Our customer Karen Turvey makes a delicious oat congee, which brings together the Chinese and Dutch sides of her family!
1/2 cup rolled oats
3 cups water or stock (chicken, vegetable, fish, etc)
Sliced mushrooms (1 – 2)
One sliced shallot
Diced fresh ginger 1 tsp
Poached egg (optional)
Garnishes (or use your own favourite congee ingredients ie dried shrimp)
Put liquid, oatmeal, sliced mushrooms, ginger and white part of shallot in pot. Cover and bring to a boil.
Remove cover and reduce heat to very low. Cook uncovered for up to 30 min (until it reaches your desired consistency). Stir occasionally to keep oatmeal from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Garnish top with green part of sliced shallot, a splash of tamari and sesame oil and a poached egg (optional).
Some ideas and variations for using different grains.
Polenta con la ricotta is a traditional Italian dish utilizing coarse polenta flour as the key ingredient. This polenta-based dish is paired with ricotta for an extra-creamy flavor and texture. Other ingredients include tomatoes, pancetta, onions, butter, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, seasonings, and olive oil.
Barley and Potato:
Bukstinbiezputra is one of Latvia’s national dishes, made from barley, potatoes, onions, and milk or cream. All the ingredients are combined and cooked until the mixture becomes a smooth porridge. The porridge is typically served as a main course accompanied by fried bacon, onions, and with fresh dill sprinkled on top.
As the weather cools our minds have turned towards the humble bowl of porridge. So we want to share with you some of our favourite porridge recipes. But first, I thought we'd take a brief stroll through the vast and varied history of what is, at its heart, a humble bowl of cooked, starchy grains. Put simply, porridge is grains - often crushed or split - boiled with water or milk, and topped with various flavourings.
Porridge has been around for thousands of years, and traditional variations span every continent.
Porridge, in all of its incarnations, shares one thing: it's always greater than the sum of its parts. To call porridge just a bowl of oats it's like saying cheese is just a load of milk, or wine is just a glass of grapes.
Pictures: Top left - Banoffee Pie; Top right - Hummingbird; Bottom left - Chocolate; Bottom right - Lamington.
Basic Oat Porridge:
Combine ½ cup rolled oats with 1 cup water or milk of choice and simmer over a gentle heat for 10 mins, stirring often to avoid it catching on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and add your choice of sweeteners and toppings.
Basic Overnight Porridge:
In a jar or cup, combine ½ cup rolled oats with ½ cup juice or milk of choice. Then add in dried fruits or flavourings or choice. Stir together, cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning it’s ready to eat.
Steel Cut Oats Porridge:
Overnight Stove Top: Add 1/2 cup of steel cut oats to a warm saucepan and stir for a couple of minutes to make them toasty. Add 1 ½ cups of water to the pan and bring to a boil. Then turn off the heat, put a lid on the saucepan and simply leave overnight. Simply reheat in the morning and you are ready to go. You can add 1/2cup of milk of your choice to add creaminess. Add sweeteners and toppings of your choice.
Slow cooker method: Add 1 cup of steel cut oats, 3 cups of water and 1 cup of milk of your choice to a slow cooker and cook on Low overnight You can add sweeteners and dried fruits in at this
Here are a few combo's that we love.
CLASSIC: Sprinkle in brown sugar and cinnamon.
HONEY & ALMOND: Add in 1 - 2 tsp honey and then sprinkle over roasted almond slivers.
MAPLE & NUT BUTTER: Add in 1 - 2 tsp of maple syrup and 1 tbsp of either almond or peanut butter creating a delicious, nutty richness that is out of this world.
BANOFFEE PIE: Stir in half a mashed banana. Top with the remaining banana, sliced, a sprinkle of brown sugar and some chopped medjool dates.
LAMMINGTON: Stir in 1 tbsp desiccated coconut, 2 tsp honey. Top with more coconut and a sprinkling of dark or milk chocolate drops. For extra decadence add a tsp of raspberry jam.
CHOCOLATE: Add 1tsp of raw cacao powder, 1 - 2tsp of honey and a drizzle of vanilla (optional). A sprinkle of of chopped nuts and a dollop of raspberry sauce will take it to the next level.
SIMPLE TOPPERS: Botanical Clusters or Cacao and Wattleseed Clusters make and instant, delicious and crunchy topper.
OVERNIGHT HUMMINGBIRD: In a jar or cup, combine ½ cup rolled oats with ½ cup apple or pineapple juice, or milk of choice. Stir through 2 tsp chopped dried pineapple, half a chopped banana, 2 tsp shredded coconut, 1 tsp mixed peel, ½ tsp allspice. Cover and refrigerate. The next morning it's ready to eat - if you wish you can top with more fruit!
OVERNIGHT CHOCOLATE: In a jar or cup, combine ½ cup oats with ½ cup milk of choice. Add 2 tsp cacao powder, 2 tsp honey & a drizzle of vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate. The next morning, top with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of dark chocolate drops and cacao nibs for extra crunch.
Oats aren’t the only base for a delicious porridge.
I love this recipe, which is based on the Czech krupicová kaše.
Pour 1 cup of milk into a medium saucepan and add ½ cup of semolina and a pinch of salt, and whisk to combine. Cook, stirring continuously to avoid any lumps forming (I like to use a non-stick whisk), over medium-low heat until thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve.
Top with a slice of cold butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. You can add other toppings as desired, such as dark choc drops or fresh berries.
This anytime recipe is a great one to have in your arsenal, as most of the ingredients can be found in the pantry. Whether it's served as a quick midweek dinner or as an accompaniment to a fancier feast, I think you'll find that it's a handy dish to keep up your sleeve. Winner winner, midweek dinner!
Serves 3-4 as a main and up to 6 as a side.
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely diced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
Pinch ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cups water
1 tsp veg stock powder
2 tsp dried currants
1 cup wholemeal couscous
Handful chopped fresh mint or coriander
3-4 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
In a medium saucepan, dry-fry the almonds for 1 min over a medium heat until they just start to turn golden. Tip the almonds immediately into a bowl and set aside. Put the saucepan back on the stove.
Heat the oil and butter* in the saucepan over medium-low heat until the butter melts. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add couscous and stir for 1 minute. Add the water and stock powder, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add the currants, cover pan with a lid, remove the pan from the heat, and let sit for 5 minutes with lid on so the currants can plump and the couscous can absorb all the stock.
Remove the lid. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Add the fresh herbs, dates, lemon juice and almonds and fold them into the couscous. Serve immediately or pop in the fridge to enjoy as a salad the next day.
*Why use a combination of butter and oil?
When you want that unbeatable, fried buttery taste but want to cook at higher temps, adding a glug of oil will help prevent burning, as oil has a higher smoke point!
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*Add some cooked chickpeas or lentils at the end of cooking time
* Try adding a tsp or 2 of our Falafel Mix to rev up the flavour
* Toppings - sprinkle on some Dukkah just before serving. Or, for a truly top-shelf finish, crumble some of our Rose, Pistachio and Orange Buckinis over the top - so good!