Sunday, April 29, 2012

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Buttermilk

My friend Elizabeth recently made steel cut oats in a slow cooker and posted it on her blog. I had every intention of making her recipe, because I love the idea of waking up to a hot cooked breakfast. But then, because I have the attention span of a goldfish, I was totally distracted by this recipe. I liked the idea of toasting the oats before cooking them and the addition of buttermilk. So I made this one instead. And it was delightful. The texture was creamy and pleasantly chewy, plus the tangy buttermilk was perfect with the little touch of sweetness from the sugar.

If I can stay focused, maybe I'll make the slow cooker oatmeal next week. Of course by then my muddled brain will have moved on to something else, like whatever food is on the next cooking show I happen to watch. Or maybe the show after that. Or probably the show after that one. I could go on all day (until something else distracts me).

Yield: 3-4 servings

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups boiling water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1.      In a large sauce pot, melt the butter; add the oats. Stir for 2 minutes to toast. Add the boiling water and reduce heat to a simmer. Keep at a low simmer for 25 minutes, without stirring.
2.      Mix in the salt. Combine the milk and half of the buttermilk with the oatmeal. Stir gently to combine and cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3.      Spoon into a serving bowl and top with brown sugar, cinnamon and remaining buttermilk.

from Alton Brown
steel cut oats

I agree with my friend Elizabeth, they look like
something you'd feed the goats at the petting zoo.

 Throw out those rolled oats in your cabinet
(actually, don't...use those to make cookies).
But if you're making oatmeal, try steel cut or
Scottish oats
instead (they taste better and
they're better for you too).
The Bob's Red Mill package says they're also known as
Irish or Pinhead Oats. It also says they're high in protein.
melting the butter
toasting the oats
adding the boiling water
simmering (without stirring)
25 minutes later...adding the salt
mixing in the salt
adding the milk and half the buttermilk
10 minutes later
nicely thickened
plain steel cut oats
sprinkled with a little cinnamon and
brown sugar (actually, I used maple sugar)
pouring on buttermilk
mixing it all in

I thought it might be too loose, but it
thickens more as it sits. It was great.
creamy and delicious!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Parmesan Polenta

I served this to my dad recently and he acted like I'd presented him with foie gras on a silver platter. I think he said "What's this?'re always cooking up something newfangled and fancy around here." Actually, I think he just said new and fancy, but I added the fangled because I love the word newfangled and don't use it nearly enough. Anyway, I never dreamed this would be his perception of polenta. I thought it was pretty basic stuff. I guess I should have learned from that time I served him salsa with corn chips and he called me an innovator. I tried to explain that salsa is probably the most popular condiment in the world, but he was already too busy dipping and crunching.

Serves 8

9 1/2 cups chicken stock (or low-salt chicken broth)
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.      Bring chicken stock to boil in heavy large saucepan. Reduce heat to medium.
2.      Gradually whisk in cornmeal. Cook until cornmeal is very soft and mixture is thick and creamy, whisking occasionally, about 20 minutes.
3.      Remove from heat. Stir in parmesan cheese and butter. Season polenta to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.

from Bon Appétit, September 1998
chicken stock
adding cornmeal to the stock
thick and creamy, 20 minutes later
adding parmesan and butter
parmesan polenta
It seemed a little too soft at first, but then...
after cooling off for about 5 minutes, it was just right.

FYI: The photo at the very top is leftover polenta
the next day. That's why it looks a little clumpier.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Grilled Rosemary Chicken with Lemon

I find that everyone enjoys some nice grilled chicken. Except for vegetarians and of course, the chicken. But otherwise, it's a good solid choice for a nice, informal meal. You can't really go wrong. Unless maybe you drop your tongs into the grill and then try to fish them out with a way too short fork and burn your fingers. And then you run inside and put them under the faucet, but the hot water comes out for the first few seconds, instead of the cold water. But then that's just the chance you're taking. You can't blame the recipe (although you can totally curse at the chicken until the pain subsides and then eat it).

Makes 6-8 servings

3 to 4 lb. chicken thighs or breasts, bone-in and skin on
3/4 cup olive oil, divided
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice plus 1 lemon
12 rosemary sprigs, divided
10 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large pinch smoked paprika

1.      Arrange chicken in a glass baking dish. Drizzle with 1/2 cup oil and lemon juice. Coarsely chop leaves from 10 rosemary sprigs. Toss chopped rosemary and garlic with chicken to coat; season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Cover; chill for 3 hours or overnight.
2.      Build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Let chicken come to room temperature. Brush off marinade; grill chicken, turning occasionally, until browned and almost cooked through (about 20-22 minutes for legs and thighs, 16–18 minutes for breasts).
3.      Pour remaining 1/4 cup oil into a small bowl. Dip 2 rosemary sprigs in oil; occasionally baste chicken with sprigs until cooked through, about 5 more minutes.
4.      Let chicken rest for 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Cut lemon in half lengthwise, then cut thinly crosswise into half-moons. Add to chicken with any leftover basting oil; toss to coat.

from Bon Appétit, August 2011 by Kevin West
drizzling olive oil over chicken
squeezing lemon
chicken marinating
marinade brushed off the chicken
chicken on the grill, skin side down
chicken flipped
rosemary and olive oil
basting the chicken
lemon slices
pouring the basting oil over the chicken
chicken served with lemon slices

Monday, April 23, 2012

Honey Mustard Dressing

If you're out of salad dressing, there's a good chance you already have all these ingredients on hand. It makes you wonder...if a fresh, delicious honey mustard dressing is so simple, why do the leading brands each have like 20 ingredients? And I'm pretty sure a few of them don't even qualify as actual food. I also don't get why they have to add yellow #5 to make it brighter. Even if my pale yellow dressing was harder to spot on my salad, I could taste it was there.

Yield: 3/4 cup

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Whisk everything together in a bowl. Store covered in the refrigerator.

from by Mary Ann Benzon
mustard and mayonnaise
adding honey
honey mustard dressing
dressing the salad
salad dressed