Episode 56 – “Oat Cuisine”

Posted: February 18, 2016 in Season 5
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The 56th episode of Good Eats commences with Alton dressed as a primitive Scotsman and making haggis in the woods. Though there is an online recipe for Alton’s haggis, it was really prepared as more of a shtick than as a real Good Eats demo; therefore, I’m taking the liberty of not preparing haggis. I will freely admit that I was quite happy to learn that haggis would not be a “required” portion of my blog project. If, however, I ever make a trip to Scotland (and, I hope I do), I will surely give haggis an honest try.

Steel Cut Oatmeal

Prior to watching this episode of Good Eats I had never before consumed steel cut oatmeal. Types of oats are differentiated by the amount of processing they have undergone. Whole oats are unprocessed oats that still have their coats, while steel cut/pinhead oats have been run through steel cutters. Rolled, or old-fashioned, oats are even further processed by being steamed, pressed, and dried. Finally, instant oats are the most processed oats, which have been further mashed, par-cooked, and dried. My brother loved flavored instant oatmeal packets when we were a kid, but they were never my thing. I decided to make Alton’s steel cut oatmeal for us on a lazy Saturday morning. The ingredients you will need for Alton’s steel cut oatmeal are butter, steel cut oats, boiling water, whole milk, buttermilk, Kosher salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar.

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Ingredients for steel cut oatmeal: whole milk, buttermilk, Kosher salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and steel cut oats. Not pictured: water.

In a large saucepan, saute 1 C steel cut oats in 1 T melted butter until there is a nutty aroma.

Add 3 C boiling water, decrease the heat to a simmer, and stir the oats. You do not want to add salt to the oats at this time because polysaccharides in the oats (called pentosans) give oatmeal its creamy texture; salt will compete with the pentosans for water, leaving you with non-creamy oatmeal.

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Three cups of boiling water to add to the sauteed oats.

Cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer for 30 minutes.

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Lid on the pan for a 30 minute simmer.

Meanwhile, combine 1/2 C whole milk with 1/2 C buttermilk. Combining the dairy ingredients will prevent the buttermilk from curdling when you add it to the hot oats.

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Buttermilk combined with whole milk.

When your 30 minute simmer is up, add the milks and 1/2 t Kosher salt to the oats.

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Dairy and salt added to oats.

Gently stir the oatmeal with the handle of a wooden spoon, letting it continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve the warm oatmeal in bowls with buttermilk, cinnamon, and brown sugar.

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A delicious bowl of steel cut oatmeal with brown sugar, buttermilk, and cinnamon.

We really enjoyed our steel cut oatmeal and I will be making it again. It is a hearty breakfast and the oats have a lot more texture than old-fashioned or instant oats, which I really appreciate. I also really liked the addition of buttermilk for a bit of tang in the oatmeal. Though steel cut oatmeal takes a bit longer to prepare than old-fashioned oatmeal, I think it is well worth the additional time.

Overnight Oatmeal

If you are looking for a super easy, fast, and delicious hot breakfast, Alton’s overnight oatmeal is fantastic. All you will need for this are a few ingredients and a slow cooker. In your slow cooker combine 1 C steel cut oats, 4 C water, 1 C dried cranberries, 1/2 C sliced dried figs, and 1 C cream.

Note that the online recipe calls for 1/2 C half-and-half instead of the cup of cream Alton used in the episode. Set the slow cooker to low and let it cook overnight for 8-9 hours.

I made this for us to have in the morning before a long run and we both really thought it was good. Actually, we liked it so much that I made it a second time a few days later. The oatmeal is rich and still has some texture from the steel cut oats, and the dried fruit adds the perfect amount of sweetness. The dried fruit really plumps up after cooking overnight. Plus, you could add any dried fruit you would like. We found that no additional toppings or seasonings were needed for this oatmeal. As an aside, Ted is doing pretty well as he is going through chemo, and ran 10 miles recently!

Granola

A recipe for granola is the final recipe in this oat episode of Good Eats. You will need to be sure you can hang around your kitchen for a little while when you start this one. Begin by combining the following ingredients in a large bowl:  6 T brown sugar, 1 C slivered almonds, 3/4 C sweetened coconut, 1 C cashews, 3/4 t Kosher salt, and 3 C rolled oats.

Thoroughly mix all of these ingredients before adding 1/4 C canola oil and 6 T maple syrup. We are very fortunate because Ted’s aunt and uncle in Wisconsin produce their own maple syrup, and it is much better than what you can purchase in stores.

Toss the granola well and spread it on a sheet pan.

Bake the granola at 250 degrees for an hour and 15 minutes, stirring the granola every 15 minutes.

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My granola, after baking for about an hour and 15 minutes.

Let the granola cool for a half hour before adding dried fruit of your choice; I added a cup of dried cherries to my granola.

This granola is sweet, crunchy, and delicious. We still have some granola in our pantry and I find myself grabbing a handful when I pass by. This is another recipe I will keep on hand and plan to make again, perhaps altering the nuts and fruit.

Comments
  1. zim says:

    Alton also gave a recipe for haggis in this episode…jus’ sayin’. 🙂 I don’t blame you for skipping the haggis. I just stumbled upon this blog and being an Alton fan myself just had to know if you did the haggis. Mad props if you had, totally understand that you didn’t.

    • If Alton had actually shown how to make haggis in the episode, I would have attempted it. My philosophy with this project has always been to make each recipe that he prepares in the episode, and to make them exactly as done in the episode. Thanks for stopping by!

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