Monday, October 12, 2009

Pumpkin Oatmeal

I used to hate oatmeal because I was really only familiar with the mushy quick or instant kind, the kind that turns into wallpaper paste in the blink of an eye. Recently I discovered steel cut oats, which retain a bit of crunch after cooking - a textural universe away from the oatmeal of my youth.

Normally I like to eat my 'meal with a bit of butter, sugar, and milk, but this time I decided to make pumpkin oatmeal. I had made pumpkin pancakes earlier in the week and had a bunch of purée left over.

Pumpkin Oatmeal

1 cup pumpkin purée
sugar to taste
cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cloves, ground cardamom
4 cups water
1 cup steel-cut oats

Season pumpkin with sugar and spices to taste. Set aside.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Stir in oatmeal and bring back to the boil. Immediately turn heat down to medium-low and let simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the oats are only slightly crunchy. Stir in pumpkin spice mixture, tasting as you go and adding more sugar and spices if needed. Add a healthy pinch of salt to bring out the flavors. Cook an additional 5-10 minutes, stirring, or until you're satisfied with the texture.

Serve with butter and milk or cream; garnish with toasted walnuts and dried cranberries, if desired.

4 servings