Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal

I've recently re-established my love for steel-cut oatmeal.  Its heartiness, creaminess, and chewy texture makes it hard for me to imagine going back to eating the mush of regular oatmeal.  With great versatility, the possibility of add-ins is endless and makes this an easy staple to whip up for breakfast using whatever I can find the kitchen.  This weekend I happened upon some frozen canned pumpkin I stored away in the freezer.  The pumpkin and spices in this recipe conjured up memories of Fall amidst the recent chilly mornings of Spring.  Baking the oatmeal was a great change since I didn't have to babysit and stir the pot the entire time.  The oatmeal is amazingly creamy right when it's finished.  Leftovers can be saved in the fridge or freezer and reheated with a splash of milk (or even coffee creamer for lack of milk) to bring back its wonderful texture.

Baked Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal
Adapted from theKitchn 
Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
1/2 cup pumpkin or squash puree
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of butter on medium-high heat.  When butter begins to foam, add oats and stir for about 3 minutes until toasted.
  2. Push toasted oats up against one side of the pot.  In the clear space, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.  Add pumpkin puree into the melted butter and let sit for 1 minute before stirring, leaving the oats on the side.  Add sugar and spices and stir together with the pumpkin for 3-4 minutes until the color darkens slightly.
  3. Pour in the milk and whisk the oats, pumpkin mixture, and milk all together.  Whisk in water, vanilla, and salt.
  4. Place the lid on the pan and bake in the oven for 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and lift lid, being careful of the rising steam.  Stir oatmeal and it will continue to thicken as it cools.  Sprinkle oatmeal with dried cranberries.  Serve immediately or let it cool to store in the fridge or freezer for later. 

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