Wednesday, December 19, 2012

#TopChef Quickfire: Apple Pie Inspired Oatmeal

Last week on Top Chef, the quickfire challenge was to make something sweet and savory. The first thing I thought of was this recipe.

Okay, if this was actually a quickfire challenge, I'd be out of luck, because steel cut oatmeal doesn't actually cook very quickly in a rice cooker. I'd either have to use a magical rice cooker that could cook the oatmeal in a shorter time, or I'd be serving the judges some mighty crunchy porridge.

And second, the challenge was for a dish that's both sweet and savory. This isn't all that sweet. Sure, it's inspired by apple pie, but there's no sugar added, and if you use a tart apple, like I did, this is more tart than sweet.

Right now, though, savory oatmeal is a bit of an obsession, and I added to the savory element with walnuts and ... well, you'll see.

Apple Pie Inspired Oatmeal

1 rice cooker measure of steel cut Irish oatmeal (3/4 cup)
Water to the "porridge" line on the rice cooker
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Granny Smith or other tart, pie-worthy apple
Walnuts, to taste
Cheddar cheese, shredded, to taste

Put the rice, water, salt. vanilla and butter into your rice cooker. Peel, core, and dice the apple and add it to the rice cooker.

Set the rice cooker to for brown rice and the "soft" texture (if you rice cooker has those settings. Otherwise, you'll need to figure out how to adjust for your machine or cook the oatmeal on the stove in a pan. But seriously, when you use the rice cooker, you don't have to stir, and it's not going to burn.

When the oatmeal is done, stir it, then serve. Add walnuts as desired and top with shredded cheddar cheese.

Of course, if I was really thinking straight during the competition, at the last minute I'd run to the pantry for some maple syrup, which would work really well with the apples. And then the judges would be astonished at my creativity and I'd win the Quickfire.

Me, personally, I like it more savory than sweet. But you can add maple syrup, if you want to.

Here's a Top Chef clip for ya!

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