Steel-cut oatmeal bears little resemblance to the ho-hum, slightly pasty, instant variety.  But those nutty, creamy, steel-cut oats take almost half an hour to cook, which until recently meant I only ate them on weekends (and only when I wasn’t too hungry in the morning to wait 30 minutes for breakfast, which is almost never).

Then, it struck me.  Why not make a big batch in advance, and reheat it one bowl at a time?  Surely such a sturdy, chewy grain would reheat nicely, with a little added milk to loosen things up.

As it turns out, the reheated oatmeal is just as good as it is straight out of the pot.  I make a quart at a time — plenty for four breakfasts — and reheat by the bowlful  in the microwave.  It’s hot in two minutes, same as those powdery little packets.  I like it best with brown sugar and raisins, but your options are endless:  chopped nuts or seeds, dried fruit or fresh, sugar, honey, maple syrup, or even molasses.

Cooking steel-cut oats is simple:  Boil 1 cup of water per 1/4 cup of oats (this makes one serving — I cook 1 cup oats in 4 cups water).  Add a pinch of salt, stir in the oats, return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently 25-30 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed and the oats are tender.  If not serving immediately, transfer to a container and let cool.  Cooked oats keep in the fridge for about a week.

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