Monday, May 23, 2011

I Am Not Lazy #6: Toasted Oatmeal, i.e, My Most Favoritest Oatmeal EVER (So Far)

Prepare to have you life dramatically altered. Prepare to have your mindset challenged. Prepare to rethink everything you thought you knew about oatmeal, especially since I'm guessing the only things you know about oatmeal are what I've told you. Prepare to love breakfast even more than you already do (if possible). Because despite what I may have said in the past, I am about to introduce you to my absolutest most favoritest oatmeal EVER (so far). (My spell checker is saying that "absolutest" is ok but "favoritest" is not. That makes sense.)

Maybe some among you are giggling right now because you know that I often use the word "toasted" to refer to someone who has been enjoying a bit too much of the ole' malted barley. Well, shame on you, imagining me philandering with drunk oatmeal! (Though oatmeal is similar to barley, and there are oatmeal stouts, so I suppose I can allow it.) My roommate sent me this post (It's a bit of a spoiler for this post, so maybe ignore it, please. I refuse to be unnecessary. Everything I do on this blog is totally original, and no one has ever done anything like it.) about toasted oatmeal a couple of months or so ago, and it has dramatically changed my life (as most oatmeal things do). I must announce that I have almost completely abandoned my former oatmeal methodologies in favor of this one, unless I am pressed for time or out of steel-cut oats. While this recipe does take the longest, it also requires the fewest ingredients, and is just the most gosh darn tasty of them all.

You just need steel-cut oats (rolled ones won't work for this, as they're already cooked), butter, and some sort of milk or milk-like product. You also need water, which I wasn't going to include, but that sneaky little sprite managed to work his way into the background anyway. (Speaking of which, I'm watching The Upper Class sashay its way through the Masters right now. Yup, I'm that elitist.)

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The original post said to use two tablespoons, but I usually use one, and it's fine. This time I used almost 1.5 tablespoons because it was a Saturday morning, and I felt indulgent. The butter should be a bit foamy.

2. Toss in a cup of steel-cut oats. In case you have forgotten, they look like this:

As always, I am using McCann's Steel-Cut Oats, which are the best of the best. See the Slow Cooker Oatmeal post for my ecstatic expostulations on the stuff. Stir the oatmeal frequently while it cooks, until it is toasted (about 5 minutes). It will start to smell like popcorn and may even make a popping noise, but that's completely normal. It helps to leave the open oat container on the counter so you can compare the changing colors of the oats. Some pieces may burn a bit, but that's fine. It's impossible to toast all of the oats evenly, so once I start seeing burned pieces, I figure it's time to....

3. Add the water! Four cups, please. It will steam and sizzle, and, if you wear specs like I do on a lazy Saturday morning, fog them up. Do not be alarmed. Please admire this action photo.

4. Bring to a boil, lower the heat a bit, and let it simmer until cooked, which is generally about 20 minutes. You have to stir occasionally, but you can definitely walk away and do something else during this time, like make coffee (yum). It will thicken considerably and become like porridge. Once it has finished cooking, turn off the heat and let it sit for a minute or two to further thicken. (Sometimes I forget to do this. It's not a disaster, but definitely makes a difference.)

5. Spoon into a bowl (generously, obvs.), and then top with a bit of half and half. Unfortunately, my ingredients photo above is misleading, as my half and half was grossly expired (psych!), so I used a little (gasp) heavy whipping cream. Another Saturday morning indulgence. You can also use regular milk, soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, hemp milk (now on Amazon, naturally)...anything like that. The great thing about this oatmeal is that toasting the oats really brings out the flavor, so it tastes delicious without any other toppings. But I added just a smidgen of brown sugar and sliced about half of a banana on top, because I recently discovered that my diet is seriously lacking in the potassium, which apparently causes death or something. Yawn.

Anyway, try toasted oatmeal. I promise you won't regret it. I've been a bit lazy lately with this blog, but I'm hoping to come back soon with an actual post about an actual restaurant. I've found a pretty good one, but it's a secret, per usual. In the meantime...I'm just going to throw links at you like a monkey throws poo. (You know, people use that phrase a lot, but I've never actually seen a monkey throw poo. Huh.)

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