Posts Tagged ‘potato oatmeal’

SoupyOats

November 18, 2011

It’s coming on winter, and MJ regularly goes soup-mad this time of year. We have a half-gallon each of a beef-broth vegetable soup, with corn and carrots, and a corn chowder. The corn is the last of the farmers market fresh stuff (don’t get me started on how my corn did).

Experiment 1 It struck me that a nice beefy soup might be the basis for an interesting oatmeal, so I scooped up a half-cup, poured it over the semi-instant oatmeal, and did the microwave thing. No potatoes, ’cause I wanted to see what the baseline flavor was. Had to add some additional hot water, because the measuring cup got more solids than I thought.

Result: very good. If somebody said “beef/oat stuffing for turkey” this is what would come to mind.

Experiment 2 More broth in the scoop. Added potatoes.

Result: Ended up a little drier than the first experiment, and it needed salt. Surprisingly, the potato flavor didn’t come through at all. I think I’ll stick with the first version.

Experiment 3 A couple weeks later, and MJ has made a big pot of refrigerator velcro soup. Everything in the vegetable bin that looked a little old, all of the odds and ends of meat from previous meals — grilled pork, chicken, ham — lots of boxed broth, and a small head of cabbage. This is in aid of cleaning out the fridge, because we are (yay) getting a new one. The old one was old and worn and shelf-broken when we moved in at the end of the last century. So now I get to try a different soup in my oats. Big, sloppy scoop of the soup, light on the oats, and no potatoes, because we are getting additional mass and calories from the soup particulates.

Result: Very good. Lots of flavor. Properly tuned, this would make another great stuffing. Not as good as my Grandmother’s potato stuffing, mind, but good enough for oats.

PotatOats 5

November 11, 2011

Today’s Oataku Adventure is potatoats and wine. Specifically, a Hogue Late Harvest Riesling, 2007. Screw top but, you know, quality screw top. Standard mix (I’m thinking of making up a whole box of the stuff), one quarter cup oatmeal (20min this time), one tablespoon potato flakes. One third cup of wine, two-thirds cup of chicken broth. A few shakes of poultry seasoning, a few grinds of dried garlic, and a few more grinds of dried mushrooms. Salt.

Bring fluids and spices to a boil, drop in oats and potatoes. Reduce to low heat. Cook for twenty minutes.

Go do morning exercises on the Wii Fit, stopping to stir every two or three exercises, depending.

Results — superb. Didn’t need anything. Wine had cooked down to just flavor, much better than the red I tried last time (of course, that was pre-potato). Garlic added a nice touch. Mushrooms barely noticeable. Would make a very nice side dish for dinner, particularly if garnished with a steak.

For next time:
1. Add potatoes just before removing from heat. They don’t need to cook, and they soak up the liquid like crazy.
2. Try the grinder with the rosemary/garlic mix instead of garlic and mushrooms.
3. Think about a dry Chablis for next time.

PotatOats 4

November 4, 2011

Experiment 1: Finally got around to trying Kurt’s suggestion that I use real potatoes. We had some stir-sticked potatoes left over from dinner, which I mixed it with the one-minute oatmeal. I used two tablespoonsworth, because the powdered stuff puffs up. Plain oatmeal in plain water, at first, to test the impact.

Result: Meh. As you might expect, the industrial powdered version is more potato-y than the real thing. Stirring in some boullion powder helped. The mouth-feel was quite different, also. I’m thinking next time to use coarse-mashed, and a stock of some kind.

Experiment 2: Took it in a bit more organized fashion. I used chicken broth, instead of plain water, and added some poultry seasoning and dried onion chips. Boiled the liquid, dropped in exactly two tablespoons of potatoes. Stirred, but not enough to totally bread up the lumps. Added the 1min oatmeal (we’re out of the other kind), microwaved/stirred for just over a minute. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to contemplate its fate.

Result: Very good. Surprisingly good, considering how dull the previous test had gone. There was potato-y flavor all the way through, and the lumps provided little explosions of Irish Delight. In an earlier post I said that the liquid was the key factor, and I still think that’s true. Oatmeal is such an aggressively bland food that you have to overwhelm your tastebuds with flavor before it has a chance to subvert them.

PotatOats 3

October 28, 2011

So, the other night, we had corned beef and cabbage, and of course, we cooked the cabbage in the water we cooked the corned beef in. Then, we took some of that water out and cooked some golden beets we’d bought at the farmers market. And then, we made a gravy for the beets out of the thrice-cooked water. Despite all that, there was leftover fluids from all stages.

The cabbage-water was superb, when done with our now-standard oat/potato mix. If anything, just a touch too salty. Who’da thought we’d ever say that about oatmeal?

The beet-water was so-so. I could detect a slight beetyness, but it was probably not worth repeating.

The gravy, made with tomato sauce, onions, and a touch of vinegar, was, well, mediocre. Like I’d put ketchup on my oatmeal. Not bad enough for me to phone out for a breakfast pizza, but not worth repeating.

But that cabbage water. Fortunately, I’ve got about a cup left.

PotatOats 2

October 20, 2011

As part of my ongoing Oataku adventure (thanks, Kurt) I’ve been ringing the changes on the whole oatmeal-with-a-dash-of-potato thing. The more I use it, the more I like it.

It works well with both the one- and twenty- minute varieties of rolled oats (I haven’t tried it with steel cut yet), and the 1/4 cup:1TBSp ratio seems about right (a 5:1 ratio by weight). Any more, and you’re getting a non-healthy potato breakfast. It does take more liquid, because the potato buds soak up quite a bit. One thing I’ve found is that it’s best to add the potatoes at the end. They don’t have to cook, just rehydrate, and it makes stirring the oatmeal easier.

What you are looking for is a change to the consistency and mouth-feel, along with a slight potato overtone. Of course, if you’re using a big chunk of the spicy version of Golden Curry, cooked in apple juice, along with a tablespoon of apple jelly, the potato taste part gets lost in the ambient.

PotatOats works particularly well with potato-related flavors. Beef broth, for example, or wine, and a nice, sharp cheese. If you are not using cheese, you’ll find that it really wants extra salt. It also worked OK with bean-water, bringing out a more beanlich consistency.

PotatOats 1

October 17, 2011

The Poatine Project got me thinking. Not about poutine, but about potatoes. They taste good, but are not as healty as oatmeal for breakfast…or maybe they are. In any event, adding some potato flakes to my oats sounds like a Good Idea.

The problem is, a tablespoon of potato flakes is a third of a third of a cup, and so will increase the size of my breakfast by that much. I don’t have anything against big breakfasts like that, but one of my constraints is that I not pile on the calories. This is important, because a tablespoon of flakes is not quite enough to give me that potato fix I crave.

So, don’t raise the bridge, lower the river. If I cut back to a quarter cup of oats, my breakfast size remains the same — 0.25 cup oats + 0.11 cup potato flakes => 0.36 cup, or just over a third. I can live with that.

Usual procedure. I’m using the one-minute oatmeal, plus potato flakes, plus two-thirds cup of water. Flavorants include a fat pinch of chicken broth powder, and a shake of poultry seasoning.

Result: quite good, with a different mouth feel and a hint of potato. This is definitely going into the rotation.