Oatmeal Evolution

My drawer full of oatmeal accessories

Evolution not revolution. My oatmeal cooking has evolved nicely over the last few decades. In my teens I used to eat the Quaker Instant Oats. I wouldn't add as much water as the recipe called for. I liked a stiffer oatmeal and  no one was going to tell me how to cook. Rebel from the get go.  My basic oatmeal recipe has been a staple for some time. The old school Agaheads promote this overnite in the Simmer Oven oatmeal. Sorry, not a big fan of that gruel style of breakfast cereal but a tip of the hat for cooking while you sleep. Let's see if we can use a more modern approach. Lately I've been experimenting with some of the whole grains we keep on hand. Better texture and a firmer bite.

This recipe takes some time to prepare but I have it all lined up around my coffee consumption and you should too.  This notion that breakfast is an afterthought and should be quick to make and even quicker to eat is just plain wrong. Get up a little earlier, it's the most productive time of day.

check out the spoon my wife made

Let's see how this evolution/intelligent design went down in the Aga Kitchen. This makes enough for two adults comfortably and takes about 30 minutes in the oven but only a few moments of working time.

Word of the day: mise en place. It's a Frenchy word so it must be important. If all of your ingredients are organized and accessible this recipe is pretty easy. If you are wandering around trying to find the bits and parts you will quit before you start.  Everything in it's place and a place for everything.

Oatmeal Evolution

Gather up these tools and ingredients

  • a 2 qt or bigger pot, small sheet pan, a microplaner and a measuring cups & spoons
  • 2/3 cup oats
  • 1 Tablespoon rye flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon barley
  • 1 Tablespoon farro, wheat berries* or kamut*
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup nuts, I like whole almonds or pecans
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit
  • sea salt, cinnamon, ginger root and cayenne pepper

Bring two cups of water to boil with a pinch of salt and the sugar. Add the barley and farro and into the Roasting Oven uncovered

Set the timer for 5 minutes and start making your coffee or tea

Timer goes beep and you put your nuts on the sheet pan and into the Baking Oven. Set the timer for another 5 minutes

Timer goes beep and you remove the nuts and the simmering grains. Add the oats and rye flakes to the grain and back in the Roasting Oven.

Now you have time to take a shower or catch up on the news or in my case drink a cup of coffee sitting in my rocking chair. When your coffee is finished the oats should be ready (approx 15 minutes).

Remove oats from the oven and add the dry fruit, the nuts and the seasoning. I grate the cinnamon and ginger root (keep frozen) with the microplaner. Better to add too little cayenne than too much.

Let rest for a few minutes while you warm up the bowls and gather the milk. Try subbing cider for milk. It's not as weird as it sounds.

* I soak these grains the nite before to help them soften

my future Clam Shack once we get enough of the global warming to make Vermont ocean front

Cook like you mean it, G