There are some things that just naturally go together— like food and wine—but what about food and weather?
It’s mid bleak winter, so what’s for breakfast?
Personally, I could eat a croissant and a cappuccino every morning rain or shine, however when the thermometer dips down, something hot and hearty is a great/sensible/nutritious choice.
No doubt you never thought you needed a recipe to make oatmeal. This one is from a chef no less— April Bloomfield— from a cookbook entitled, Genius Recipes. Intrigued?
Of course porridge is nothing new; generations grew up on the stuff. Oats are having a bit of a resurgence in popularity, as are grains in general, and are now touted as a superfood ( Nine Amazing Benefits of Oats: Does a Bowl of Oatmeal a Day, Keep Diseases at Bay?). Just another thing our grandmothers knew all along.
So the genius component of this genius recipe is that it uses TWO kinds of oats: steel-cut and rolled.
Bloomfield negotiates between too much and too little chew with equal parts of both styles of oats, to give us a porridge that’s (finally) just right. Cooking them together for just 20 minutes means the steel-cut oats keep their pop while the rolled oats melt around them.
~ Kristen Miglore, Food52 Genius Recipes
ENGLISH PORRIDGE also uses one of my favourite ingredients in life: Maldon Salt. (See my post: Eating Essential).
Porridge has a bit of an image problem.
To make oatmeal Instagram-worthy, some cooks (?) attempt clever methods to avoid the horror of a stodgy mush, like not cooking it at all and soaking it overnight instead. Others have found it necessary to mix in many flashy flavourings to disguise the perceived blandness like fresh/dried fruit, nuts, seeds, spices, vanilla, even peanut-butter, and chocolate.
Thinking outside the bowl, intrepid smoothie-lovers have added it their blender concoctions.
The virtuous have turned it savoury, mixing in vegetables, cheese, and topping with a fried egg. No doubt someone somewhere, has tried it with trendy avocado.
Not April Bloomfield. Her dish tastes Oat-meal-ly times two. I think the secret to it’s deliciousness is not only the textural variation, but the salt-sweet duet that plays a symphony on the palette.
Bloomfield has carefully considered not only how to cook oatmeal just right, but also how to eat it: (serve immediately in warm bowls), sprinkle with sugar (a five-fingered pinch) or syrup (drizzle in the centre and allow to melt), and with cold milk ( poured carefully around the edges of the bowl so it pools all the way round). This has echos of Winnie the Pooh in its particulars. Of course Pooh would sweeten his with honey.
So there you have the perfect porridge.
Some might say, genius.
NOTE: I used 1/2 tsp Maldon sea salt. You can always add more to taste. If you prefer to make it with water instead of milk, add a knob of butter at the end.
THE PERFECT POT: STAUB RICE COCOTTE: See my review here
THE PERFECT BOWL: VILLEROY & BOCH Artesano, The Bay
TO BUY: Food52 Genius Recipes
Original Recipe from: A Girl and Her Pig