Over breakfast with the editor and food stylist for a cookbook I was shooting in Baltimore, I discovered a new twist on my favorite breakfast.
Forget the sweet; this oatmeal is all about savory. Food stylist Susan Vajaranant raved about this oatmeal recipe that uses olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper. Inspired from a shoot on artisanal cheeses, Susan shaved some sharp cheddar on her already-savory oats, and bang…holy shizzle…heaven.
The day after Susan told us about this recipe, the publisher Anja Schmidt, Susan and myself went to Whole Foods for the ingredients. Then, because we were living out of a hotel, we went to Starbucks and got their oatmeal minus the sweet trimmings. We found a nice table outside in the shade, and had ourselves a bowl full of the sexiest oatmeal you will ever have. We did that every day for the remainder of the shoot.
This is the easiest thing on earth to make and I promise you that you’ll love it if you try it. I have since made it for every house guest, and they have all been amazed. The flavor is similar to decadent grits, but you can feel good about it because it’s all good stuff. Easy on the cheese, OK?
In order for this to work, you MUST use good olive oil, flaky sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and a good aged sharp cheddar. If you use higher quality ingredients, you only need a little – and the flavor is just unforgettable. That’s the great thing about really good ingredients; a little goes a long way.
For added decadence and some protein, I add a sunny-side up egg. The yolk running into the oats makes it even more smooth and creamy. Is your mouth watering, yet?
Also, this could be a great side with roasted chicken. Let me know if you are a convert. I’ve since converted five friends…and counting.
steel cut oats or rolled oats
flaky sea salt
aged sharp cheddar (I used Jasper Hill Cabot clothbound aged cheddar,
Follow directions for making oats. I normally bring 2 cups of water to a raging boil, add 1 cup of steel cut oats and lower heat to low. Cook slowly for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Oats are done when they are soft unless you prefer them more al dente.
Dish the oatmeal into bowls. The remaining ingredients are to your liking.
I start with the olive oil, add a 1/2 a tablespoon, maybe a pinch of salt, a few twists of crack pepper, and a shaving of cheese. Mix it all together and taste. Maybe add a little more oil, a pinch more of salt, pepper and cheese…mix…taste…I find that I add as I go with this dish.