The last time I was home in Chicago, I went out for brunch with my sister at a place called “Orange”. Jenna ordered the oatmeal, but when it arrived at the table, we were a bit confused. So confused that we stopped the waitress to let her know she brought the wrong dish–because we were certain it was french toast, not oatmeal. But she assured us that it was indeed, oatmeal. Intrigued, we tasted it, and it was SO good. Crispy on the outside and soft and warm in the center. And thus began my infatuation with pan seared oatmeal, and I became obsessed with finding a way to make it myself.
I did a little bit of research, and figured out that all you have to do is cook steel cut oatmeal (I sweetened mine with apple cider, brown sugar, and cinnamon) and then spread it out in pan to cool in the fridge. To my delight/shock, it became solidified enough to cut into triangles. Then you pan sear it (in butter if you’re crazy) or just with some butter flavored pam to keep it light. Garnish with any type of fruit, nuts, and dried fruit.
Nutritional Highlights: We all know that oats are healthy, but did you know that steel cut oats are even better for you than the rolled kind? The rolled oats you usually see go through a whole lot of processing before they turn into that flat oat you know and love. Steel cut oats go through a lot less processing. They’re high in fiber and low calorie. Prepared with skim milk, water, and a little bit of brown sugar for sweetness makes this a filling, high energy breakfast. I threw in some flax seed and wheat germ too, because why not! Perfect for an impressive brunch or for an everyday breakfast because they save really well. I’ve been packing a little tupperware with one triangle, some fresh fruit, and a few nuts–SO good!
- Ingredients for the Oatmeal:
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- 1/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups steel-cut (Irish) oats
- Cooking spray or butter for searing
- Topping Ideas: fresh fruit (banana, pear, apple, berries), dried fruit (cranberries, raisin, apricots), nuts (pecans, almonds, hazelnuts)…the possibilities are ENDLESS!
Combine 2 cups water, 1 cup apple cider, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; stir in oats. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Spoon oatmeal into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; cool to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or until set.
Use a sharp knife to cut the oatmeal into 8 equal rectangles; cut each rectangle in half diagonally to form 16 triangles.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter (or use cooking spray) in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 8 oatmeal triangles; cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and oatmeal triangles. Top oatmeal triangles with your favorite fruit, nuts, dried fruit, and a drizzle of maple syrup.