A few days ago something prompted me to search the internets for a banana curd recipe. Most likely it was the pile of
rotting overripe bananas on my counter; it is also possible that the onset of cold weather contributed to my sudden craving for rich, butter-and-egg-enriched custardy goodness. Banana-flavored, of course.
I did find a lovely recipe (which I made, and promptly inhaled, and which you should consider making, too, if you have a pile of bananas, an egg, some sugar and a stick of butter lying around); however, it is not the banana curd I wish to gush about today. No, it is the oatmeal. The banana-curd-recipe author casually mentioned adding said banana curd to her oatmeal, which she claims is the Very, Very Best. I always feel inclined to challenge people when they claim to be good, and even more so when they throw in the superlative. Except….
The segues that lead one to a particular discovery on the internet are usually long, winding, and irretrievable if you happen to close all 36 open browser tabs by mistake. Fortunately, I was able to retrace my steps by going back to the banana curd search, which easily and happily led me to the Very, Very Best Oatmeal. Whew.
Except it’s not.
Now, I am a non-confrontational person, but I’m just going to say right here that I disagree with the author of the Very, Very Best Oatmeal’s eponymous claim for one simple reason: texture. I guess this is where subjectivity and personal preference enter the equation. While she and I both abhor gummy, sticky, soupy oatmeal, I happen to like mine a little creamier, rather than crunchy. And moister. I like moist oatmeal, otherwise I call it granola. And so, with a very small tweak of adding more liquid to the recipe and a longer steaming time, I have found what is, for me, the Very, Very, Very Best Oatmeal (IMO). But I will say that if you tend to prefer your oats a bit crunchy, and drier, then you will love FauxMartha’s version immensely and give her the oatmeal crown, because texture aside, her version is brilliant and may just be your oatmeal epiphany. Of course, this is not a competition in any sense, just a quest for a tasty (yet healthy and hips-friendly) breakfast. ;)
Very, Very, VERY Best Oatmeal (IMO) (Original Recipe found on FauxMartha)
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats (I did not try this with quick or instant oats, or even steel-cut, so I cannot report on whether those variations would work)
- 1 T unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp or thereabouts kosher salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/4- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon, if desired
You will need a deep sauce/frying pan with a lid.
Melt the butter in the sauce/frying pan over a medium-ish (technical term) heat. Add oats and salt (if using) to the pan and stir to coat them with the melted butter. Gently move the oats around until they become fragrant and take on just the faintest bit of color, which takes about 2-3 minutes with my setup.
Because I am lazy, I do not remove the oats from the pan as the original recipe suggests. I just take the pan off the heat, pour on the liquid (go slowly, as it will sputter at first), add cinnamon or other spices (ooh, I bet dried fruit would work, too!) if desired, then return to the heat and stir until liquid comes almost to the boil.
Cover pan, turn off heat, and let the oats steam in their liquid undisturbed for 20-30 minutes. Don’t cheat and peek early, or your steam will dissipate and you’ll be out of oatmeal luck.
This next photo was taken after 20 minutes of steaming, because I am impatient. You can see there’s a little bit of liquid left in the pan, but they were not the least bit chewy.
(Tip for other lazy and not-morning-people: do this at night, just before bed; you can uncover the pan in the morning and heat the oats briefly before digging in.)
Oh, and for ultra decadence and tastiness, stir in a spoonful of banana curd, which is how you got here in the first place.