Toasted oatmeal has a nutty flavor that makes eating oatmeal exciting! To show the steel cut oats some additional love, and to give it an even deeper richer flavor, toast the steel cut oats in butter before simmering it into a toasted oatmeal.
Oatmeal is one of those dishes that I can convince myself to eat days on end because it is healthy, cheap, and always available in the pantry. Especially in the winter, when a warm breakfast is needed to start my day, oatmeal has become my de facto breakfast when I'm feeling lazy and uncreative. I think I can make it sleepwalking by now (just ask my husband!) because all it entails is a simple five-step process: wake up, stumble to the kitchen, pour oats into pot, add water, and let it simmer on the stove. Conveniently, while that is happening, I can brush my teeth, splash some water on my face, and get dressed. By the time I'm back in the kitchen, all I have to do is tip some milk in the oatmeal, sprinkle some sugar and voila! Breakfast is served.
But that gets boring and is utterly uninspiring. I could hear my oatmeal asking for more attention with every spoonful I ate. I knew I needed to stop abusing the way I cook and eat oatmeal, and let it shine a little to let it know that I appreciate it. Listen to your food (or rather, give your food some love), and your stomach will be thankful!
This recipe for toasted oatmeal uses steel cut oats, which, when cooked correctly, has a unique texture and structure, as well as a bit of a chew. Though steel cut oats take more time and attention to cook than instant oatmeal or traditional rolled oats, the nutty taste of steel cut oats is so much more flavorful. To show the steel cut oats some additional love, and to give it an even deeper richer flavor, I first toasted the steel cut oats in butter before simmering it into a toasted oatmeal. For those who are sleepyheads in the morning like me, the toasted oatmeal can be cooked the night before and left in the fridge overnight. Just heat it up in the microwave the next morning, then top with the seared plums.
The plums are easy to sear, and by coating the plums in sugar first, the browned sugar adds a tint of caramelized flavors and crisp to them. The plums introduce a touch of tang to the dish, but it pairs nicely with the sweetness from the sugar. If you want to prep as much as you can the night before, you can also cut up the plums before going to sleep. And in case you don't have plums on hand, give the recipe a try with another stone fruit - like using the apricots from this Smashed Cherries and Grilled Apricots on Bircher.
Toasted Oatmeal with Seared PlumsPrint Recipe
- ½ cup steel cut oats (pinhead oats)
- ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups water
- ½ cup milk
- 5 small plums
- ¼ cup turbinado sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Make the toasted oatmeal
- In a small saucepan pan over medium heat, add in butter and steel cut oats. Toast the oats, stirring frequently with a spatula for three minutes.
- Turn the heat to low and add in the water. Cover the pot and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the steel cut oats have soaked in the water, about 20-25 minutes. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add in more water as needed.
- Stir in the milk and cook for an additional five minutes.
- Cut the plums into slices about 1 centimeter thick. Leave on the skin but discard the pit.
- Toss the plums in the demerara sugar until well coated.
- In a small pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.
- Sear plum slices for about five minutes, turning once gently. It's beautiful if you place some plums skin-side down on the pan so the skin gets browned.
- Serve the seared plums on top of the porridge. Top with additional milk and brown sugar as desired. Enjoy immediately.