Wednesday, October 12, 2011

top o' the mornin' to ya

Breakfast of champions, indeed!

Hello culinary chickadees, how ya eatin' these days?  Are you enjoying the autumn fare as much as I am?  I'll be sharing one of my favorites soon (rosemary roasted butternut squash risotto!).  But in the meantime, I wanted to share a delightful cool weather (or let's be honest, in Texas, cool air-conditioning) breakfast.  I woke up this morning with a wee bit of a sore throat and so was craving some Irish oatmeal.  This gregarious grain takes a bit of time to make delicious, but I promise it puts that artificially flavored, fish food textured, instant oatmeal to shame.  You should be able to find this McCann's Irish oatmeal in a tin (that is, incidentally, wonderful for giving friends cookies in) in your grocery store.  If your grocery store doesn't stock it (Belfast folks, I'm sure you can find it!), you can also get it here.  And no, the McCanns are not paying me for this endorsement...yet.

It's steel cut, rustic, gorgeous.  I'm making enough for 2 people or 1 extremely hungry person who plans on skipping lunch.  Use 1/2 cup of oats.

 Add a pinch of salt...

 to 2 cups of boiling water.

Add in those outstanding oats... 

 and stir.  This oatmeal's a bit like risotto — you need to stir it lovingly to make sure it doesn't cling on for dear life to the bottom of your pan.  (That would not be pretty.)

(So keep stirring every few minutes or so.  It takes about 20 minutes if you like it with a little bite to it still like I do.)

In the meantime, read the sweet Irish blessing written on the tin.  Imagine patchworked fields, fluffly sheep, rain-soaked rock walls, St. George's Market in Belfast, elusive leprechauns (whatever strikes your fancy).

 (And then stir some more.)

 Here's my Irish oatmeal all divine and hearty and nearly ready to eat.

If you wanted to be extra healthy, throw in some nuts, dried fruit and maybe some (sinful) honey.  But if, like me, you like your oatmeal the way you've always liked it...

...add in a tablespoon of brown sugar, a tablespoon of butter and as much half and half as you like (fat free, which clearly makes up for the aforementioned butter and sugar, right?).

 Yum.  A decadent, hearty start to the day.

Hayden would really like some oatmeal, too.

Unfortunately, there wasn't any left.  Can't imagine how that happened.  

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