Just before I got into bed last night, I put a batch of Irish Oats into the crock pot so that we could have an effortless warm breakfast this morning.
I had never liked oatmeal until I tried Irish (or steel-cut) oats. Instead of the soft -- some may say slimy -- texture of Old Fashioned Oats, this sort cooks up creamy yet slightly chewy at the center of each grain. I like it simply with some maple syrup or molasses, but the children are partial to a squirt of whipped cream on top for a special, happy little breakfast treat.
Toasty Irish Oats
Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics
1 cup Irish (or steel-cut) oats
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups liquid (I use 1 cup milk, 3 cups water, but soy or almond milk or even just water works equally well)
Melt butter in a small skillet and add the oats. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the oats are lightly toasted and pale golden.
If you are preparing this stovetop, bring 4 cups of liquid up to a simmer in a medium sized pot (I use a 3-quart saucepan), and scrape buttery toasted oats into the hot liquid.
Cook for approx 45 minutes, with lid askew, (stirring occasionally) or until oats have absorbed most of the milk/water, and the mixture is thick and creamy.
If you are making this the night before like I do, scrape your buttery toasted oats into the pot, add cold milk and water mixture (PLUS 1/2 cup extra liquid so that it can accommodate the extra slow cooking time), set the pot to low, cover, and go to bed. In the morning, you will have a lovely pot of breakfast waiting for you.
Sweeten to taste (molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar) and add spices if you wish (cinnamon and cardamom are my favorites). For an extra special touch, drizzle with a little heavy cream, or give it a squirt of whipped cream on top.
Note (1): as soon as you have emptied the crockpot/saucepan of oatmeal, fill the pot with water and set aside for the rest of the day. By the end of the day, any cooked-on oatmeal should be softened enough to easily clean.
Note (2): This rewarms well for up to 3 days, so I like to make extra to have enough for leftovers.