Sunday, January 20, 2013

Banana Brûlée Oatmeal

Oatmeal is one of those comforting breakfast foods that says winter to me. We've been eating a lot of it lately, but I'm still working on a way to get my daughter to love something other than instant oatmeal packets, which are pretty pricey here. I've dabbled in the Make Your Own Instant Oatmeal as is explained at Simple Dollar and have been moderately successful at something close to packaged oatmeal. For a special Sunday morning breakfast, though, I wanted something closer to a hearty baked oatmeal. When I was in the States over Christmas, my nanny had some food magazines for me, and a number of them had versions of baked oatmeal with a brûlée topping. Here's a tweaked version that works well for us. The oats that come from India don't stand up to soaking overnight as well as steel cut oats so I skip that, but the end product is still pretty tasty. If you use steel cut oats, follow the recommended liquid to oats ratio on the package, soak overnight in the boiled water, cook the oats until tender in the morning, and follow the rest of the recipe.

Can you tell I have only one good location for photos?
Banana Brulee Oatmeal
1 1/2 cups oats
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 regular sized ripe bananas or 3-4 smaller local ones
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup toasted nuts (walnuts, almonds, or pecans if you're in the US)

Bring the water to a boil and add the oats. Cook over low heat until the oats are done. This usually takes about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the salt, vanilla, and milk, stirring to combine. Pour into a baking dish. Turn on the broiler. My oven has a knob you can turn for just the top heating element, and you just crank the heat. Slice bananas on a diagonal into thin slices. Spread them over the top of the oatmeal. Sprinkle with the brown sugar. Place the dish under the broiler for about 4 minutes or until the brown sugar looks caramely and melted. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the toasted nuts.

No electricity morning version: Toast the nuts in a pan over low heat until fragrant. After the oatmeal is cooked, add all the other ingredients and mix together. Top with the nuts. This method tastes slightly different, but it's still really good.

The verdict with my daughter--empty bowl. 'Nuff said.

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