Saturday, September 09, 2006

Raspberry steel-cut oatmeal

Steel-cut oatmeal is one of my favorite weekend breakfasts - it's much creamier than "instant" oatmeal, it's warm and filling, and though it does take a while to prepare, it's simpler than pancakes or French Toast. This week we decided to add a new spin to it - raspberry sauce. Inspired partially by a brunch we had last weekend at La Note, and partially by the 6oz containers of raspberries that were $0.98 apiece, we made a simple raspberry sauce and added it to this morning's oatmeal. The rest went on top of some chocolate cake.

If you don't have the time or inclination to make your own raspberry sauce, you could probably stir in some raspberry jam, or just mash up some fresh raspberries and stir them in with brown sugar or honey.

Raspberry sauce
12 oz. raspberries, frozen and thawed (this is apparently necessary to break down the membranes on the berries, according to Rose Levy Beranbaum)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/3 c. sugar

Puree raspberries and lemon juice together in a blender. Heat the mixture in a saucepan over medium heat and boil until reduced by over half (at this point, if you want to strain the seeds out, use a strainer or a food mill to do so). Stir in the sugar and continue heating until dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator.

Steel-cut Oatmeal
1 Tbsp. butter
1 c. steel cut oats (you can find these at any grocery store)
3 c. boiling water
1/4 c. half and half
3/4 c. milk

Start boiling your water in a kettle or in the microwave. Meanwhile, melt butter over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add oats and stir to coat with butter, and "toast" 2 minutes in the saucepan. Add the boiling water and reduce heat to low; let simmer 25 minutes with NO STIRRING.

Combine milk and cream (in the same measuring cup is fine). Stir gently into oatmeal to combine, cook another 10 minutes. Stir in about 1/4 c. raspberry sauce (or to taste) and 1-2 Tbsp of honey or brown sugar to sweeten.

Steel-cut oats are also fantastic prepared with little brown sugar (a few Tbsp.) and cinnamon, nutmeg and/or allspice. We usually have it with spices, honey and sliced bananas, but the tart raspberries were a nice temporary change of pace.

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