May 282017
 
oatmeal sundae made w/oatmeal creme brûlée
oatmeal sundae and the NYSunday Times

oatmeal sundae

I guess I’ve always had a ‘thing’ for oatmeal’. Certainly not as a kid tho.

For my birthday many moons ago I hosted, an Oatmeal Sundae ™, party at The Pink Pony which unfortunately no longer exists but was truly a very special space. The famed owner Lucien, let me set up my own pots on hot plates and served well over 2 dozen friends in his bowls & silverware in the back, library, screening room area. I had steal cut oatmeal made with water & one batch with milk & many toppings – the usual suspects, yogurt, honey, toasted walnuts, bananas, & berries. I swear, a few of my friends still talk about this to this day and will most likely love seeing that I’ve written about it here.

I made oatmeal the first season of Recipe$ 4 $urvival when it was on MNN. To that porridge I added peanut butter & raisins to the mix. One of the calls I got in response to this episode went something like this, “We were going to have pizza but now we’re having oatmeal in our house instead.” Recipe$ 4 Survival was a huge hit on MNN for a good long while, maintaining an unprecedented prime-time slot. Here’s a link to the youtube compilation I put together of a few greatest hits episodes.

But then, just last weekend when I was pursuing the breakfast menu where my extended family were gathering for one last meal following  my nieces Bat Mitzvah celebration the Oatmeal Creme Brûlée jumped off the page/screen at me.  I texted to my bro that unfortunately I would not make it to breakfast but I’d be making Oatmeal Creme Brûlée in my house. So this is exactly what I did the other night.

I halved the recipe I picked to springboard from.

Ingredients:

Milk, 2 Eggs, Sugar, Cornstarch, Butter & soaked Steel Cut Oatmeal

What I did: 

While I warmed 1 C of milk I mixed the egg white of 1 egg & 1 full egg with 1/4 a C sugar, 1 T of corn starch

The milk is warmed just until you see steam then tempered this into the eggs, sugar & cornstarch mixture. Mix well. I did this with a whisk in about the time you can read this, never mind having to pull out some crazy equipment.

Pour the tempered milk & egg mixture back into a sauce-pot & warm over a minimum flame until thick & bubbling, stir in a pad of butter, I used 1 T.  Mix well until you have crème. Pour into another bowl & cover with plastic wrap directly on the crėme & set aside.

Make the oatmeal:

I brought 1/2C of milk & 1/2C of water to a boil, added cinnamon – because I have it, a dash of salt and 1 cup plus a bit more of steel cut oats I rehydrated the night before. You’ll have oatmeal in under or about 5 minutes.

The recipe I ‘made my own’ called for layering the oatmeal, then berries, then the creme into ramekins & baking them off. I was having none of that. I pour the entire batch of creme right into the warm perfectly cooked steel cut oatmeal. Mixed well and served topped with sliced banana & toasted walnuts.

 

 

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Feb 062017
 

I came across a picture of Pappa al Pomodoro on instagram about a month ago and it’s been branded in my mind since.

Only a few ingredients were noted in the brief instagram post that went into the dish 1. unsalted Tuscan bread 2. a particular tomato paste da/from Italy, some basil, fantastic green olive oil & oh strips of Parmesan that appeared semi melted one deduces from the heat of the zuppa/soup. This lead me to scroll over no less than 6 different recipes, a google translation for Pappa al Ppmodoro since I just wasn’t having it being called Tuscan bread Soup when not one of these three words, Tuscan, bread or soup is in the title of dish & recipe. Oh Pappa translates as baby food, al – to the, and Pomodor – is tomato of course

Between Ina Garten, Bon Appetite and a few other’s I felt there was just too much going on in their recipes for Pappa al Pomodoro  for what I wanted to do to make this so I went at it – making it MY OWN! It is sO GREAT. EASY & fun to make in no time, plus, 4 basic, staple ingredients. A perfect recipe4survival.

First I went at, half a stale, Balthazar baguette, with a serrated knife cutting on a cutting board, cutting it into irregular cubes – paying no mind to removing the crust.

Then I brought at least 4 cs of water to a boil in my kettle to pour onto a veg bullion cube in a mixing bowl.

I diced up 1/2 a lg onion, a bit of carrot and sliced up a good sized garlic dent. I got these vegis cooking in a heavy bottomed pot with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot & a good pinch of Salt of D Earth over a medium flame. I put a top on the pot to help the vegis sweat. Once they were at the desired tenderness I tossed the stale bread cubes into the pot and tossed to coat everything uniformly.

With the bread nicely coated with the oil & vegis I added 3 cups of the vegetable broth to the pot, covered it, stirred it frequently and turned the heat way down.  At this stage you’ll wanna stay around the pot to stir it occasionally.

Once all the broth is absorbed and the bread has softened I poured a 25 oz bottle of Union Market’s tomato basil ‘sauce’  into the ‘mix’/the pot. I stirred a pinch of dried red chili flakes in, some oregano and a bit more Salt of D Earth and I let this simmer over a low eat for a good 10 minutes.

This is when I also put a 4 minute egg. I ate one bowl plane, straight away with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan, Pappalpomodoro1the second bowl I had with the soft boiled egg. pappalpomodoro2Then I got down to writing this piece.

Killer meal on a cold night with a cold crisp Sauvignon Blanc.

 

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