Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal
This recipe takes boring old oatmeal to a whole new level. Officially called porridge - it's creamy, salty/sweet goodness...and your kids will love you for making a batch.
If you're like me, you grew up eating maple brown sugar oatmeal out of a packet. It wasn't until I had kids of my own that I started making rolled oats the old-fashioned way. As my kids got older, there were times I kicked myself for getting them hooked on the good-for-you stuff, because now they wouldn't touch a bowl of instant oats with a ten foot pole {it's a texture thing, not a taste thing}.
What made me want to try this recipe was the use of both steel-cut and old-fashioned rolled oats. Adding in the rolled oats doesn't speed up the cooking process any...this will still take a good 20 minutes to cook. But because they're cooked so long, they break down and create a creamy base for the chewy steel-cut grains. This recipe isn't the best choice for busy weekday mornings because of the longer cooking time, but if you make a bigger batch on a day when you have some time, the leftovers reheat well in the microwave.
Another thing that makes this oatmeal taste so good is a heavy handed dose of flaky sea salt that's complemented by an equally heavy dose of maple syrup and dark brown sugar {do yourself a favor and don't skimp on the pure maple syrup part!}. You can certainly cut back on the salt, if desired. In fact, I recommend starting with a scant teaspoon of the sea salt and going from there.
Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Taste the finished oatmeal at the end of the cooking time, but before adding in the sweeteners...then add in a bit more if needed. It should be on the saltier side, but obviously not overly so. If you need to substitute a different type of salt, be sure to read the notes following the recipe below. Enjoy!
Some other Breakfast Goodies you might enjoy - Savory Roasted Tomato & Manchego Clafoutis | Challah French Toast | Cherry Pecan Granola | Strawberry, Granola & Yogurt Parfaits | Breakfast Quinoa with Berries & Bananas

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal

{printable recipe}
Yields: 2 {generous} servings
Adapted from A Girl and Her Pig by April Bloomfield {via Food52}
This recipe is a bit more involved and time-consuming to make than your average bowl of oats, but the extra effort is worth it. The combination of rolled oats mixed with the steel-cut variety gives the finished "porridge" a slightly chewy texture. This recipe is also heavy handed with the salt {see note below}, but because the maple syrup and brown sugar are so sweet, I found the balance was perfect

1 1/2 cups whole milk, plus a bit more for serving
1 1/2 cups water
1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons Maldon sea salt
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup steel-cut oats
2 tablespoons maple syrup
a generous pinch of dark brown sugar

Add the milk, water, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once simmering, stir in both varieties of oats, and reduce the heat to medium.

Cook the oats for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, while maintaining a slow simmer by raising, or lowering the heat as necessary. As the oats cook and become thicker, the stirring becomes more important, to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the maple syrup. Divide the oatmeal between two {or more} serving bowls, and let sit for a minute. Pour a little milk around the edges, and top with the generous pinch of dark brown sugar. Serve right away.
Make ahead: If you have any leftovers, or would like to make this recipe for one, you can re-heat the oatmeal in the microwave and serve the same way.

Note: I highly recommend using Maldon sea salt for this recipe. For those unfamiliar with the product, it's a flaky, crystalized sea salt available in specialty shops, or health food stores. If you can't find any, you can substitute another brand of sea salt, or use traditional salt. However, if you do, reduce the quantity to a 1/2 teaspoon, and add more as necessary. The end result should be a "saltier than usual" oatmeal, which is balanced with the maple syrup and brown sugar to create a delicious salty/sweet hot porridge.


Joanne said...

The boyfriend has recently expressed interest in eating oatmeal for breakfast and I feel like it is my duty to jump on board and make him really love it! This would surely do the trick!

apple slice said...

looks terrific. i adore oatmeal!

Kenzie *Chocholistic* said...

I found your site through CT Bites and have been following you on Instagram for a little white - I think you have such a talent for capturing the essence of food! And congrats on your new addition!

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