This breakfast is as much about the toppings as it is about what lies beneath. A comforter of warm and milky oatmeal provides the ideal base for all kinds of deliciousness. Ideally, you want to get a good bit of crunch, chew, and mouth-coating richness in each bite. Don't worry about the calories or cholesterol. Don't worry about a thing. The oats are heart-healthy and cancel out the butterfat (I think). —creamtea
Test Kitchen Notes
This is really a no-recipe recipe, and a simple way to dress up hot cereal with many different variations. Try a sprinkle of granulated brown sugar, some chopped dried dates, and pecans for a different dimension. —Risa
low-fat milk or, for Irish oatmeal, 1 cup water
salt (for rolled oat version only)
old-fashioned rolled oats or, for Irish oatmeal, 1/4 cup Irish oats
Drizzle heavy cream or half-and-half
Small handful dried California apricots, coarsely chopped
Small handful coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
Drizzle pure maple syrup, or a scant tablespoon of brown sugar, crumbled slightly
In a small, heavy saucepan, bring milk and salt to a bare simmer, then pour in oats. For the Irish version, bring water to a boil, then pour in Irish oats.
Lower heat and cook, stirring with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, about 5 minutes, or until thickened. Irish oatmeal will take about 20 to 30 minutes -- keep an eye on the pot so it doesn't boil dry.
Remove oatmeal from heat and scrape into a bowl. Top with garnishes; starting with the butter and cream, and ending with the syrup or brown sugar. Serve with a steaming mug of coffee -- I like Sumatra.