In the Kitchen
Porridge made from steel-cut oats is creamy with a nutty flavour, writes Ruth Pretty.
For a delicious bowl of warming steel-cut oat porridge, you can visit Rebecca Edkins at the Posh Porridge stall at Christchurch Farmers' Market, Riccarton House, on Saturdays from 9am till noon - or you can make your own.
Rebecca sells her creamy, nutty-flavoured porridge - its texture reminiscent of a well- made risotto - with a choice of six to eight toppings, such as whiskey-soaked raisins with honey granola, or banana with toffee sauce and roasted almonds, or vanilla poached pears with smashed ginger nuts and maple syrup. With breakfast like this, who needs pudding?
You can buy steel-cut oats, also called kibbled oats, from organic or health food shops and some speciality food stores, including Commonsense Organics shops in the Wellington region.
Porridge made with rolled oats lacks flavour and has a goopy texture but it is quick to cook. Porridge made with steel-cut oats takes 30 minutes to cook but reheats perfectly, so cook enough to last for several days.
STEEL-CUT OAT PORRIDGE
Serve with traditional accompaniments such as milk, cream or yoghurt with brown sugar or golden syrup, or adopt the Rebecca Edkins' approach and serve with one or all of the below.
Ingredients 175g (1 cup) steel-cut oats
750ml (3 cups) water
Place oats, salt and water into a medium saucepan set over a medium heat. Stir and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every now and then, until porridge has a creamy appearance and oats are soft.
Use immediately or cool and refrigerate for up to five days.
To reheat portions: Add a tablespoon of cold water to each portion in a bowl. Stir and reheat on medium in microwave. Alternatively, place porridge with water into a small saucepan and reheat on stovetop.
RHUBARB AND RASPBERRY COMPOTE
Makes 750ml (3 cups),
500g (4-5 long stalks) rhubarb, cut into 2cm pieces
100g ( 1/2 cup) sugar
14g (2 Tbsp) custard powder, mixed with 1/4 cup cold water
125g (1 cup) frozen raspberries
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Place rhubarb and sugar into a heavy-based saucepan set over medium heat. (There is no need to add water as the water that comes out of the rhubarb will suffice.) Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent rhubarb catching on the base of saucepan, for 5-10 minutes or until rhubarb is tender but remains mostly intact.
Pour in custard powder mixture. Gently stir to combine, increase heat and bring to the boil. Cook for 1 minute or until mixture has thickened.
Reduce heat to low and add raspberries. Stir until they are heated through. Add lemon juice and combine.
Remove from heat, cool and store in refrigerator for up to five days or freeze for up to one month. Serve hot, warm or cold.
VANILLA BEAN CUSTARD
Makes 600ml, serves 8-12
Ingredients 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthways (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
500ml (2 cups) blue-top milk
2 egg yolks
25g (2 1/2 Tbsp) castor sugar
11g (1 1/2 Tbsp) cornflour
Scrape seeds out of vanilla bean. Place seeds and pod into a small heavy-based saucepan. Add milk, stir and place over a medium-high heat and cook until almost boiling.
Remove from heat and leave to cool slightly.
Place egg yolks, sugar and cornflour into a bowl and whisk until pale and fluffy.
Slowly pour hot milk into yolk mixture, whisking as you pour.
Once combined, pour mixture back into saucepan and place over a low-medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon for 5-8 minutes or until mixture thickens on base and sides of pot and coats the spoon. Remove vanilla bean.
Pour custard into bowl. Cool as quickly as possible. Custard will thicken considerably once fully chilled. Store in fridge for up to three days.
OAT CRUMBLE TOPPING
Makes 550g (4 cups)
125g ( 1/2 cup) butter, softened
125g ( 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp) brown sugar
150g (1 cup + 1 1/2 Tbsp) flour
150g (1 1/2 cups) rolled oats
Preheat oven to 185C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Place butter and sugar into a bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
Sift flour on to butter, add oats, and mix well until combined and small clusters (preferably with a range of sizes) form. The mixture should resemble crumbly cookie dough.
Spread crumbs over prepared tray.
Place into preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring several times during baking, until lightly browned.
Remove from oven and cool. The crumble will crisp up further on cooling.
Store in an airtight container for up to three weeks or freeze for two months.
- The Dominion Post