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Old 02-25-2008, 08:16 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Talk to me about steel-cut oatmeal

I really want to start eating oatmeal more regularly for its various health benefits, and I've really enjoyed steel-cut when I've had it before. Tell me your secrets for buying, cooking, and "doctoring."
  #2  
Old 02-25-2008, 08:31 PM
The Hamster King The Hamster King is offline
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I put soy sauce on my oatmeal. It's fan-fucking-tastic!
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:31 PM
silenus silenus is offline
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The only oats you'll ever need. I started using these to brew with, then started eating them as well. The only oats allowed in the house any more.

Depending on mood, I have hit them with: cream, butter, bacon (so much for "healthy"), fruit, brown sugar and cinnamon, and I believe I once had them with a touch of genuine maple syrup. Of course Lyle's is always an option.
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:18 PM
Wile E Wile E is offline
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We had a nice thread on oatmeal here a while back. Some people use the crock pot method for cooking oatmeal overnight so it's ready in the morning. I haven't tried it yet myself but I intend to try it someday soon.

I've haven't bought instant oatmeal since I first tried steel cut oats. I also use McCann's I like it with brown sugar and sometimes add fruit.
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:22 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Why cut your oats? Why not just eat oat groats?
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:31 PM
StGermain StGermain is offline
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Here's a link to an old thread with tips and recipes.

StG
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:52 PM
missbunny missbunny is offline
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I was using McCanns but I just tried a bag I bought at Whole Foods and it was INCREDIBLE. It was called "Bob's Steel-Cut Oats" or something like that.

I kind of do the Alton Brown thing with toasting them first. I use half milk and half water in the pot. All water is blech. No salt until after they're done cooking. Ignore the package on this; they're wrong. I like them with butter and salt, or butter and brown sugar. Sometimes I sauté some apples up and add that, or raisins. But mostly I like them savory. I've made them with garlic and onion too, as a side dish. I like them chewy, not mushy at all. I usually make enough for 2-3 meals, although it's best the first time right out of the pot.

I freakin' LOVE Irish oatmeal. I decry the years I thought oatmeal was gross. So much wasted time. It's all thanks to a thread here on the boards that I gave it another try. That alone is worth all the subscription fees I'll ever pay here.

Last edited by missbunny; 02-25-2008 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:23 PM
Cluricaun Cluricaun is offline
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Another McCann's recommendation here. I used to think I hated oatmeal, but I used to not have anything but Quaker Instant oatmeal too, which is really more of a slurry, and tend to be disgusting.

And you know what else is good in them? A shot of bourbon and a quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mmmmmmmm......
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:10 AM
Bobotheoptimist Bobotheoptimist is offline
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Yup, McCanns. I just follow the directions on the box for starting it the night before, then add a little maple syrup right before eating.

Maybe some crushed toasted pecans.
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:17 AM
tremorviolet tremorviolet is offline
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I cook mine in my fancy fuzzy logic rice cooker on the "porridge" setting. It's awesome; I just load up the rice cooker the night before, set the timer, and wake up to freshly cooked oatmeal.

I don't like anything on my oatmeal. It's got such great flavor I only add a little salt.
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Old 02-26-2008, 02:46 AM
guizot guizot is offline
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Why do they have to be steel cut. Can't you cut them with aluminum or some other metal?
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:49 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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I do Alton Brown's, either with McCann's or Bob's. I add in a metric asston of raisins and dried cranberries, and also a lot more brown sugar and cinnamon. (I only do it every so often.) I used to think I hated oatmeal until I tried the real thing.
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:20 AM
Santo Rugger Santo Rugger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guizot
Why do they have to be steel cut. Can't you cut them with aluminum or some other metal?
Steel's just the cheapest. From the wiki:

Quote:
Steel-cut oats are also known as coarse-cut oats, pinhead oats, Scotch oats, or Irish oats.
Quote:
Rolled oats are oat groats that have been rolled into flat flakes under heavy rollers. <snip> Steel-cut oats are oat groats that have been chopped into smaller pieces and retain bits of the bran layer.
  #14  
Old 02-26-2008, 10:33 AM
MsFancyPlants MsFancyPlants is offline
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A local health food store sells organic steel cut oats with no brand name. I can't imagine my mornings without it. Since it takes longer to cook (~30 min.), I usually cook enough for breakfast for the entire week and just reheat in the microwave as needed. A touch of cinnamon is all I add to it.
  #15  
Old 02-26-2008, 12:05 PM
Plynck Plynck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cluricaun
And you know what else is good in them? A shot of bourbon and a quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mmmmmmmm......
The REAL Breakfast of Champions.
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:18 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missbunny
I like them with butter and salt
OMG, I had never even considered this. That's pretty much how I eat grits, but it hadn't occurred to me to try oatmeal this way. I'll definitely give that a try!
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:36 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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All righty, then.

Sunday morning, I made Alton's recipe for breakfast (with eggs and hot sausage, yum!). I had to use margarine instead of butter, and I think maybe I shouldn't have put the lid on while it simmered, because it wound up rather soupy. Also, I used way more brown sugar and cinnamon than he calls for. But it was quite a successful little effort, if I do say so myself.

Of course, nothing could have prepared me for the high fiber magic this meal worked on me for the remainder of the day, but that's a different story.

Now, I'm getting ready to try Alton's overnight recipe, which involves a slow cooker. I did not purchase a slow cooker, technically, I purchased a rice cooker, but it has a "warm" setting which I think should work the same as "low" on a slow cooker.

My question at this point is, I'm not big on figs or cranberries, and I can't much imagine that dried ones will please me significantly more. I've already procured dried cherries to take the place of one of them ... any recommendations on a replacement for the other?

Oh, and I have yet to try them savory, but that's on the agenda for next weekend.

Last edited by KneadToKnow; 03-03-2008 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:39 PM
Drain Bead Drain Bead is offline
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I have never gotten Alton Brown's slow-cooker recipe to work. I always end up with a sour, purple, curdled, watery mess. Any tips?
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:03 PM
Shryn King Shryn King is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KneadToKnow

My question at this point is, I'm not big on figs or cranberries, and I can't much imagine that dried ones will please me significantly more. I've already procured dried cherries to take the place of one of them ... any recommendations on a replacement for the other?

Oh, and I have yet to try them savory, but that's on the agenda for next weekend.
Blueberries?? I don't think I would put them in until the end though.

After reading the recipe, I realize now that if you were going to be a stickler or at least a quasi stickler and go by the recipe by having two fruits included that blueberries (if you could find dried ones) and cherries would not probably be a good mix.

I think just blueberries or just cherries would be good.

Last edited by Shryn King; 03-03-2008 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Didn't read recipe first...
  #20  
Old 03-03-2008, 09:49 PM
Queen Tonya Queen Tonya is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drain Bead
I have never gotten Alton Brown's slow-cooker recipe to work. I always end up with a sour, purple, curdled, watery mess. Any tips?
I don't use AB's recipe, as adorable as he is and all, I just do a low tech version.

Butter your crock pot to prevent stickage. No additional butter needed, you'll still get a bit of flavor from it and without it the crockpot is hell to clean.
4:1 liquid to oats (I like 1/4 milk, YMMV) So in my case, 1 c oats, 1 c milk & 3 c water.
Dried fruit, a generous handful, maybe a cup. (I like apples, raisins, cranberries, cherries....never used anything purple.)
Chopped nuts (usually walnuts here, pecans when I'm feeling flush)
1 tsp vanilla
Coupla dashes of nutmeg and/or cinnamon

You can toast the oats, the nuts or both. Adds a nice flavor, works just as well without toasting though. We like apple/raisin/cinn/walnut, cran/pecan/nutmeg, so far I haven't come up with one we didn't like, but those are the two I make most often.

Toss in buttered crock, turn on low, sleep and wake up to fabulosity.

Last edited by Queen Tonya; 03-03-2008 at 09:50 PM.
  #21  
Old 03-03-2008, 10:07 PM
Cisco Cisco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KneadToKnow
My question at this point is, I'm not big on figs or cranberries, and I can't much imagine that dried ones will please me significantly more. I've already procured dried cherries to take the place of one of them ... any recommendations on a replacement for the other?
Have you tried dried cranberries and cherries? To me they each taste like what you would expect the other one would taste like.
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:09 PM
Stuffy Stuffy is offline
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I buy them from the bulk bin at my regular grocery place, they're about a $1.20 a pound that way, sometimes less. My traditional recipe is:

3 c Water
1/2 c steal cut oak
2 - 1/2 cup 2% milk
1/4 c raisins

Soak raisins in 1 cup of water. Meanwhile bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add oats & return to a boil, cook 5-7 minutes reduce heat to low. Cook approx 10 more minutes or until oats start to thicken. Drain raisins and add to oats along with 1/2 cup of milk. Let cook for 5 minutes more.

Serve. I add another 1/2 cup of milk to the top along with Equal. You can substitute whatever you'd like.

Last edited by Stuffy; 03-03-2008 at 10:11 PM. Reason: typo
  #23  
Old 03-03-2008, 10:11 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Yet another McCann's eater here. I also eat Quaker Quick Oats. The steel-cut is better. Heartier. Nice big grains. But sometimes I'm in a hurry.

Either way, I like my oatmeal with a spoonful of strawberry jam on top.
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:15 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cisco
Have you tried dried cranberries and cherries? To me they each taste like what you would expect the other one would taste like.
I confess I have not. However, I just set my cooker a-goin', so in 8 or 9 hours, I will at least have an idea of what dried cherries simmered in water and half-and-half overnight taste like.
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:25 PM
Wile E Wile E is offline
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Dried blueberries are great. They plump up like real blueberries when you cook them in things. They might get a little too plump and explode in overnight oatmeal though, but the only problem I see with that is you will end up blueberry flavored oatmeal instead of oatmeal with blueberries.
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:48 PM
Cisco Cisco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A.
Either way, I like my oatmeal with a spoonful of strawberry jam on top.
I used to do that when I was a kid! I had totally forgotten about it until I saw this. I'm going to have to try it again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KneadToKnow
I confess I have not.
Sorry, I didn't have time to elaborate earlier. Dried cherries are really sour and tart, with some bitter undertones. Not my thing at all. Dried cranberries, though, tend to be very subtle and enhance whatever you eat the with. Love 'em.
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:01 PM
supervenusfreak supervenusfreak is offline
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I'm another steel cut oats fan here too. I simmer mine with nutmeg and cinnamon and add whatever fruit and sweetener I like. They keep very well too. I can make a big batch and have enough left for a couple of weeks worth of goodness. All I need to do it heat them and eat them.

My favorite flavor combination? Honey and sliced banana...

I used to buy mine from Trader Joe's, but since I am no longer close to one, I buy mine in a generic bag, from a local farmer's market. I'll have to keep an eye out for McCann's.
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:10 PM
Queen Tonya Queen Tonya is offline
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I like to leave additional sweetening out during the cooking. If fruit's involved, there's enough sweetness right there for me. My boy likes to add the traditional brown sugar, while my boyfriend likes honey added. Leaving it out lets everyone doctor their bowl up as desired.
  #29  
Old 03-04-2008, 09:39 AM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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I was up at around 5:30 this morning, so I headed on down to have a look-see at my creation. It was a nice and thick consistency, my dried cherries had plumped up nicely, and it needed no additional flavor enhancement at all. For the record, here's the modified recipe I used, based on some recommendations above and offline:

I lubed up the bowl of the rice cooker with margarine to prevent an unintentional experiment in molecular bonding. Then I added one half-cup steel-cut oats, about a cup of dried cherries, 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of half-and-half. Basically, I cut Alton's recipe in half and increased the dairy-to-water ratio considerably while decreasing the overall amount of liquid slightly.

I'm very pleased with the results and look forward to experimenting with slight variations. On Cisco's advice above, I will give dried cranberries a try. When I was at the store getting dried cherries, I saw some packages that proclaimed they were "tart," and I got one that did not say that, so maybe that's why I wasn't disappointed. I'm also curious how frozen blueberries might tolerate this method of cooking.

I also think I'm going to get a legitimate slow cooker at some point. I'm a little worried about leaving the rice cooker on all night, since I really don't think it's intended for that.

Next weekend: savory oatmeal with hot sausage. Yuuum.

Last edited by KneadToKnow; 03-04-2008 at 09:40 AM.
  #30  
Old 03-04-2008, 10:06 AM
Cisco Cisco is offline
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Originally Posted by KneadToKnow
I'm very pleased with the results and look forward to experimenting with slight variations. On Cisco's advice above, I will give dried cranberries a try.
Don't shoot the messenger! If you liked the cherries you might not like the cranberries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KneadToKnow
Next weekend: savory oatmeal with hot sausage. Yuuum.
Quote:
Originally Posted by supervenusfreak
My favorite flavor combination? Honey and sliced banana
I'm saving all these great ideas. Gonna buy some steel cut oats at the farmers market this week.
  #31  
Old 03-04-2008, 10:54 AM
Wile E Wile E is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KneadToKnow
I was up at around 5:30 this morning, so I headed on down to have a look-see at my creation. It was a nice and thick consistency, my dried cherries had plumped up nicely, and it needed no additional flavor enhancement at all. For the record, here's the modified recipe I used, based on some recommendations above and offline:

I lubed up the bowl of the rice cooker with margarine to prevent an unintentional experiment in molecular bonding. Then I added one half-cup steel-cut oats, about a cup of dried cherries, 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of half-and-half. Basically, I cut Alton's recipe in half and increased the dairy-to-water ratio considerably while decreasing the overall amount of liquid slightly.

I'm very pleased with the results and look forward to experimenting with slight variations. On Cisco's advice above, I will give dried cranberries a try. When I was at the store getting dried cherries, I saw some packages that proclaimed they were "tart," and I got one that did not say that, so maybe that's why I wasn't disappointed. I'm also curious how frozen blueberries might tolerate this method of cooking.

I also think I'm going to get a legitimate slow cooker at some point. I'm a little worried about leaving the rice cooker on all night, since I really don't think it's intended for that.

Next weekend: savory oatmeal with hot sausage. Yuuum.
I always thought a good savory oatmeal could be made with dried wild mushrooms but I haven't been able to try it myself since my grocery doesn't have the type of mushrooms I wanted. If anyone has tried it, let me know.
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:22 AM
Stoid Stoid is offline
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I went to the steel cut for the same reason, the health thing.

But I am not a sweet-cooked cereal person. I like salty: Ive always put butter and salt on my cream o' wheat. Same deal with steel cut.

My other secret is to use less water and/or overcook: the point is to make it more like a side dish grain. I think gooey oatmeal is disgusting, and that was my biggest hurdle with it, the goo. Steel cut is less gooey to start with, but I still find it more palatable with less moisture and more chew.
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:06 PM
Plynck Plynck is offline
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I think that it was suggested here (but in another thread): I've been substituting a cup of buttermilk for one of the cups of water.

And count me in as another who hated oatmeal until trying steel cut.
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:34 PM
redtail23 redtail23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoid
My other secret is to use less water and/or overcook: the point is to make it more like a side dish grain. I think gooey oatmeal is disgusting, and that was my biggest hurdle with it, the goo. Steel cut is less gooey to start with, but I still find it more palatable with less moisture and more chew.
Does overcooking help the goo? I hate oatmeal, but decided to give steel-cut a try after all the threads raving about it.

I made some last weekend and it was...edible, I guess. Very gooey, which I hate.

Is there a way to cook it so it's more like a grain and less a porridge?
  #35  
Old 03-04-2008, 02:07 PM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KneadToKnow
I lubed up the bowl of the rice cooker with margarine to prevent an unintentional experiment in molecular bonding. Then I added one half-cup steel-cut oats, about a cup of dried cherries, 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of half-and-half. Basically, I cut Alton's recipe in half and increased the dairy-to-water ratio considerably while decreasing the overall amount of liquid slightly.
Did you just plug in the rice cooker and leave it on the "keep warm" setting as you mentioned trying? or did you actually turn it on and put it in "cook" mode?

I'd love to try steel cut oats some time, and I do have a rice cooker, but it's just the basic model (though it's a Zojirushi, which is a good brand) - not one of the "fuzzy logic" ones that costs an arm and a leg. And my crock-pot is far too large to do the overnight recipe.

Last edited by Mama Zappa; 03-04-2008 at 02:07 PM.
  #36  
Old 03-04-2008, 02:16 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Zappa
Did you just plug in the rice cooker and leave it on the "keep warm" setting as you mentioned trying? or did you actually turn it on and put it in "cook" mode?
The former, since I presumed the latter would result in at least a brief boil, which there was no mention of in Alton's recipe. Then, because I'd never used it before, I came back downstairs an hour later to make sure it was actually doing something.
Quote:
I'd love to try steel cut oats some time, and I do have a rice cooker, but it's just the basic model (though it's a Zojirushi, which is a good brand) - not one of the "fuzzy logic" ones that costs an arm and a leg. And my crock-pot is far too large to do the overnight recipe.
My rice cooker is a Proctor-Silex. It's what they had at Bloodbath & Beyond when I went shopping. If I do indeed move forward with plans for a slow cooker, I'm sure I'll get the smallest one I can.
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Old 03-04-2008, 02:22 PM
Queen Tonya Queen Tonya is offline
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Those little mini-crocks are great for this, and also just fun to have around for impromptu cheese or chocolate dippage. Target has one for $17, I've seen them on sale there and places like Kmart for $9.99. So worth it.
  #38  
Old 03-04-2008, 10:04 PM
Stoid Stoid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redtail23
Does overcooking help the goo? I hate oatmeal, but decided to give steel-cut a try after all the threads raving about it.

I made some last weekend and it was...edible, I guess. Very gooey, which I hate.

Is there a way to cook it so it's more like a grain and less a porridge?
Less water, cook a little faster. You have to experiment. Make sure to stir it.

I let it keep cooking on low to "dry it out", so to speak. It's pretty yummy that way.
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:10 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queen Tonya
Those little mini-crocks are great for this, and also just fun to have around for impromptu cheese or chocolate dippage. Target has one for $17, I've seen them on sale there and places like Kmart for $9.99. So worth it.
I'll definitely look into those, Queen Tonya. Thanks!
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:48 AM
Oslo Ostragoth Oslo Ostragoth is offline
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AB discusses oats here.
  #41  
Old 03-05-2008, 09:29 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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I did it in the rice cooker for this morning. It was good, although Himself jumped the gun on it and ate some at 7:30 when the timer clearly said 8 and the little song had CLEARLY not yet played. However, I miss doing it with buttermilk. I do have some of that dehydrated buttermilk powder which I might try adding next time.
  #42  
Old 03-05-2008, 09:40 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Really, is leaving milk in there overnight so bad? Or cream? I mean, it's a cool kitchen, I put it in at say 10 or 11 at night, the rice cooker starts up around 6 or so AM.
  #43  
Old 03-05-2008, 09:44 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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I bought some of these suckers because everyone on the SDMB was banging on about them, and found them to be gross. Really gritty, even after a night's soaking. What am I doing wrong?
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:29 AM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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In my experience, jjimm, they just take a bit of getting used to. They are a very different texture from rolled oats. Even when properly cooked, they have a very different texture. Although, I don't know that I'd call them "gritty," so maybe you could tell us how you cooked them, exactly.

Zsofia, I really can't imagine there being much of a problem there. Are you timer-cooking with your rice cooker or slow-cooking?
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:27 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Time cooking.

And jjimm, gritty is wrong. (Chewier, nuttier, yes, but not gritty.)
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:03 PM
missbunny missbunny is offline
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Someone else mentioned "soaking" oats overnight. Um BLECCH! That seems like they'd turn mushy before you even cooked them.

So, you soaked-oats fans who've had them both soaked and unsoaked, why would anyone choose soaked?
  #47  
Old 03-05-2008, 04:35 PM
Leiko Leiko is offline
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I like to cook steel-cut oats like they were risotto. I melt an amount of butter that probably counteracts all the health benefits of oats, stir in 1/2 C or so of oats until they're all buttery, then slowly add hot water (usually about 1 cup, with a pinch of salt!) until it's done, stirring with every addition. Usually I'll get impatient about halfway through, dump in the rest of the water, cover it, and let it simmer for 10-20 minutes instead.

Golden syrup is delicious on top, but sometimes I'll just let the oats firm up, sprinkle on a little more salt, and eat them as a more savory dish. (Or I'll let them firm up and eat them with golden syrup. Whatever.)
  #48  
Old 03-05-2008, 06:30 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: South Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missbunny
Someone else mentioned "soaking" oats overnight. Um BLECCH! That seems like they'd turn mushy before you even cooked them.

So, you soaked-oats fans who've had them both soaked and unsoaked, why would anyone choose soaked?
They end up soaked if you stick them on time cook over night in the rice maker, and I noticed no texture difference.
  #49  
Old 03-05-2008, 07:57 PM
Cisco Cisco is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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How the hell do you open the can?!
  #50  
Old 03-05-2008, 08:05 PM
Cisco Cisco is offline
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got it
Reply

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