes to compose itself.
Serve with cinnamon, raisins, walnuts, a trickle of maple syrup, a dribble of half & half if you dare...