Oatsotto with sweet potato and mushrooms
#100daysofcooking, Recipes

Day 48: Oats for dinner? You go right ahead


Mushroom Oatsotto with Sweet Potatoes


It cooked like risotto, it smelled like risotto, it even mostly tasted like risotto. But I struggled gamely with my bowl, and Dan didn’t even manage that well.

This is oatsotto, where perfectly good arborio rice is replaced by steel-cut oats. Best as I can tell (and I honestly had no idea this was a thing),  folks might choose the oatmeal version for nutritional reasons, or perhaps because the oats require less babying than arborio rice.

I first stumbled across the concept while perusing the Valentine’s Day menu at Hart’s Table & Bar in south Edmonton. We didn’t order it, but it did jolt some kitchen castoff inspiration. I’d tried last summer to incorporate steel-cut oats into my breakfast repertoire but found them too time-consuming to make for the amount of enjoyment they provided. We had about a half a cup remaining.

But it was a Telegraph article headlined “Savoury porridge: annoying trend or delicious for dinner?” that really propelled me into action. To wit: “The idea of claggy oatmeal mixed with hollandaise and a runny poached egg is almost nauseating.”

Claggy oatmeal. Gosh. Doesn’t that just sound like yum?

My expectations, already low, sunk further when Telegraph writer John Whaite described the results of his oatsotto as “so edible.” (To be fair, he added that his partner loved it.)

I mashed together the Telegraph recipe with a one from the President’s Choice website, and the result was, um … so edible.

Later that night, we consumed the emergency pizza in the freezer.

Kitchen castoff used

Steel-cut oats

Steel cut oats for oatsotto
Steel-cut oats for oatsotto

This is how we did it

All amounts provided have been halved from the original recipes.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup sweet potato, cubed
  • ½ cup steel-cut oats
  • 1½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped shallots or onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup dry white vermouth or other dry white wine
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 – 4 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 – 4 tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano or parmesan cheese
  • 2  tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted

Method

Preheat the oven to 400. In a baking tray toss together the sweet potato with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes or until the sweet potato is slightly crispy on the outside and tender the inside.

Toast oats in a dry frying pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until oats are slightly darker and smell toasty, about 5 minutes.

Heat broth and water in small saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering. Cover and reduce heat to low.

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook shallots 4 minutes, stirring often, until soft. Stir in garlic, cook another 30 seconds or so. Stir in mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and cook until mushrooms start to release their liquid, about 2 minutes, then uncover and keeping cooking 8 to 10 minutes, until mushrooms are browned.

Stir in oats and cook for 1 minute. Pour in wine, stirring up browned bits until liquid is absorbed, about 1 to 2 minutes. Ladle in 1 cup of hot broth, and stir  until liquid is almost absorbed. Add another cup of broth, and keep cooking and stirring until liquid is absorbed, oats are cooked through and mixture is loose and creamy, about 22 to 24 minutes.

Stir in lemon juice. Cover, remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. If mixture has firmed up too much, stir in remaining hot broth to loosen. Stir in parsley, cheese and some of the sweet potato cubes.

Spoon into serving bowls and top with a scattering of sweet potato and pumpkin seeds.

For the pizza

Follow directions on the box

Emergency pizza-in-a-box, for times when the dinner plan didn't work out
Emergency pizza-in-a-box, for times when the dinner plan didn’t work out

Curious about my “Kitchen Castoffs” concept? Here’s the explainer describing my 100-day project.

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