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scottish oats

April 3rd, 2010 · 19 Comments

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My mother is a great cook even if her skills are far underutilized at this current phase in her life. Despite the fact that she has no one to cook for, my mom still loves to read cooking magazines, blogs, and articles to find the latest “best” recipes. Most of those come from Cook’s Illustrated, of course. Who else tries 50 batches of oatmeal to find the perfect recipe? Who in the world has time to do that kind of thing??? So when mom told me that her latest magazine had a recipe for “the perfect oatmeal” I was intrigued, but I’ll admit that I was not convinced. I mean, it’s oatmeal! For goodness’ sakes, how would one perfect oatmeal?

This recipe reads like something from a potions class at Hogwarts. Some everyday ingredients are all you’ll need to make this special concoction, but if you follow the recipe to a T, you’ll feel like Professor Snape is staring over your shoulder. Turn it clockwise two turns, wait a few minutes, then turn your handle upside down and stir it again the other way. Whether you choose to follow this recipe exactly as written or just stir like you’ve always stirred, I guarantee you’ll be amazed by the results. I refuse to make oatmeal any other way ever again.

scottish oats

adapted from www.cooksillustrated.com

3 cups of water
1 cup whole milk
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup steel cut oats or Scottish oats (NOT regular old fashioned oatmeal)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Bring water and milk to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, heat butter in medium skillet over medium heat until just beginning to foam.  Add oats and toast, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until golden and fragrant with butterscotch-like aroma, 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Stir toasted oats into the simmering liquid, reduce heat to medium-low; simmer gently, until the mixture thickens and resembles gravy, about 20 minutes.

Add salt and vanilla and stir lightly with spoon handle. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon handle, until oats absorb almost all the liquid and the oatmeal is thick and creamy, with a pudding-like consistency, about 7 to 10 minutes. Off heat, let oatmeal stand uncovered 5 minutes. Serve immediately butter and brown sugar.

 

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Tags: 60 min or less · light · vegetarian

19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 LeAnn // Apr 3, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Spoon handle? Kinda bizarre, but what the hey. I don’t have whole milk, but otherwise I’m going to make this. We love oatmeal!

  • 2 Michelle // Apr 6, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    I love oatmeal, but I don’t think I have time to make this everyday… so question, could I make a big batch, and then reheat leftovers the next day???

  • 3 paulawong // Apr 6, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    yup, absolutely :)

  • 4 jes // Apr 9, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    this was made this morning. love it.

  • 5 LeAnn // May 10, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Wow, these are good. So much more flavorful than the version on the can. And rich too – even though I used 1% milk. Mmmmm…

  • 6 Big Bloo // May 30, 2011 at 2:41 am

    As a Scot I thought I’d throw My tuppence worth in!
    My porridge is made with whole milk and a wee splash of cream and some salt. Nothing else, most people just use water. Once in the bowl a splash of milk, which usually means you can spin the porridge round in it, is added. If its the right consistency. If you are like me a sprinkle of sugar on the top 1st . You must use a Spurtle to stir it when cooking. In the old days, you’d make lots and pour the extra into a drawer and cut it into slices to eat later, I kid you not!

  • 7 Sasha @ The Procrastobaker // Jul 15, 2011 at 5:35 am

    I really want to try steel cut oats, im a loyal oatmeal eater (every morn with lashings of honey, yumm) but everyone that tries steel cut oats seems to swear by them and say they will never go back, i just cant see how rolled oats can be improved upon so i simply must try this recipe! Im willing to be convinced :)

  • 8 jess white @athriftyfoodie // Jul 15, 2011 at 6:30 am

    I just love the fact that you’re using scottish oats! i eat these everyday, and they’re not a novelty for me! Lovely photographs

  • 9 Sarah // Jul 15, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Does the recipe work just as well if you divide it into one serving (by four)?

  • 10 Paula // Jul 15, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I have never tried dividing it, but I hate cleaning dishes, so my general rule is make a full batch and eat it all week! Certainly beats making multiple small batches and washing dishes that many more times! :)

  • 11 Charissa // Jul 15, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    OOH, nice! I’m trying to eat more oatmeal, but I need to eat more of the Scottish or Steel cut kind, rather than the normal old fashioned! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 12 Kel@The Kel Show // Jul 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Toasting the oats! Brilliant! Can’t wait for breakfast to try; this may have to be an afternoon snack!

    As for leftovers, pour into a bread loaf pan. Let sit covered in your fridge, the slice off a hunk the next day. Lay on a baking sheet with a sprinkle of sugar, brown or otherwise til heated. Broil for a few seconds at the end. Serve with a dollop of greek yogurt!

    Here are better directions from my friend Lynn:

    http://countrytartrecipes.blogspot.com/2010/05/scottish-oatmeal-cake.html

  • 13 Paula // Jul 15, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Oh my gosh! I love the idea for leftovers! Brilliant! I will have to try this next time I have scottish oats on hand! :)

  • 14 Nicole @ itsfeedingtimeatthezoo // Jul 15, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Wow, these look delish. I love the idea of toasting the oats in butter. I’ve actually done something similar for a savoury oat dish but hadn’t really considered taking it back to porridge.

  • 15 Kelli // Aug 20, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Makes me long for cold winter mornings!

  • 16 Paula // Aug 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Kelli – although it’s mid-August, my husband contemplated starting a fire this morning. It was below 60 outside and he was freezing. :) I told him that we can’t have fires until at least October, no matter how cold it is. :)

  • 17 Bettye // Aug 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Where ARE you, Paula?! Here in Texas, we have had multiple triple-digit days. We’re MELTING.

  • 18 Paula // Aug 20, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Bettye – in the best place on the planet: East Bay, California. :) Our high today was 80. Next week we might see 90s! :)

  • 19 Melanie Stallings // Dec 25, 2011 at 7:38 am

    I’m sitting here eating these on Christmas morn. I’ve always liked oatmeal, including Scottish oats, but more as a vehicle for the brown sugar than for their own qualities. NO MORE. These may even stand on their own without the sugar. The toasting totally changed the character of the cereal.

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