17. December 2015 · Comments Off on Make Oatmeal Worth Eating · Categories: Cooking, Food · Tags: , , ,

Nothing is better on a cold winter’s morning than hot cereal, also referred to as porridge. Unfortunately, many of us were raised on stuff in wax paper packets to which one added boiling water and stirred. The result was a mushy, salty-sweet bowl of artificially-flavored goo. But you can do better! The investment, however, is time.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

1 cup steel-cut (AKA pinhead) oats
3 cups boiling water
1 tbsp unsalted butter
½ tsp kosher salt
¾ cup whole milk
2 tbsp plain yogurt

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When butter foams, add oats and mix to coat. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow oats to toast for 2-3 minutes – they will begin to smell “nutty”.

Add hot water and salt, and stir. Mixture should boil almost instantly. Reduce heat to a slow simmer and cover. Cook oats for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Whisk together milk and yogurt and stir into thickened oats. Return to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes more.

Spoon up into bowls and top with one or more of the following:

Maple sugar
Brown sugar
Toasted seeds or nuts
Dried fruit
Fruit preserves

PS: As long as you’re able to buy oats from a reputable supplier that certifies against cross-contamination, oatmeal is a GF food.

29. October 2013 · Comments Off on A Bit About Recipes: Stuffed Mediterranean-Style Eggplant · Categories: Cooking, Food · Tags: , , , ,

Stuffed Mediterranean-Style Eggplant - photo by Rob NovakThe food co-op seems to like eggplant this time of year. It keeps showing up, much like zucchini at the height of summer. This is a bit of a challenge, because to be honest it’s not a vegetable that I use a lot. Especially the big Italian aubergines. At least the little Asian ones can go into stir-fries pretty easily. The big guys… let’s just say that babaganoush, as tasty as it is, is getting old and I’m not a fan of frying it and covering it in cheese and tomato sauce.

Choices? Moussaka? Tasty, but a fair amount of work. So, I dug up a recipe a while back for stuffed eggplant and gave it a whirl. I pretty much followed it to the letter, unfortunately disengaging my thinking in the process. So, I just trusted it to be seasoned to my tastes, and to have an acceptable level of flavor.

You know what? Recipes, even mine that I post here, suck. Well, they suck if you follow them slavishly. And I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t follow them, at least not literally. The most important thing that you can do when cooking is taste the food as you prepare it. Even if it’s something as simple as an adjustment in the amount of salt, it can make a world of difference. My ingredients are not going to be gram-for-gram identical to yours. You might prefer more or less of something. And you’ll never know unless you taste the food you’re making before it hits the table. More »