Thursday, August 13, 2009

Slow-cooker oatmeal (Thank you, Alton Brown)

Okay, among many other things, I'm really into good cooking. You'll see a lot of those posts in here. My two favorite cooking shows end up to live at both ends of the talent spectrum: Good Eats, which presents Alton Brown running down the basics of food mechanics, and Iron Chef America, where the best and brightest of the culinary world end up doing shamefully amazing things to insane amounts of food. I have a friend who works on that show and keeps telling me that I can go out there to see it anytime I want. If only New York were not so far away...

Anyhow, today's post is about an Alton Brown recipe that intrigued me (as many of his recipes do). Last weekend's camp trip where I grilled skirt steak directly on hot coals (rather than on a grill over coals) came out amazingly well, so I decided to spin another AB joint - Steel cut oats in the crock pot.

I followed the recipe as instructed, with the exception of the dried figs. I have some dried apricots that I considered throwing in there, but I didn't want to risk mucking things up on the first try. Next time, those bad boys are going in for a soak. Most of the comments on the site complained that the oatmeal burned up on the bottom. I found some burned stuff, but not enough to be concerned about. I scraped all the burned bits off the side with a butter knife and mixed them in. They smoothed into the soft warm porridge and left a distinct nutty flavor that I really liked. I strongly encourage anyone with a crock pot to give this one a go. If you do try this, top it with some brown sugar while it's hot. You won't be disappointed!

Update 8/17: Tried again, adding dried apricots and cranberries, and using 3 cups 2% milk with 2 cups water instead of 4 cups water and 1 cup heavy cream. This combination didn't work. The porridge was not very creamy, and the sweet from the dried frut was waaay overpowering. This batch burned a lot more too, probably due to the sugars in the fruit.

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