Steel Cut Oats & Peaches

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Is anybody still waking up in time to eat breakfast these days? Two weeks into quarantine, my sleep cycle went to hell. If I'm actually awake in the morning, I end up lazily daydreaming about food for a good couple of hours in bed before realizing that even lunchtime has escaped me. To be honest, I don't know what day it is anymore. I'm just here, wondering why every time I walk in the kitchen there are more dishes to wash. This post is about breakfast though. I am very much attempting to start my day with actual food so that I am not existing solely on grilled cheese sandwiches, late night pasta, and ice cream. (This is a judgment-free zone, right?) So oatmeal it is, mostly because it's healthy and fills me up for a good part of the day. It's something I can make ahead to have ready in the fridge. Steel cut oats have a pleasantly chewy texture and nutty flavor that is much more interesting than the typical mushy oatmeal. If you use another type of oatmeal, adjust the cooking steps based on the package instructions. I'm cheating a bit today. I wrote this recipe for a post back in 2014, but it was a great candidate for a refresh. I'm making do with different ingredients these days, so I used frozen peaches instead of fresh. No prep, no annoying skins to remove, and they were picked at season's peak. So there's not exactly a downside to that ingredient swap. Any kind of milk or cream will work. I tested it today with evaporated milk and loved the results. Coconut milk, oat milk, almond milk, whole milk - anything goes here, but some results will be creamier than others. The original recipe was vegan, so check there for substitutes if this interests you. Adjust the amount of sugar to your liking based on how sweet your peaches are. If you don't have brown sugar, use granulated sugar or another sweetener like maple syrup or honey. I didn't sweeten the oatmeal, but it's your world. Nobody will even know if this is your dinner and dessert tonight. It might be mine.

Steel Cut Oats & Peaches

12 oz evaporated milk
2 1/2 cups water
Kosher salt, as needed
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom (or substitute with additional cinnamon)
1 lb frozen sliced peaches 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar

Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
Recommended equipment (affiliate links): Non-stick saucepan and skilletwooden mixing spoon, slotted spoon

To prepare the oatmeal, bring the milk and water to a boil in your saucepan. (I reserved about a tablespoon of milk to pour over my bowl later.) Add one cup of oats and a good pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes until oatmeal is thickened. Stir in one tablespoon of butter to finish.

To prepare the peaches, melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter in your skillet over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom. After the sugar dissolves, add the peaches and a pinch of salt. It's okay if they're still partially frozen. After the peaches have warmed through and released their juices, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the skillet and set aside. Add the vanilla and lemon juice. Continue to cook the caramelized sauce until it is bubbly and has reduced slightly, then return the peaches to the skillet. (This helps to keep the peaches nice and firm instead of letting them break down.)

Serve warm. Drizzle some reserved milk over the oatmeal in your bowl, and then spoon plenty of peaches and sauce over the top. Leftovers can be refrigerated, separately. You may want to stir some additional water or milk into the oats prior to reheating, then stir again after it's hot. I use the microwave, because I'm not doing anymore dishes.

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  1. Hi, can this be done in a slow cooker to eliminate the stove top stirring?