Saturday, August 20, 2011

Brûléed Steel Cut Oatmeal

Oatmeal is my life saver. It's my one of my favorite breakfast items when I want something satisfying yet healthy. Eating it in the morning keeps me full and ready for my day. I love inviting brown sugar, dried fruit, nuts, and other yummy friends to the party-- mix and mingle them together and I'm usually good to go. 

Today I opted for something a little more special and whipped out my torch for an "Oatmeal alla Amelie" breakfast. However, I have to admit that my bruleed oatmeal was so perfectly sweet and delicious, I almost felt like I was eating dessert. Dessert for breakfast? And, it's good for you??

At this point, it's okay if you're squealing with joy. I promise. I'm still squealing.

Brûléed Steel Cut Oatmeal
serves 4
*Steel cut oats are heartier and nuttier. Regular oats just won't hold up with this recipe. I use a quick cooking steel cut oatmeal here-- takes much less time to cook than the regular kind (which is about 30 minutes). Either kind of steel cut oats will do.

1 1/2 cups of water
1 1/2 cups of fat free milk
1/4 tsp of salt
1 cup of quick cooking steel cut oats (I use one from Trader Joe's)
2 tsp real vanilla extract
3 1/2 tbsp dark brown sugar
Turbinado sugar

1. Combine the water, fat free milk, and salt in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the steel cut oats, stir, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the oats to cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly. Oats should become very thick and creamy. During the last minute of cooking time, stir in the vanilla extract and dark brown sugar. Turn off the heat and portion the oatmeal out into ramekins. Allow to cool for about 1 minute.

2. Sprinkle the tops of the ramekins with Turbinado sugar-- be sure to make as much of an even layer as possible. Do not skimp on the sugar; if you don't sprinkle enough, it will be difficult to get a good "brûléed" crust.  An amount between 1/2-1 tbsp of sugar shall do, depending on the size of the ramekin. Use a kitchen torch to melt and caramelize the sugar until  a crispy-golden brown crust is formed.

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