11.03.2010

'tis the season for slow cooking

Okay, I know it looks kind of gross. Just try to take a pretty picture of oatmeal - it's tricky.

More precisely, these are steel-cut oats cooked overnight in the crockpot in apple cider. Firstly, to clear up any confusion, here's what you need to know about oats. Steel cut oats, aside from uncut oat groats (groats! isn't that a great word?), are the most unprocessed type of oats. Rolled oats are - you guessed it - rolled, quick oats are rolled and cut, and instant oats are rolled, cut, and pre-cooked.

If you've never had steel-cut oats and don't like the glue factor of regular oats, try these! They're all of the good parts of oatmeal, minus the glue. They have a lovely texture, and I just might never go back to regular oats for breakfast again. I had heard a few times recently about cooking these overnight in the crockpot to save time in the morning and have a delicious hot breakfast, and since I have to try everything, I cooked these up last night in apple cider from the Annapolis Valley. After reading waaaay to many people's opinions on proper oat preparation, I devised a method that worked beautifully. Here you go!

Overnight Steel-cut Oats

Before heading to bed, heat 4 cups apple cider or other liquid until quite warm. You could boil water in the kettle; I heated the cider in the microwave. Turn on your slow cooker to 'keep warm'. Add one cup steel cut oats (ours were from the Bulk Barn), 1/3 tsp salt, and the liquid to the slow cooker. Leave on 'keep warm' overnight, and in the morning, you'll have a delicious breakfast. If you're into wet, dried fruit in your oats, (I'm emphatically not), you could add that in; I just topped it with a bit of milk and it was delicious. Leftovers can be refrigerated or frozen, too!

I am quite the fan of the slow cooker; since it's out on the counter and it's the perfect season for slow cooker foods, I'll be making my favourite lentil sloppy joes for supper. Some other faves are crème brulée, the oft-mentioned tarragon chicken, and a basic stew, which I don't think I've ever posted a recipe for. I'll have to add that to my list.

What are your favourite crockpot recipes?

Enjoy!

8 comments:

  1. I NEED to get myself a crockpot. Up until now, I'd convinced myself I didn't need it, but maybe I do...

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  2. Jenn, I think you do! It's one of my favourite appliances. Since I bought my non-programmable one, I've seen the fancy-schmancy programmable ones on super sale at Cdn Tire several times. :)

    I forgot to mention in the post that when I made them, they had a bit too much liquid (you can kind of tell in the picture), and the 4 cups adjusts for that (the original was 5).

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  3. I love oatmeal. I love it so much that I can even have the quick oats in the little pouches. But when I need my fix of GOOD oatmeal I always go for the steel cut oats. Have you ever tried John McCann's Steel Cut Oats... yup, very, very good. I buy mine at Pete's Frootique in Halifax.

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  4. Anonymous11/04/2010

    Would it work just on the low setting? I don't have a "keep warm" setting....so it is either low or high....

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  5. Sherrie! I tried this last night and it was yummy. I think for my crock pot 5c of liquid would be better or a timer. So why use cider vinegar? What does that taste like? I used water. ~monica

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  6. Anon - I read that people had trouble with the low setting, because it overcooked and dried out around the edges. Maybe if you added more liquid, you would have success? Try it out and see, I guess! It all depends on your particular cooker.

    Monica - WHOA, Nelly! Apple cider, not cider vinegar. Yikes, that would be strong! It was delicious.

    I should also mention that I like mine quite chewy, and that the original recipe (which I made) called for an extra cup of liquid. Yum!

    I'm so glad that everyone's so excited about it!

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  7. Silly me Sherrie! That makes more sense, guess I was distracted when I read your post. stay dry :)

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  8. Yum. That sounds tasty - I will have to try it!

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Thanks so much for your comments - I read and appreciate each one! Sorry about the word verification - the spammers found me and it became necessary. Thanks for taking the time to comment!