Day Off Oatmeal

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I once had a conversation with a friend where we discussed what we thought qualified as a “good” job.  For us it boiled down to a job-satisfaction triangle, with money, hours, and intellectual stimulation/challenge being the three goals (And, yes, I realize that it is a privilege to be in a position to have these as goals.) “Good,” we decided, was being able to meet at least two out of the three, and if we weren’t getting that amount, we were liable to feel dissatisfied.

I feel very lucky to have found a “good” first job.  Not only is the work both meaningful and intellectually stimulating, but I have truly fabulous hours. Case in point: I am now working compressed work weeks with Fridays off, forever. This, coupled with all the “snow” days we got in Austin this winter, has meant that, since I’ve been officially hired, I have yet to work a normal Monday-Friday, 8-5 workweek.

Which is all to say that I have had many more days off than I would have ever expected to have during full-time employment.  While I am slightly worried that I am going to be ruined for all other future jobs, that’s a worry that is easy to compartmentalize away.  Instead, I’d rather focus on the more pressing matters I have to deal with now, which, with the unusually long winter we’ve had, means warm things.  Warm food, in particular.

I discovered this recipe on one such day off a couple of weeks ago.  While fellow Austinites were braving the not-really-icy streets to go to work, I was making a bowl of creamy, thick, and nutty steel-cut oats.  If you’ve never cooked with steel-cut oats, I highly recommend them over anything instant. First, they give you much more nutrition since they are the oats in the natural state, versus the highly processed instant versions.  And, second, the flavor is just so much better.  But, do be aware that this recipe takes more time (about 30 minutes) than the stuff you get out of the box.  When you toast them in butter, as you do here, however, it makes for oatmeal that is downright decadent.  This recipe is great for a lazy Sunday morning brunch, and if you triple or quadruple the recipe, would make for easy-to-portion weekday breakfasts!

Toasted Steel-Cut Oatmeal
Adapted from Whole-Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon
Serves 1 

Ingredients:

1/4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup steel-cut oats
1 and 3/4 cup water
1/4 cup almond milk, preferably homemade
1 tsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp kosher salt
Dried fruit, honey, or syrup for serving

Directions:

1.  Melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.  Add the oats and toast for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and smell nutty (see picture above for a comparison in color).
2.   In a small saucepan, bring the water, almond milk, and salt to a simmer over medium high heat.  Milk tends to boil over quite quickly, so you’ll want to watch the pot here.  It shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes.
3.  Once bubbles start to rise to the surface in a simmer, stir in the oats, and turn the heat down to medium low, making sure that you still have a slow simmer.  Partially cover the saucepan with a lid.
4.  Cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 7-10 minutes to make sure the oats don’t stick to the bottom, until the mixture is thickened and most of the liquid is absorbed.  I would taste a little bit of the oats starting around 25 minutes to see the texture you prefer.
5.  Remove the pan from the heat, and let it sit, still partially covered, for 2-3 minutes.  Serve hot with your favorite toppings.

Day Off Oatmeal
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • ¼ tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 and ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup almond milk, preferably
  • homemade
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ⅛ tsp kosher salt
  • Dried fruit, honey, or syrup for serving
Directions
  1. Melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.  Add the oats and toast for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and smell nutty (see picture above for a comparison in color).
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the water, almond milk, and salt to a simmer over medium high heat.  Milk tends to boil over quite quickly, so you'll want to watch the pot here.  It shouldn't take longer than 10 minutes.
  3. Once bubbles start to rise to the surface in a simmer, stir in the oats, and turn the heat down to medium low, making sure that you still have a slow simmer.  Partially cover the saucepan with a lid.
  4. Cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 7-10 minutes to make sure the oats don't stick to the bottom, until the mixture is thickened and most of the liquid is absorbed.  I would taste a little bit of the oats starting around 25 minutes to see the texture you prefer.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, and let it sit, still partially covered, for 2-3 minutes.  Serve hot with your favorite toppings.

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  1. Pingback: Morning Glory Baked Oatmeal | Gwen's Fish Food

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