Remember TWBernard’s fried oatmeal?

fried-oatmeal-finished

Remember TWBernard’s fried oatmeal suggestion, that he left in a comment way back when we could all still afford boxed cereal? I finally found our bread pan, which was hiding in back of the wrong cabinet. I’m here to report that it’s delicious, and so simple.

Make more steel cut oats than you need. Put the leftovers in a pan:

fried-oatmeal-bread-pan

The next morning, slice off chunks — they’ll slice well, I promise. Fry them in butter — oh, yes, I said butter:

fried-oatmeal-cast-iron-pan

When they are brown on the outside and warm through, drizzle with maple syrup.

It’s warm, it’s easy, it takes about 3 minutes, and it seems like enough of a special treat that your child — who has arrived at the “oatmeal, again???” phase, and has not yet hit the “I guess this is how we will eat, forever” phase — munches on it happily. Best of all, it absolutely fits in with our “Turn This Broke-Ass Greatest Depression Into Reasons to Feel Cozy” cooking series. Particularly if your maple syrup was a gift.

TWBernard: Huzzah!

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10 Responses to “Remember TWBernard’s fried oatmeal?”


  1. 1 AmyH November 19, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Cool! Sounds like what we do with polenta sometimes for dinner…put it in the loaf pan, slice it, then fry it and serve under spaghetti sauce and cheese. Never thought of doing it with oatmeal! Very intriguing.

  2. 2 Todd Smith November 19, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Mmmm… sounds delicious! :)

  3. 3 Amy November 19, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Sounds great, will have to try soon!

  4. 4 Anna November 19, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Planned-overs, one of my favorite “lazy” cooking strategies. Making more than you need is a great time and labor saver if the cooking time is long. Back when I made oatmeal I fried the extra, too.

    I employ this technique with all sorts of foods, and at least once a week have a clean-out-the-fridge meal, such as frittatas, soup, or baked casserole to tie up any loose ends.

    For example, I always make more sauteed or caramelized onions to use for another meal, since they cook so slowly (or if I only need a small amount of onion, I still chop up a full onion and freeze the rest in a container). If I can’t use the onions within a day or two, I freeze them (though I’ve learned to label/date and store those little containers in the freezer door so they don’t become forgotten mystery items). I do the same with garlic, roasting a big batch, because I often buy it in big bags that are more than I can use before it sprouts or dries up.

    If I steam artichokes (about 30-45 minutes), I always make a couple spares (I cut them in half while raw if they are very large – the fit better in the pan and cook faster) for eating later in the week. We love the leaves cold, dipped in homemade mayo with some lemon juice and capers. My son loves a half chilled artichoke in his lunch at school.

    With a small family of 2 adults and 1 kid, we often have leftovers, especially with weekend roasts (remember, roasts are the budget cuts and huge time/labor savers, despite their long cooking times!) because some foods don’t scale down so well. But I prefer to think of these as “planned-overs”. Extra pot roast is great to cube, shred, or slice for another meal or two, like burritos, fast stews or soups, casseroles, goulash, sandwiches, etc. Prep time on busy days is slashed if the slow-cooking ingredient is all ready.

    Costco sold small organic whole chickens in a bag of two for $1.99 per pound last time I checked (note: organic mass-produced chickens are still industrially produced and are a far cry from truly free-range, but that’s another issue). It only takes a few minutes more time to prepare both chickens and roast them side by side in the oven or on the grill (indirect heat, remember), using one for dinner, and deboning the other for a box of cooked chicken meat for later meals and snacks. Then toss both carcasses in the crockpot or soup pot for great broth.

    Bulk sausage and bacon are two more things I prepare in advance or in excess of my immediate needs because I prefer to cook them “low and slow”, for better flavor, texture, and no splattering mess. I make a pound of bacon on a rack over a sheet pan in a 250-325 F degree oven until about 3/4 cooked (might take as much as 60+ minutes, depending on oven temp), then cool, wrap in waxed paper and freeze the extras for later use. This method is far less messy and easier to clean up plus the bacon stays flat and cooks evenly with minimum attention (I turn the slices once). With bulk sausage I cook a pound or two at once (breaking it into small pieces) and use it here and there for a few days (it only needs a couple minutes to warm up while the eggs cook), some of it for dinner frittatas & omelets, or I add it to quick vegetable soups for extra flavor (Portuguese Stone Soup with sausage is a great way to use up the remaining veggies right before a new CSA farm share box), etc.

    I also prepare 3-4 pounds of bacon and sausage in advance this way for my husband and son’s YMCA Adventure Guides camping trips – there’s almost no hot grease to deal with at the campsite (that’s much safer too!) and saves a lot of time when cooking breakfast with hungry boys waiting impatiently. The breakfast crew really appreciates this advance prep work.

  5. 5 flynnbernard November 19, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Of all the foodie boyfriends out there, TWBernard is my favorite! He’s handsome AND he cooks! And he shares his recipes with the rest of the world. Isn’t he great?

  6. 6 Sara November 19, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Oooh, that looks tasty! I’ve done this before with polenta, actually – same exact process, though usually at dinnertime :) I’m going to have to try this now :)

  7. 7 Greg November 20, 2008 at 2:48 am

    I hear TW knows how to make mean pierogies as well. Try ‘em at the St. Stans bazaar this weekend.

  8. 8 TWBernard November 20, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Gosh, wow, I…I don’t know what to say. This is all so unexpected. I never imagined this would happen way back when I made that offhand jackass comment, so I don’t really have anything prepared. But, gee, I’m grateful, of course.

    I’d like to thank The Cleaner Plate Club, obviously. And flynnbernard, too; her questionable taste notwithstanding, I couldn’t have done it without her support.

    I always wondered how I’d feel when I finally achieved my lifelong dream of becoming not merely famous, but Internet famous, but nothing could have prepared me for this. I mean, I’m just a scrappy kid from the gritty streets of a small town (all right, city) in Western Massachusetts who started out with just a recipe and a dream. And now this. It’s overwhelming, truly.

    Thank you, and good night.

  9. 9 andrea November 20, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    Mmmm…sounds yummy (and works with cornmeal mush too…one of my favorites).

  10. 10 TWBernard November 21, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Greg is officially Too Kind ™. I am but one small cog in a vast pierogi making machine. It’s a machine fueled by generations of tradition. It’s far more reliant on the expertise and labor of the folks who have decades more experience than I ever will than it is on my meager efforts.

    That said, I’ve tasted the products of our labors, and they are good. We made two varieties: potato and cheese, and cabbage. We’re selling them frozen for seven bucks a dozen.

    For those in the area, the bazaar takes place on Saturday, November 22, 2008, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the basement of Saint Stanislaus Kostka Church on the corner of Hoosac and Summer Streets in Adams, MA. The pierogi line usually starts forming by about 8:45 a.m., but with about 900 dozen on hand to sell, you’re probably safe getting there a little bit later.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled The Cleaner Plate Club, already in progress…


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