Friday, January 6, 2012

Oatmeal Obsession

I'm not being a malicious trickster. It's just the fact that oatmeal is said to help lower cholesterol that has propelled me into an obsession to get my husband to unknowingly consume it by masking its presence.

But it was imperative to find out what exactly it was about oatmeal that turned him off. In an effort to reveal his repulsion, I pummelled him with questions that were met with answers like: "I don't know." "It's gross." and "I can't see the tv."

Reading between the lines, I determined that it was the creamy/slimy texture and sweetness of a hot bowl of oatmeal that was unappealing to him.

The key would be to make it savory and more rustic. Furthermore, I needed to add to the allure of the final dish by incorporating some of his favorite flavors into the recipe.

With my thinking cap firmly in place, I concocted this mélange:

Oatmeal Breakfast Pilaf

For the oatmeal:
Sauté 1 cup of steel-cut oats with a little butter in a heavy saucepan until it smells toasty.
Add 3 cups of boiling water and a good pinch of salt.
Give a quick stir and lower the heat until it is barely bubbling.
Do not stir.
It should be done in 20 minutes or so. The oatmeal should not be too soft.

Sauté in a skillet an assortment of embellishments:

Onion, mushroom, sausage are shown here. But the possibilities are endless! Ham, chorizo, bacon, bell pepper, fresh herbs, leeks...the list goes on and on!

Finally, scoops of cooked oatmeal are added to the pan, stirred in and browned a bit. A little salt and pepper are added to taste.

I've made Oatmeal Breakfast Pilaf several times now and Mr. Sutter cleans his plate. At first, I was reluctant to divulge the key ingredient. When I finally did, he was receptive. He didn't spit it out and shout YOU LIAR! YOU CHEAT! HOW DARE YOU BETRAY ME!

So my work here with oatmeal is done. Problem solved. Husband eating oatmeal 3-4 days a week.

They say that cheaters never prosper, but perhaps, they have lower cholesterol.

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