Ever since my daughter was born, Christmas breakfast has been at my house. Parents, in-laws, siblings, cousins, significant others – any family in town at the time, hustle over for breakfast (usually something baked that is sweet, something baked that is savory, fresh fruit, cream biscuits, bacon) and opening presents. Since my husband and I are usually up until the wee hours of the morning, putting together “Santa list” items - play kitchens or train tables – I am a big fan of festive breakfast items that get a head start in preparation the night before. A few years ago, I made baked oatmeal – with eggs, cream and apples - that was quite good. Here is my riff on that theme, using Bhutanese red rice, millet, and Bob’s Red Mill gluten free old-fashioned rolled oats. The red rice and millet are fragrant and naturally a bit sweet; I upped this with currants and banana, added warmth with spice, and topped it all off with some toasted brown butter cashews. The resulting pudding is perfect for breakfast (would make a lovely, not too sweet, dessert too), served with a dollop of crème fraiche (for those so inclined). Enjoy warm or at room temperature. It is also delicious, chilled, the next day. NOTE: Make the red rice/millet the night before, leaving only assembly (it comes together quickly) and baking before your breakfast guests arrive. - gingerroot —gingerroot
Test Kitchen Notes
What a delightful way to start a cold and rainy morning. The combination of spices, fruits, grains, and nuts is positively divine. It is filling, but doesn't feel overly heavy. It is nutty and sweet, but not sugary. Add a side of bacon or sausage, a glass of OJ and a cup of coffee and you're day will be off to a great start! A dollop of whipped cream and a splash of maple syrup would turn this into a decadent weekend breakfast or perfect winter dessert. Thanks for wonderful recipe, gingerroot. - hardlikearmour —hardlikearmour
6-8 as a sweet part of a festive breakfast
Make red rice and millet the night before:
Bhutanese red rice
2 1/2 cups
cinnamon stick, broken in half
black cardamom pod (or 2-3 green cardamom pods)
In the morning:
1 1/2 tablespoons
unsalted roasted cashews, broken in half with fingers
Bob’s Red mill Gluten free old-fashioned rolled oats (or regular old-fashioned rolled oats if you do not have any GF guests)
In a small saucepan (or electric rice cooker, as I did) combine Bhutanese red rice, millet, water, cinnamon stick, cardamom and bay leaves; allow grains/spices to soak for at least 20 minutes before cooking. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, being careful mixture does not boil over. Cook until grains are tender, about 25 minutes. Pick out whole spices and discard. Cool and transfer cooked grains to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray or butter a 2 quart round ceramic baking dish. Set aside.
In a small pan, melt butter over medium heat until beginning to brown. Add cashews, shaking pan or stirring occasionally, being careful not to burn them as they cook quickly. You want most of the pieces golden brown on both sides. Remove pan from heat and add turbinado sugar, tossing to combine. Set aside.
In a large bowl, gently break up the cooked grains with a spoon. Fold in the oats, and currants (breaking up any clusters, with your fingers), to evenly incorporate.
In a separate bowl (I used my quart Pyrex), using a fork or whisk, combine mashed bananas, half-and-half, eggs, brown sugar, spices, salt and vanilla.
Pour liquid mixture into grain/currant mixture and stir. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Top with toasted brown butter cashews. Bake for 40-45 minutes until top is golden and puffed up. Serve immediately, with a dollop of crème fraiche or yogurt, if desired. Enjoy and then eat something savory!
My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love.
Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.