Is it obvious I love breakfast? Between french toast casserole, cinnamon buns, vintage breakfast biscuits, shakshuka, and even simple bites like this one, I seem to have found my obsession. In keeping with my breakfast trend, here’s another maddeningly simple morning meal option: steelcut oats.
What are steelcut oats? They’re oats, really — but unlike quick oats, which are essentially slices of oats, steelcut oats are like large crumbs. They look more like Grape Nuts than Quaker. They’re also quite firm; they don’t crumble in your hand the way quick oats can. They take about 25 minutes to cook fully, which means you need to have a bit of time to cook’em up. But if you’ve got the time, you’ll be handsomely rewarded: cooked steelcut oats are like a thicker, homier version of grits or polenta, with a distinctly nutty flavor and lovely pot liquor. I also add a pinch of salt to the water for contrast, and a daub of butter at the end, a la Mandy, because it makes breakfast more luxurious. In my humble opinion, oatmeal is best topped with a splash of milk or half and half, and either a dollop of jam or a spoonful of fresh fruit compote. In this case, I used my very last summer peach to make a lovely quick compote that went perfectly with the oatmeal.
These steelcut oats make a lovely break from my weekday morning routine, but oatmeal’s really a splendid breakfast, anyway you cut it.
Steelcut Oatmeal with Peach Compote
1 cup steelcut oats
2 cups water
a pinch of salt
1 Tbsp butter, optional
In a small pot, bring water and salt to a boil. Add oats, stir to incorporate, and turn heat down to low. Let oatmeal simmer, stirring regularly, for about 25 minutes, until water is absorbed and remaining liquid is thick, as with grits or polenta.
While oatmeal is cooking, make peach compote:
2-3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup water
splash white wine, optional
Combine all ingredients in a small saute pan. Simmer over medium heat until liquid is reduced and syrupy, about 10-15 minutes.
Serve oatmeal in deep, comfort-food bowls, with cream and peach compote (or jam, or even maple syrup. yum.)