Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

Chinese Fast Food Oatmeal

February 28, 2020

Every couple of years we get some Chinese fast food from the deli at Safeway. You know the stuff — little white boxes of cornstarch and MSG, with meat and vegetable additives. On Monday I bought a couple of boxes on a whim: orange chicken and Korean BBQ. They were … OK … and helped me gain weight, so I thought I’d try the dregs in oatmeal. Not together, of course, but on two separate days.

ORANGE CHICKEN

Essentially, this is Chicken McNuggets in thick orange sauce. Heavy on the breading.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup beef broth sloshed around in the orange chicken box, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Very OK. There was enough sauce to liven up the oatmeal, and enough fragments of breading to thicken the sauce. Probably worth doing again in 2022.

Rating: ***

KOREAN BBQ

Best described as candied beef jerky in a thick spicy dark garlicorice sauce. I left a couple of the chunks of beef in the mix because too much of the sauce wanted to stick to them.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of beef broth sloshed around in the KBQ box, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Not for me, but others might like it. Actually tasted more spicy and more licoricey than when eaten on the beef. The beef chunks went from being jerky-like to being merely tough.

Rating: ***

 

Bloody Mary Oats

February 13, 2020

So, yesterday I went to the dentist for a simple cavity fill, and came home with a root canal and crown to go with it. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

While modern dentistry is far better than it was when I was a lad, back before it got dark and cold and my pet dinosaur died, I still ached throughout my head, and even chewing on the other side (the one with a simple filling) didn’t help. MJ came to the rescue by making me a simple soup for dinner. In true Rachel Ray fashion, this was something of a deconstructed Bloody Mary. Quart of beef broth, vending machine can of tomato juice, ketchup, teriyaki sauce, rice wine vinegar, bourbon, Worces….that sauce. Very good, with a certain bite to it. I saved a cup.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup bloody mary broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Fat pinch of shred cheese. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end, and put the cheese in the bottom of the cup.

Results: Meh. It wasn’t bad, just not very good. I’d forgotten that any amount of tomatoes don’t go with oatmeal, even if you add cheese. Plus, it still made my jaw ache.

Rating: **

Pork n Beans n Oats

January 30, 2020

Leftovers are fun. Last night we had a couple of thin fried pork chops (or should that be fried thin pork chops, there are rules about this), and a nice pot of baked beans. There were some beans left over. More importantly, there were some partially-gnawed pork bones. Since we were coming to the end of our ham broth, I decided to simmer the bones in the broth I was going to make the oatmeal in.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of ham broth what has been simmered for 15min with the fragments from two pork chops, third of a cup of baked beans, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Take the bones out before you add the beans and the oatmeal. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Very good. The pork bones didn’t add much, but they brought out the flavor of the rather mild ham broth. The beans added some mass, and the bean half of the pork n beans flavor.

Rating: ***

French Onion Oats

January 23, 2020

Third time’s the charm. I’d nibbled around the edges of FOO a couple of times before, mostly by appropriating the name inappropriately. This time I’m using real french onion soup.

We made soup last night. The recipe I used was an amalgam of several off the web. Essentially, you chunk your onions (we used three, and the chunks should not be too small or they turn to mush) and put them in the pressure cooker for 20min. This is cook time you don’t need to stir or monitor during. When they are done, strain off the water into a bowl, there will be about a cup and a half. That’s the other reason for pressure cooking. In the traditional fry-them-in-a-pan approach, all that lovely flavorsome water boils off. Dump the, still-wet, onions into a pot and spend the next 20 minutes or so getting them to brown without burning. When you are done, add back in the onion water, plus a quart of beef broth, plus any other additives — Worcest…you know…sauce, white wine, herbs, etc. — and cook to blend the flavors. Be sure to save a fat cup for breakfast.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup leftover french onion soup, fat pinch of shred cheese, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Put the cheese at the bottom of your bowl and pour the FOO over it.

Results: Excellent. Worth making lots of soup so you have leftovers. I’m going to do it again tomorrow.

Rating: *****

Amazake Oats

January 2, 2020

Almost three years ago I reported on using baseline amazake in oatmeal. Amazake (甘酒 , あまざけ) or “sweet sake” is a extremely sweet non-alcoholic drink made from the lees left over from production of sake. An instant variety (available from Amazon) comes as a small white slab, about the size of the miniature candy bars given out at Halloween, and which looks and feels like a chunk of styrofoam (it even floats). In Japan it is popular at Shinto shrines for the January 1st beginning-of-the-year celebrations. We had a few slabs left over, so I thought I’d see if they tasted any different with a different dissolving fluid.

First up was boxed chicken broth, ’cause that’s what I had on hand when the idea struck.

Experiment 1: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup chicken broth, one slab of instant amazake, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Very good. Amazakingly sweet. Chicken added a robust background.

Rating: ***

Next morning (AKA today), when my brain had caught up with my inspiration, I made a batch of dashi, using a commercial dashi-bag.

Experiment 2: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup dashi, one slab of instant amazake, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Very good. Very … Japanese. Once again, exceedingly sweet. Dashi taste was not overwhelming, but it was there. A touch of shoyu helped, but only a touch.

Rating: ***

These are too exotic to put into the regular rotation, like cake for breakfast, but now and then they make a great change. Since packaged amazake is kindof expensive ($10 for a 4-pack), I think I’ll try a field expedient recipe using leftover rice water, mirin, and sake…plus some additional sugar.

Curried Potato Pumpkin Soup….oatmeal

December 19, 2019

We are getting down to the end of our home-grown winter squash. Last night, MJ took our two pie-pumpkins, added some potatoes and curry and made soup. Of course I then took the soup and some broth and made breakfast. The broth was what we call a second pressing — MJ likes to make chicken soup the long, slow, simmer on the stove way. I then take the dregs and nuke them in the pressure cooker for 45min. The resulting broth is a little thin, but good enough.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup chicken broth, one fat dinner tablespoon of pumpkin etc. soup. two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add soup at the beginning and the potatoes at the end.

Results: Very good. Needs something more to help it level up — salt, ground pepper, gin…something.

Rating: ***

Oatmeal Bay 2

November 21, 2019

We’ve had a pretty good squash crop this year, and are slowly working our way through it. We picked them all at the end of the growing season, and since we don’t have a root cellar, we’re storing them in the bathtub in the guest room. MJ doesn’t like it that they are so close to the toilet, but I told her it would be all right, as long as you wash your hands after eating them.

Last week, MJ made squash soup with our butternut squash. Lots of very thick soup, very squashy. Meanwhile, I found a recipe on line for a Jamaican variant, with shrimp and Old Bay seasoning. Since there wasn’t much left of the soup by the end of the week, I decided to try this version: can of minced crab and a scant measuring teaspoon of Old Bay to maybe a quart of soup. You don’t want to use too much, ’cause it’s heavy on the black pepper.

It was…not great. Too peppery. Not enough crab taste. Even adding cheese didn’t help much. About the only thing it was good for was…oatmeal!

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, 1 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup Old Bay Squash Soup with Crab, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the souplike substance about two minutes before the end (so it didn’t interfere with the oatmeal absorbing the broth) potatoes about a minute before the end.

Results: Meh. It’s been six years almost to the day since my last Old Bay & Squash Soup recipe (and, interestingly, I haven’t used Old Bay in any others, ever). This time, I found that a 4:1 mix of chicken broth and OBSS in my oatmeal produced something surprisingly bland. It wasn’t pure oatmeal/eating white socks bland, but there wasn’t the squash/ pepper/ crab flavor I expected. There was flavor (and bits of ground up crab shell), but only in a mild, unidentifiable way. I decided not to go any higher on the OBSS input because that would take it out of the oatmeal-for-breakfast category and make it, I don’t know, a Thanksgiving side, or something. You could try it if you like. I’ve got a couple cups left over.

Rating: **

Oatmeal SOS

November 14, 2019

I haven’t been doing too many of these oatmeal recipes lately, because I’ve pretty much run the gamut of things one can usefully blend with oatmeal, and I absolutely refuse to use durian fruit. However, a cooking website I follow mentioned using cream instead of oil for frying eggs. That got me to thinking. Using all cream/milk in your oatmeal makes it sweet, and traditional. But suppose one mixed broth and cream at, say 3:1?

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, 1/4 cup half and half, 3/4 cup home-made chicken broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Very good. As MJ said, what I had invented was chicken gravy! I’ll tell you what it tasted like, and it wasn’t chicken. It tasted like a favorite military mess-hall breakfast of ground beef in a cream sauce over toast, AKA SOS. I’m making it again, tomorrow, and next week I’ll try beef broth.

Rating: ****

CabbageOats

October 10, 2019

The last time I tried using the water left over from cooking cabbage as the broth for oatmeal, I said it was bland. Cabbagy, but bland. What I forgot is that there’s more than one way to broth a cabbage.

So here’s the plan. Instead of forcing the poor, wilted cabbage leaves to carry the full flavor burden, why don’t we share it out, and use the cabbage as a supporting actor? Not in a three-drops-of-shoyu way, but in a somewhat bigger role? Like maybe half the broth?

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one half cup cabbage broth, one half cup beef broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end. I like to put a fat pinch of shred cheese at the bottom of the breakfast bowl.

Results: Very good. Beefy, with just an undertone of cabbagosity. You can go as low as 25% cabbage broth, but If you increase it above 50%, it lapses back into bland.

Rating: ***

Fried Green Oatmeal

October 3, 2019

OK, so most of the title is a lie. But what does your mental autocomplete come up with when someone says “fried green …”? Right, tomatoes. So, we’re talking green tomatoes here. In oatmeal.

It’s the end of summer and we’ve got something in excess of 10kg of mostly-green, just-harvested tomatoes, including 2kg of Yellow Pears which, despite the name, are actually cherries.

Little yellows

Baking them for an hour or so, then whacking them with a stir-stick, gave us 700g of a rather tart paste, with too many seeds. The flavor makes one think of an unspicy pepper, more like a banana than a bell. We’re still trying to figure out what it will go with, and while we were doing that, breakfast time rolled around.

I tried it two ways, one with a fat dinner teaspoon of the tomato mix (~30g) and one with two (~60g).

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup beef broth, teaspoons of green yellow pepper tomato paste to taste, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the paste at the beginning and the potatoes at the end.

Results: Not bad. The 30g version was surprisingly mild. The 60g version was more like green chili.

Rating: ***

Gorgonzola Curry Oatmeal

August 1, 2019

As I mentioned earlier, MJ recently bought a bunch of Gorgonzola-based steak butter patties. As I also mentioned, Gorgonzola is an intrusive cheese, that wants to dominate the flavor of whatever its associated with. If you are going to use it for breakfast, you need something that will stand up to it. Enter Japanese curry.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup beefy broth, one pat (roughly 30g) of Gorgonzola flavored butter, a 1 cm slice of Golden Curry roux, broken up, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes. No salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end. Add the Gorgonzola and the curry to the broth at the start and give them time to dissolve.

Results: Very good. Finally, the Gorgonzola flavor wasn’t overpowering, but was nicely offset by the curry. You still have to like Gorgonzola.

Rating: ***

Gorgonzola Oatmeal

July 18, 2019

So, a few weeks ago in a fit of impulsion MJ bought a bunch of steak butter patties, suitable for everything from burgers on up. Or so we thought.

Trouble is, their main non-butter component was Gorgonzola cheese, or at least, FDA Gorgonzola flavorant #12. And the trouble with that is, Gorgonzola is a, shall we say, intrusive cheese, that wants to dominate the flavor of whatever its associated with. Tasted like we were eating Gorgonzola patties with beef bits.

Well, if its flavor you got, then I’ve got a place for you, and it’s right on top of my oatmeal.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup beefy broth, one pat (roughly 30g) of Gorgonzola flavored butter, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end. Add the Gorgonzola to the broth at the start, or break it up and stir it in after the potatoes. Wait until aprè-Gorgon to add salt, ’cause it’s salty.

Results: OK, if you like Gorgonzola. The flavor wasn’t overpowering. After all, it was fighting a whole cup of bland. But when you come right down to it, when something is Gorgonzola-flavored, that means it tastes of Gorgonzola, and I find I’m not a big fan of that flavor. But try it. You might like it.

Rating: ***

Sous Vide Oatmeal

June 14, 2019

OK, so that’s kindof a click-baity title. But SV was involved, I swear.

You see, we tried our first sous-vide steak the other night. Now, most SV steak recipes don’t call for an included liquid/broth/brine or whatever. I had forgotten that, so I dropped the steak (small t-bone — I get the rib, she gets the tenderloin) into the bag, and then added a half cup of beef broth, remaining from an earlier oatmeal project, topped up with a cup of commercial chicken broth, plus salt. Two hours later we had almost three cups of liquid in the bag, along with a perfectly done, medium-rare, but surprisingly dry, steak — most of the juice had leaked out of the meat and into the bag. There’s obviously a lot more work to be done on the SV side, but that’s a different recipe.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup SV broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Excellent, as you might expect for a dish that included a cup of beef juice. I’ll finish off the other two cups, but I hope not to try this again. I want all my juice in the steak.

Rating: *****

Hot Dog Oats

April 27, 2019

Lately, there’s been a totally silly question going around: Is a hot dog a sandwich? I realize that in the Middle Ages several wars were fought over religious questions of equal import, but this enlightened age should have better things to do with its memes. And now we have the logical extension to that question: Is hot dog water a broth or a stock? For the record, my opinion is that, since a stock is made with bones, and hot dogs don’t have any bones (unless they’re the low end versions that use machine processing to get every bit of pink goo off the bones, with said machines sometimes going a processing too far), hot dog water is obviously a broth. Well, if it’s a broth, one should be able to make oatmeal with it.

I heated up two all beef franks in one cup of water, simmering them for fifteen minutes.  The franks we ate, the water I saved for the next morning (you didn’t think I was going to have hot dogs for breakfast did you?).

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup hot dog broth, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. No potatoes this time.

Results: Oatmeal.  Bland. Cheese helped, but not a lot. Evidently, hot dog water isn’t all that different from regular water. Maybe if I used Evian.

Rating: **

Scallop Oats

April 11, 2019

We had scallops the other night — package of big, frozen sea scallops. We thawed them as per instructions, then baked them in a broiler pan in the toaster oven. When they were done, there was a couple of tablespoons of the liquid off them in the bottom of the broiler pan.

Meanwhile, I’d cooked some small shell pasta in chicken broth (about which more later). I mixed a cup of this broth with the scallop liquid and used it for my breakfast oatmeal.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup pasta-scallop broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end. Add shred cheese if you like.

Results: Very good. A little salty. Most definite seafood flavor despite using only two tablespoonsworth. I had not planned ahead on this, otherwise I would have put some water in the bottom of the pan. As it was, a good portion of the scallop water browned itself to the bottom of the pan.

Rating: ***

Oatmeal Dashi

March 10, 2019

I have written about using dashi in oatmeal a number of times in the past. The dashi used was either home made, from seaweed and bonito, or it was home made, from crystals out of a jar. According to a recent cooking article, the go-to staple for busy Japanese housewives is dashi-inna-teabag. You just heat up two cups or so of water (600ml to be both metric and exact), throw in a bag, and simmer for five minutes. The result is a very mild broth.

The dashibags I am using are the Yamaki Katsuo and Kombu Dashi Pack (Bonito and Kelp Soup Base Bag)1.9oz, available from Amazon, $5.48 for a sixpack as of this writing, or just under fifty cents a cup. It took almost exactly a month for them to arrive from Japan, so don’t wait until the night before.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup broth, half a teaspoon of soy sauce, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.

Results: Very good. Very mild. Too much soy sauce. Try it without the shoyu first and then add it drop by drop.

Rating: ****

Oatmeal Miso 2

February 22, 2019

I tried making a Japanese dinner the other night. Did not go well. The salt-seasoned fish (Dover sole instead of the called-for mackerel)was too salty, and the home-made miso was too…miso-y. The rice was good. So I combined the leftover fish, plus scrapings from the broiler, the leftover miso (topped up with water to a full cup), and the few remaining grains of uneaten rice, and tried it in my oatmeal for breakfast.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup augmented miso broth. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Did not require potatoes or salt.

Results: Acceptable, but I won’t hurry back. Despite the fact that oatmeal will soak up almost any amount of salt, this was slightly too salty. Which gives you an idea of what dinner was like. The fish  disappeared. The rice thickened things so that the oatmeal actually stuck to the bottom of the pot. Not burned, but heavily browned. Next time, leave out the salted fish.

Rating: ***

Corn Chowder Oats

November 21, 2018

MJ made creamed corn chowder the other day, cooking real corn and real potatoes and real chicken broth and so forth. There was lots left over.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of chicken broth, two heaping dinner tablespoons of thick corn chowder (a quarter to a third of a cup), two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Very good. Worth repeating. The corn flavor made up for the bland oats, the kernelskins gave something to chew on, and the creamed part added a, well…, creamy texture.

Rating: ****

Beefy Oatmeal

November 13, 2018

We had a small roast the other night. Actually, it was a large rib-eye steak, but at our time of metabolism, that’s four meals. MJ took some of my tomato sauce and made a gravy with it and some mushrooms and onions. Almost a stroganoff. Very good. Was a struggle to hold out a quarter cup for the breakfast.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup tomato gravy, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Very good. As in, very good. Worth repeating.

Rating: ****

Potato Water Oatmeal

November 8, 2018

MJ made potato salad the other day, cooking real potatoes and eggses and things. She also soaked the onions in water, to take out some of the bite. She saved the various waters for me, about two quartsworth. The potato salad was very good. The potato water opened up interesting possibilities.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of potato water, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Very good. Worth repeating. The raw onion bite was surprisingly strong, even after having simmered for ten minutes.

 

Rating: ***

Curried Tomatoats

October 25, 2018

Earlier, I talked about making oatmeal with home-made tomato sauce. We had a good tomato harvest, and our initial saucifying efforts gave us a couple of quarts. With that much I just had to try adding some curry.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of fresh tomato sauce, two shakes of basil, a 6mm slice of Golden Curry roux, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. The sauce is thick enough that you don’t need potatoes.

Results: The curry disappeared. Sank without a trace. Nothing but tomato flavor. A second attempt with an 8 or 10mm slice fared a little better. At least we could detect the curry. In both cases there was an underlying sensation of heat, but very little curry flavor.

Rating: ***

Tomatoats

October 11, 2018

So, we harvested all our tomatoes, just ahead of the frosts, and ended up with a lot of green tomatoes, and a smaller lot of nearly ripe tomatoes, and oh by the way, another lot of really ripe tomatoes. I figured the only thing to do was to make tomato sauce out of everything but the really green ones. It made about two quarts.

Now, I have said that oatmeal and tomatoes don’t get along. That’s true of highly processed tomato products, like ketchup. But what about plain old fresh tomato sauce, with nothing added but salt and basil? Turns out it’s not bad. Not great, but not bad.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of fresh tomato sauce, two shakes of basil, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. The sauce is thick enough that you don’t need potatoes.

Results: Pretty good. Cheese helped. Might be useful to add a little more liquid (chicken stock?) and cook for 12min or so, to make up for the oats not absorbing the tomato part of the sauce.

Rating: ***

Fake Beef n Oats

September 6, 2018

So, MJ brought home some plant-based “beef” burgers the other day, because hey, how else are you going to get the kids to eat their vegetables. They were an off-pink color that reminded me more of dog food. I grilled them on the outdoor gas grill — they needed careful handling because they are very wet and break apart easily. Straight off the grill they tasted … almost, but not quite, totally unlike beef.

MJ took a couple to her dog training class, but brought them home uneaten. While the hot-from-the-grill burgers might have tasted not bad (if you didn’t think of them as beef), the cold burgers had a chemicky smell that made one want to … not eat them. They were like dwarf bread — one bite and you realized you were not as hungry as you thought you were.

Nothing daunted, I diced one of the patties into … dice sized chunks. Simmered them in beef broth for a few minutes to encourage them to break up more, which they didn’t.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one chopped up non-beef patty, one cup of beef broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end. (more…)

Pineapple Oats 1

August 30, 2018

A few months ago, a friend of ours went to Hawaii, and brought back a really fresh pineapple for us. It was fantastic. A few weeks ago, they had pineapples in at Safeway, so we bought one. Not as good. As Apu Nahasapeemapetilon might say, it was picked fresh in Hawaii, then shipped …. to warehouse for a week, then put on a containership for San Diego.

It had a fairly big core, and lots of eyes, and we were left with a large pile of discards. Fortunately, I had just read an article on what to do with that kind of stuff. Essentially, you chop it up, sprinkle with sugar, and leave overnight. In the morning you have a half cup or so of intense pineapple syrup. You also have a large pile of discarded discards.

In an effort to squeeze one more use out of them, I put them into a cup of beef broth, and simmered for ten minutes. Strain out the dregs, bring the broth back to a boil, and you’re ready to go.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of pineapple dregbroth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Pretty good. The pineapple flavor is pretty mild by that time, and it wouldn’t hurt to put some honey into the mix, but that can be done to taste, later. And BTW, the pineapple syrup goes very well on vanilla ice cream, but you have to use a fair amount of it, because one teaspoon per scoop just kindof sinks in.

Rating: ***

Curried BananaOats

August 23, 2018

We’d gone off on a trip and left a couple of bananas sitting on the counter. They were pretty ripe by the time we returned. Waste not want not, and bananas are pretty good in oatmeal, when properly skinned and filleted. Previous efforts along these lines included other fruit, and some kind of broth. I thought that this time I’d try plain water and Golden Curry.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Surprisingly bland. Curry roux can’t hold up a meal on its own, and neither can a lonely banana. Together, they were bland in two dimensions. Adding additional salt and butter made it taste like salty butter.

Rating: *****

Curried Coconut Oatmeal

August 16, 2018

MJ brought home a packet of frozen chicken-in-curried-coconut-sauce. As usual, not as good as home-made (too spicy, and you had trouble detecting the coconut), and there were leftovers. I didn’t use any of the chicken chunks, but I did scoop up about a quarter cup of the sauce.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of curry sauce/beef broth mix, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: OK. The sauce had been a little too spicy on the chicken, but diluted by the broth, and spread across the oatmeal it wasn’t bad. I’m not going to rush out and buy another packet, however.

Rating: ***

Surimi Oats

August 9, 2018

Surimi is a Japanese fish … product. Boiled, powdered, sintered whitefish paste. In the US, it’s usually found as fake crab or lobster. Every now and then you can find it as unabashed surimi — small chunks, painted red on one side. I thought I’d try it in oatmeal. Of course, one doesn’t want to cook it in beef or chicken broth because the flavors would clash. So I dug out my supply of dashi crystals. One half teaspoon in a cup of water gives a nice, seafoody, slightly smoky liquid.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of water, 40grams of surimi chunks, chopped fine, half a teaspoon of dashi crystals, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the surimi at the beginning so it has time to blend.

Results: Not as good as I’d hoped. The oatmeal didn’t soak up all the water, so you had a clear liquid with lots of bits of oats floating in it, plus surimi chunks. Plus, the surimi/dashi combo just barely had enough flavor to overcome the oatmeal bland.

I think it needs more experimentation.

Rating: *****

Cola Curry Oats

August 2, 2018

This started when we ended up with a couple of cans of cola. We’re not big cola drinkers, which is probably why we still have all our teeth.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of cola/broth mix, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results:

Experiment 1: Beef and cola. Surprisingly bland. Beef barely noticable, but no strong cola flavor, either

Experiment 2: Cola. Still bland.

Experiment 3. Cola and curry, no potatoes. Not great, but not bad. A little spicy compared with water- or broth-based curry. First time there was a definite cola flavor.

Rating: **

Oatmeal Au Jus

July 26, 2018

So, MJ and her friends, about once a month, will have a girls night out. A few weeks ago they went to see “Solo” (they liked it), and eat dinner at a local restaurant. MJ had the prime rib, and she brought the leftover rib and a container of the jus back for me. I’d already had dinner, but I’m always ready to go the extra meal. I didn’t use much of the jus, so the rest of it, the leftover leftovers if you will, became breakfast.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one third cup of jus, two thirds cup of beef  broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, no salt, because the jus is salty enough. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Very good. Very beefy. Very whatever it is they put in the beef juice to make jus. I’m willing to order prime rib again, just to have this for breakfast again. You can go heavier on the potato flakes, but what makes this so good is the beef graviness of it.

Rating: *****

Oatmeal au Vin

July 19, 2018

The other day, MJ made a chicken and wine sauce recipe — chicken broth, onions, tomatoes, and cream; plus not enough salt and rather too much wine. It wasn’t inedible, but the recipe will require a lot of work. We ended up with a cup or so of the sauce.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, quarter cup of rather winey red wine sauce, three-quarters cup of beef broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Reasonable. The beef broth diluted the wineyness and the whole thing made a reasonably tasty blend — surprising, because tomatoes usually don’t go well with oatmeal. I’d do it again, but I wouldn’t make that recipe just to do it.

Rating: ***

Refrigerator Velcroats

July 13, 2018

Refrigerator Velcro refers to recipes that can involve anything you have in the fridge, kindof like minestrone. We’d been collecting various meats for a week or so. There was the bag-o-bones left over from the Kentucky Fried Chicken we had one night, complete with remnants of the special coating. There were a couple of well-gnawed beef shortribs. And there was a slab of some sort of beef, about half the size of a paperback book (mystery novel, not blockbuster) that was moderately flavorsome but solid as a board.

I threw it all into the pressure cooker, along with a handful of baby cut carrots and half an onion, a couple quarts of water, and cooked it on high for 45minutes.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of velcrobroth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Moderately flavorsome. The added salt was a mistake. There was enough in the special coating to cover it, and it didn’t need any more. Basically, it made a good baseline broth. You’d really want to add additional additives to make it useful with oatmeal

Rating: ***

Chicken Broccoli Oatmeal

June 28, 2018

We have the worst luck with fast food. Or maybe we’ve outgrown it. In our college town there are a number of fast food places. For my last set of night classes before retirement, I started stopping at one or another of them on the way home to pick up a snack. Our rating so far is: Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and McDonalds (McNuggets), terrible; Taco Bell tacos, not bad, as long as you don’t think of it as Mexican food; Rosa’s Pizza (local), very good (but their quality seems to be slipping recently). So, what about other sources? The other night, MJ stopped at Safeway on her way home from the dog club, and picked up some Chinese food from the deli. Mostly bad: fried rice was OK, as was the chicken teriyaki (hey, I’m not the one who called it ‘Chinese’), but the chicken teriyaki and broccoli was inedibly salty, and had almost no broccoli (like they were trying to recreate something out of Cowboy Bebop).

We couldn’t finish it, but the thought occurred to me that the salt would disappear in a pot of oatmeal. To the breakfast table!

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of broth, two heaping dinner teaspoons of Safeway brand deli chicken teriyaki with broccoli, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the chicken at the start, so it has a chance to desalinate.

Results: Surprisingly OK. As I thought, the salt could not overcome the oatmeal, and the teriyaki flavor overcame the blands. However, I don’t plan on doing this again, and not just because I’ve taught my last night class.

Rating: *****

Broccolied Oatmeal

June 14, 2018

So we had dinner the other night, as we often do, and the side (we are no longer hearty eaters, so it’s one side at a time) was a riced broccoli: broccoli that had been chopped  up smaller than rice grains. I’m pretty sure it was the Marketing Department’s way of using up all the stalks as well as the florets, as well as giving parents something they can hide in the mashed potatoes. Of course there were leftovers (we’re talking broccoli here), so I tried them for breakfast.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of beef broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, two heaping dinner teaspoons of riced broccoli, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end, and the broccoli after that (it had already been steamed the night before).

Results: Very good. Not overpowering. Worth putting in the rotation for the next time we have broccoli (let’s see…Haley’s comet…).

Rating: *****

Hummus Oatmeal

June 7, 2018

Some of my Arab students had a combination graduation party and Iftar dinner, Iftar being the meal at which Muslims break their fast at sunset during Ramadan. They honored me with an invitation. The food was excellent, in a Middle Eastern sort of way, with lots of dips, including the Arabic equivalent of hummus. Afterwards, they gave me a large bag of various dishes to take home. I told them I would cry all the while I was handing out grades.

Now hummus is designed for cracker dipping, but of course you can do other things with it, including adding to your morning oatmeal.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, two dinner teaspoons of hummus, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end, and the hummus after that (you don’t need to cook it, just use the oatmeal to heat it).

Results: Very good. Worked with both chicken and beef broth. Not enough of it to overpower the flavor. I’ll consider going out and buying a jar of hummus when this supply runs out.

Rating: *****

Pumpkin Oats

May 12, 2018

So, MJ wants me to eat more healthy-like, and one of her friends has a husband who swears by putting pumpkin in his morning oatmeal. I suspect that he’s eating something that looks like orange cream of wheat, but anything to keep peace in the family.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of beef broth, two heaping teaspoons of canned pumpkin, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the pumpkin at the beginning and the potatoes at the end.

Results: Not bad, not great. Tastes like beef broth with something in it. I guess that’s about what I want — something that won’t interfere with the taste. Now to try it with other additions. After all, I still have most of the rest of the can.

Rating: *****

Oatmeal Gulash

March 5, 2018

This was inspired by a recipe my-brother-the-geologist brought back from a stint in Austria. Yes, gulyas is Hungarian. And yes, it’s eaten all over the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. For those who like recipes, here’s one from The Guardian (be sure to read the comments).

The baseline recipe is slow-cooked beef (shanks, chuck, etc), deeply browned onion, and tablespoons of assorted paprikas. The meat shreds down, and the onion disappears. Makes an excellent dinner. And you have leftovers.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, about a quarter-cup of gulash, very little salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the gulash a minute before you take it off the stove, and the potatoes right at the end.

Results: Most excellent. Just enough gulash/paprika flavor to give you a spicy breakfast.

Rating: *****

UPDATE: adding Golden Curry and shred cheese helped a lot

UPDATE: So, the original dinner was goulash over pasta. There was leftovers there, as well. Chopped up goulash and pasta added to the oatmeal was very good, but added half a pound of weight.

General Tso’s Oatmeal

December 14, 2017

Never go grocery shopping when hungry. Never go grocery shopping when starving. My third mistake was wandering past the deli section of Safeway in those conditions. Like most supers these days, Safeway Deli has a section of Chinese takeout, so in a moment of weakness I bought a box of General Tso’s Chicken. In deference to my diet (and budget) it was a medium-sized box, only a couple of inches on a side, and only $7.00 worth of food.

And it wasn’t all that good. As with a lot of takeout stuff, it was heavy on the spices, I guess so you could be sure you were getting a properly ethnic meal. A couple of chunks of chicken and spiced cornstarch, eaten with my fingers in the car, and my appetite was suitably suppressed. What to do with the rest?

Two or three chunks of chicken, chunked small, and a couple tablespoonsworth of the sauce looked to be an interesting variant on breakfast. I know it’s chicken, but it was dark meat, and spicy, so I used beef broth.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of beef broth, a quarter cup or so of chopped chicken, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Still too spicy. A grab handful of shredded cheese helped that (paper covers rock, dairy counteracts spice), and the end product was quite good (except it was the first time I’ve had bone fragments in my oatmeal). I’d eat it again (in fact I plan to, as a way of using up the last of the Tso), but I think I’ll stay away from the deli for a while.

Rating: *****

Vegetable bone broth oatmeal

November 30, 2017

Sooner or later the marketing people get into every thing. Their latest is something they call bone broth, made with beef, chicken, and turkey bones, plus garlic and other ingredients, and served as a sipping broth. Sounds like leftovers to me. Nevertheless, I figured that it was worth a try in oatmeal.

Not. It’s hard to describe, but it didn’t work as an oatmeal broth, even when I add cheese or even curry. It’s not bad, just not very good.

Meanwhile, I’m not all that fond of boxed vegetable broth, either. It tends to taste too much like Knorr soups. That said, I was in a box-broth mode and bought one of each. I wonder what it would be like if I combined the two.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, 1/4 cup of box bone broth, 3/4 cup of box vegetable broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Not bad. No, really. The bones and garlic cover up the Knorrishness of the vegetables. Not great, but better than either of the components alone. I think this is what they call emergent behavior. I’ll keep doing it until the broths run out, but probably won’t do it again.

Rating: *****

Oatkonomiyaki

November 16, 2017

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese fast food pancake, popular in the Kansai region. Essentially, it’s pancake batter, with chopped cabbage, green onions, tempura bits, and bacon stirred in, with a wide range of toppings, and a sauce that’s more like steak sauce than shoyu. Here’s a basic recipe. And here’s a more detailed discussion.

It was dinnertime. I had some cabbage, some pancake flour, and some pork chunks. I made half a recipe, which was enough for two. Too bad MJ was out. It wasn’t bad, considering that I left out three quarters of the ingredients. Next time there will be more planning, and a trip the Asian market (or maybe something online). I managed to burn one side (5min at medium-high is too much), but the burned bits peeled right off. There were leftovers.

Let’s see what we can do with oatmeal.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of beef broth, two heaping tablespoons of Okonomiyaki (just under a quarter cup), two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the Okonomiyaki with about a minute to go (so you don’t overcook the cabbage), and the potatoes right at the end.

Results: Outstanding. I was shocked at how good it was.

Rating: *****

PinquitOats

November 9, 2017

Pinquitos are a small, pink bean grown only in the Santa Maria Valley of California. Sometimes you can find a can of S&W brand pinquitos in the supermarket, but usually you have to order them. Being a dried bean, they last a long time — we are still using up the many poundsworth that we brought back from our last trip to Santa Maria, maybe ten years ago. Under the best of conditions, they can be a tough bean, but we’ve found the best way to cook them:

  1. Do the usual wash thing (although ours have been remarkably clean)
  2. Put a cup of dried beans in the multi-cooker, cover with a couple inches of water, and pressure cook high for 30min. Let cool. No salt or other additives.
  3. Check to see that you still have a goodly depth of water, and then switch to slow-cooker-high, for another four hours.
  4. Meanwhile, cook up whatever additions you want — onions, garlic, meats, etc. Salt this to taste.
  5. When the four hours are up, decant through a strainer, mix with the mixers, BBQ up a tri-tip, and enjoy.
  6. Oh, yeah. SAVE THE WATER

We had about a cup and a half of beanwater left over. I decided the best way to extend it would be to mix it 50/50 with a box beef broth. That would give me three breakfasts to play with.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of broth (50/50 bean and beef), two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end. If it looks a little sloppy, add another teaspoon of potato flakes.

Results: Outstanding. Tastes like refried beans. Cheese helped. You can do this with regular canned beans, but I’d like to encourage everyone to try the pinquitos.

Rating: *****

Sweet PotatOats

October 12, 2017

Back to commercially prepared sweet potatoes. MJ had a bag of Alexia Waffle Cut Seasoned Sweet Potato Fries in the freezer. Heated in the oven as per instructions, they taste like a failed attempt at BBQ flavor chips. I wonder how they’ll do in oatmeal?

I thawed out three or four of them, and chopped them up. The waffle cut helped. Heated them an extra 5 minutes in the clove-heavy broth (since I didn’t oven bake them), then added the oatmeal.

Setup: 1/2 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of broth, about a 1/4 cup of chopped sweet potato fries, salt. Cook the potatoes for 5 min, add the oats and cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.

Results: Started out as meh, but improved as I ate them. For some reason the oats were a little underdone and needed some time in the hot cup to finally cook. Flavor was most unlike the original fries, but still a little peppery. Might try actually baking them first. Surprisingly, they didn’t mush up like the previous batch did, and ended up looking like chopped carrots.

Rating: *****

Oatmeal Stroganoff

September 28, 2017

This is in the tradition of Rachel Ray’s famous deconstruction cooking. Beef Stroganoff is essentially braised beef with added sour cream and other tasteyizers, like onions, and mushrooms, and dill. I had some pretty good beef broth — good broth is expensive, when you consider the recommendation is 1lb of meat for 1qt of water — so I thought I’d try it.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of broth, two heavy shakes of dried dill, two heavy shakes of onion salt, a couple of leftover mushrooms (chopped),one tablespoon of sour cream, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes and sour cream at the end.

Results: Pretty good. Reminds one of stroganoff made with hamburger. Needs to be a good strong beef broth.

Rating: *****

Corny Oatmeal

August 17, 2017

We had corn on the cob last night. One cob each. They were pretty well gnawed but they still had some kernels on them, and I wondered if they’d make a good broth. Prep was nothing special: two leftover cobs with enough water to cover (just over a quart), along with a couple pinches of salt. Pressure cook on high for 45min.

The resulting broth was clear and straw colored, with a faint corn aroma and a mild corn flavor. One might even use the term delicate. The flavor would probably disappear if you threw the cobs in with a load of beef bones, but it would most likely add a new dimension to a plain chicken broth. Plus, I’m sure it would make the base for an interesting sauce. Meanwhile:

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of corn broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Very good. The plain broth was surprisingly foamy when heated, but the mild flavor carried over, and blended well with the flavor of the oatmeal itself.

Rating: *****

UPDATE: Be sure to drain your cobs afterwards. They will absorb up to 45g of water, each, and then drip it into the garbage can if you don’t.

Jalapenoats

August 3, 2017

I’m not a big one for spicy. I can eat spicy food, but I don’t seek it out. Usually. This week, MJ bought some Colby-Pepper-Jack cheese snacks. Smallish sticks of cheese with chunks of jalapenos embedded in them. Mediocre snacks, because of the too much peppers. That didn’t keep me from eating them. And it didn’t keep me from trying them in oatmeal.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of beef broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Grab handful of CPJ sticks, call it a quarter cup. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end, and the cheese right before that.

Results: Not quite as mediocre. The cheese melted nicely and the pepper bite got spread out, but the pepper smell/flavor remained.

Rating: ***

Coconoats 2

July 20, 2017

Just over four years ago, I tried coconut milk as the base fluid for the oatmeal. It didn’t go well, even with chocolate helper. This time I thought I’d try it with blueberries, since it’s blueberry season at Follow The Harvest. Keep in mind that this isn’t the coconut water from the immature nut, it’s the organic coconut flesh, ground and processed, with added organic sugar.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of coconut milk, half a cup of blueberries, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the blueberries at the start, and the potatoes at the end.

Results: Keep in mind that the manufacturer is trying to create a milk substitute that doesn’t involve methane farts. They succeeded, and the oatmeal tastes like oatmeal made with regular milk, except that it didn’t want to scald. Additional sweetener was necessary, as was a couple tablespoons of organic non-dairy creamer (I prefer Italian Cream flavor). It was alright, if you’re a normal.

Rating: ***

Four Bean Oatmeal

July 13, 2017

Beanless.

MJ bought a jar of four-bean salad a while back. FBS consists of four different kinds of beans, plus chopped onions, in a sugar/vinegar sauce. Tastes very good, either on its own, or spooned over a standard green salad. In home-made versions, the sugar/vinegar ratio varies widely, but is generally about 1:1. Some home-made recipes call for a small amount of salad oil, as well. Our commercial FBS had no sign of oil.

As you serve it up, you generally leave a lot of the liquid behind. What better use for it than in oatmeal the next morning?

Experiment 1

Setup: 1/2 cup of stone ground rolled oats (to make up for the extra liquid), one cup of broth, two measuring tablespoons of sugar/vinegar mix, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

I slipped up (it was early) and added everything except the potato flakes before the broth had boiled, so the oats had an additional couple of minutes in the pot.

Results: Very good. Very creamy. Very delicate flavor, that didn’t taste of vinegar at all. Was the creamyness due to the acid bath, or to the extra two minutes of cooking? I’ll find out next time.

Next Time: It was the acidity. And three tablespoons didn’t change the flavor.

Rating: ****

Experiment 2

If two or three tablespoons are good, why not a whole cup? Let’s try just dumping the oats into the four-bean-salad jar and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

Setup: 1/2 cup of stone ground rolled oats (to make up for the extra liquid), one cup of sugar/vinegar mix, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: This is what I was expecting the first time. Very sweet. Very vinegary. Too much so. And if you don’t absorb/boil off all the liquid, you end up coughing when you inhale over your breakfast. A knob of butter helped.

Rating: ***

Curried Marrow….Oats

June 29, 2017

Using up the last of the marrowbone marrow, I decided to try it with curry. I mean, everything goes better with Golden Curry (well, except beanbroth, but that’s another recipe).

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, 40g of marrow, sliced and fried down, one chunk of Golden Curry roux, one cup of broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the broth and curry to the fried marrow (watch for spatters), potatoes at the end.

Results: OK, everything doesn’t go great with curry, but it still goes pretty good. Unfortunately, the curry overwhelmed the essential beefyness of this dish, and came up one dimension short in the flavor profile itself. A fat pinch of shred cheese helped.

Rating: ***

Oatmeal Chili — 3

June 22, 2017

Two and a half years ago, I made oatmeal with some ground beef chili that MJ had made. Half a year ago, I made oatmeal with the liquid from a beef strip chili that MJ had made. Half an hour ago, I made oatmeal with a quarter cup of commercial canned chili.

MJ was off doing all the busy things she does, and we were flat out of dinner fixings. I mean fresh, meat-and-veg style fixings. Fortunately, we have a fairly extensive pantry, so when I got hungry I just opened the pantry drawer and had a look around. First thing in front was a can of Hormel Turkey Chili with Beans. I can tell you that it tastes just like … canned chili. Overcooked, with unbalanced seasoning that tastes like it’s based not so much on flavor as it is on what the linear programming algorithm cranks out as the most profitable mixture of spices. However, if you dump it on top of enough lettuce, and then dump enough cheese on top of that, it will keep body and soul together — and as for your taste buds, two out of three isn’t bad. I mean, it’s 98% fat free, and where’s the fun in that? Needless to say there were leftovers, or as I call them, dregs.

Setup: 1/2 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of clove-heavy broth*, quarter cup of HTCB, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Meh. The ground turkey was detectable only in a granular change to the mouthfeel. Every now and then there was a bean. The overwhelming impression was … the seasonings were unbalanced, and not because of the cloves. Cheese helped a lot, but then, it always does.

Rating: **

*Every now and then I think to add cloves to the pressure cooker when making broth. Unfortunately, those times are far enough apart that I forget how much cloves can dominate. By clove-heavy, I mean six cloves in a quart. You don’t have to follow my recipes slavishly. Two cloves will do, and they won’t turn your broth an evil swamp-water black.

Curried oatbeans

June 15, 2017

One of my favorite broths for oatmeal is beanwater broth. Doesn’t matter if it’s the stuff drained off of a can, or if it’s the top two inches of water in the pressure cooker, it makes for good oatmeal. You know what else makes for good oatmeal? Curry. Specifically the Japanese favorite, Golden Curry. I wonder how they taste when mixed?

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of beanwater broth, a chunk of curry roux, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the broken-up curry slab at the start, and the potatoes at the end.

Results: No better than average. Added cheese helped.

Rating: ***

I couldn’t think of what to do with all this stuff so I stuck it in my oatmeal

June 8, 2017

Sounds like the title of a Light Novel. The other day I made broth with just a slab of cube steak. Tasted OK, but a little thin. So I added an onion and carrot and cooked it again. Now it was mostly carrot and onion-flavored. For breakfast today I took about 40g of marrow (from the broth-before-last), sliced it and fried it down into a puddle. Then I added a quarter teaspoon of garlic. As a side experiment, I had chopped up the cube steak into little, well, cubes — they tasted like crumbly, overdone hamburger, with most of the flavor boiled out of them. I added two heaping dinner tablespoons of the cubicles. And since it was hamburgerlich, I tried a bit with ketchup.

Setup: 1/2 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of broth, two dinner tablespoons of cubed cubed steak, 40g of beef bone marrow, garlic to flavor, salt. Fry the marrow, garlic, and cublics until brown. Add the oatmeal. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.

Results: Pretty good, but not as good as the plain marrow-oats. It had a distinct, beefy, hamburger flavor. Ketchup didn’t help, but Worcestershire might. I’m still playing with the cube steak idea, since it’s a lot cheaper than prime rib for making broth. Maybe next time I’ll make it a cheeseburger.

Rating: ***