How do I love this recipe? Let me count the ways:
1. It’s delicious.
2. The oats serve as a lovely foil to the fresh fruit you toss on top.
3. Cooked this way, steel-cut oats have a mostly creamy texture with a little pleasant chew. I’ve tried steel-cut oats cooked according to directions on the canister (mix with water, simmer forever). Tried making them overnight in a slow-cooker. Neither version was worth repeating.
4. This recipe is easy to make before bedtime, and it makes breakfast easy. My household is small. The batch I made lasted three days, and the final bowlful was as good as the first.
5. It’s hearty. You’ll feel like donning a flannel shirt and clearing timber after a breakfast of this. A bowl of oatmeal also makes an eater feel a little virtuous. Stay away, Pillsbury Orange Sweet Rolls, with your siren call of chemically-derived tastiness. I’m eating real food here!
Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal, adapted from a recipe posted 1/22/2014 on noshon.it (Nosh On It), a free daily cooking newsletter that’s one of my new favorite food reads. Yield: 4-5 servings
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 cup steel-cut oats
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Assorted toppings: milk, brown sugar, additional butter, fresh berries, sliced bananas, raisins, toasted walnuts.
Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the oats. Cook and stir for about three minutes, distributing the little bit of butter throughout the oats. When the oats smell fragrantly nutty, stir in the water and salt. Increase the heat and bring the water to a simmer, then cook for another three minutes, water bubbling gently. Stir again.
Remove the pan from heat, cover with a lid, and let sit at room temperature on top of the stove or on a kitchen counter for at least four hours and up to overnight. The next morning, dish up a serving of the cooked oats in a bowl, add enough milk to make an island of your oats, and heat in a microwave oven for one to two minutes. (Editing note 4-1-14: Take care not to overheat the mixture, or you’ll end up with scalded oats and a clean-up job, like I just did.) I like mine sprinkled with brown sugar, a pat of butter on top, and studded with fresh berries. Heaven.
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator. I like Nosh On It’s idea: spoon individual servings of the oatmeal into jars, leaving enough room for milk and toppings, and store in the fridge with lids on. Breakfast for several days is as simple as grabbing a jar, removing the lid, and proceeding as directed above.