If any of you are like me you won't need to eat for at least a week following the massive Thanksgiving food-fest you just enjoyed. But, when your hunger returns, you've worked your way though all your left-overs and you finally need to start cooking again, this is a bowl you'll really enjoy.
This dish is my adaptation of a recipe I recently found on The Kitchn, and is exactly the type of thing I like to make on a Sunday night to provide us a quick and nutritious hot breakfast over the course of the week. It is also the kind of dish I encourage my students at Cooking Matters to consider making for their families as well because it can be made ahead of time in bulk, is really tasty, and SO good for you. Many with younger kids might want to pass on the pumpkin puree and spices here as they may appeal to a more sophisticated palate, but the idea of having a batch of pre-made oatmeal in the fridge that requires little more than 40 seconds in the microwave, some dried fruits and nuts, and a drizzle of maple syrup to start your day on the right foot, is a great one.
This recipe was pretty terrific as written, but we found it a bit sweet so cut some of the sugar, played with the spices some, and added pecans and Craisins while cooking so that it was pretty well complete when scooped into a bowl for breakfast. This oatmeal is plenty flavorful as it is, but a drizzle of maple syrup or heavy cream won't kill you, I promise.
Cheers – Steve
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
- 1 cup pumpkin or squash puree
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 2 cups 1% milk (or coconut or soy milk if preferred)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cups dried cranberries or raisins
- Heat the oven to 375°F.
- In a 3-quart (or larger) saucepan or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. When the butter foams up, stir in the oats and toast them, stirring frequently, for about 3-5 minutes or until they smell toasted and a few of them start to "snap" and "pop" in the pan.
- Pour the oats out into a small bowl, and drop the second tablespoon of butter into the now empty pan. Dump in the pumpkin puree. Fry it in the butter, stirring ocassionally for about 3-4 minutes to cook-off the raw pumpkin flavor. Stir in the sugar and spices and continue frying the puree for another 3 - 4 minutes, or until the color darkens slightly.
- Pour in the milk, water, and oats and whisk everything to combine. Whisk in the vanilla and salt, and toss in the nuts and dried fruit. Put a lid on the pan and put it in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and stir the oatmeal. It will look quite loose still, but the oats should be al dente and tender. The oatmeal will thicken rapidly as it cools. Eat immediately with a drizzle of cream and/or maple syrup, or let cool and then refrigerate. Heat up bowls in the microwave at about 30-45 seconds a pop.