Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Steel Cut Oat Risotto another 5 minute Grain Surgery™

5 minute Grain Surgery™

Welcome back to our continuing series on how to use grain. Wednesday is usually the day I just bust out a quick 5 minute challenge and hope you'll join me in the grand adventure that whole grain can bring into your life.

 Today I'm taking some whole oats...
that have been cut into what is commonly called Irish Oatmeal or Steel Cut Oats. They’re exactly what the name says, being whole oat groats that have been steel cut into smaller pieces. This shortens the cooking time, but keeps all the nutritional value of the whole oat groats. If you missed the class you can still see the  Oat-Standing Class Notes. 

The first time I had Irish Oatmeal for breakfast I fell in love. I'm an oat-tastic-freak anyway. Love them! Xoxo {heart}. Triple squeeze. Love. That's a lot of love right there. I love the way they keep their texture and still get creamy-divine. I love how they cook up faster than whole oat groats and I love how they taste so much like rolled oats but have a real beautiful mouth feel. I've talked in the past about my total disdain for glue-like oatmeal. That will never change. So, today I wanted to share how to make the steel cut oats for breakfast and dinner as well!
 This is how to cook them...for hot breakfast cereal. It doesn't take 45 minutes to get them cooked. Don't be concerned. Usually it takes 15 minutes for them to fully cook and be ready for breakfast.
Top the cooked steel cut oats with a drizzle of honey or pure maple syrup. Add chopped nuts and dried or fresh fruit. Rub them all over your face and...oh wait...don't do that. My kids used to do that. I miss those gooey oatmeal kisses. I really do.

What about dinner though? Can they really be a part of dinner too? Well, yes they can. Thank you for asking. Steel cut oats make an excellent side dish or even a main dish if you know some tricks. So far, my favorite use for the steel cut oats is in either a hearty beef-vegetable stew (instead of barley) or in a creamy, smooth, cheesy, tangy, savory, peppery risotto-style side dish. This is how I do it.
Chef Tess Caramelized Onion, Oat and Pea Risotto
 with Sharp White Cheddar Lemon, and Dill
You will need:
4 cups low sodium vegetable stock or chicken stock
2/3 cup red wine (or red grape juice for non-alcoholic)
1 cup of green peas
1 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 cup diced fresh onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup light cream cheese or homemade cream cheese
1/3 cup sharp white cheddar cheese
1T fine minced fresh dill (or 1 1/2 tsp dry)
zest of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste
 Get all your stuff together. Yupper. Those are the steel cut outs right out front.
In a 12 inch deep pot or skillet, saute the onions in the olive oil until they caramelize. The longer they cook the sweeter and deeper the flavor. It will just be a preference thing but I like them medium brown. At this point I add the garlic so the flavor mellows. If you add the garlic too soon, it will brown and get a bitter bite to it.
 For the record, I don't use wine on this website. I don't cook with it. I know that seems very non-chef of me, but I have actually never tasted the stuff (for religious reasons). Ask me how I survived culinary school? It was fun! They were actually very cool about it. Now I have a lot of folks who are associated with AA who use my blog for that reason. The mere taste of wine would not be good for those darlings. So I love you. If you cook with wine, you can use 2/3 cup red wine here. I used a nice non-vintage grape juice. It's all good.
 De-glaze the pan with wine/juice and stir in all the flavor that was collected on the bottom of the pan.
 Now, all at once, add the oats.
 Add the 4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock (make sure it's low sodium folks or it will reduce and be really salty). Cook over a medium heat 15-20 minutes, stir occasionally. This is different form traditional risotto that has to be constantly stirred for a full 20-30 minutes while slowly adding the liquid. You love me right now right?  After 20 minutes it will have thickened a little but not be too thick.
 While it cooks make sure your lemon and dill are ready.
Add the peas, cream cheese, dill and lemon to the thickened oat mixture.
 Stir until the cream cheese has dissolved.
 Turn off the heat. Eat the cheese.
The risotto-style oats will thicken a little more as they cool. Once the heat is off, stir in the cheese and let it melt. This will ensure that the final dish stays creamy instead of getting grainy-cheese. Serve this as a main dish with some crusty bread and some field greens drizzled with French dressing or alone. I think it's perfect with some grilled Salmon and hint of crispy bacon. Top each serving with some savory cheese and a sprinkle of fresh dill. It is delicious!
There you go! Now your challenge this week is to try steel cut oats a different way than you've ever had them before. If you've never had them ever...why not give them a try? Make them up and tell me all about it! I'm excited to here what you're making with whole grain.

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


Ryan Noelle said...

Looks delicious! Making this tonight! Thanks!!!!

Anonymous said...

I’m allergic to red wine and grapes. Do you have a suggestion for a substitute in this recipe! It looks amazing!