Breakfast


Hello all, it’s the tenth installment of Food in Mind! OK, so it’s not nearly as groundbreaking as when the entries were originally posted on www.teamliquid.net. It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these things because the high production values take time and drives up cost into the millions, mostly due to laziness and lack of inspiration. This installment will feature two simple breakfast dishes: savory oatmeal and chocolate chip pancakes.

Breakfast foods generally tend to be simpler because after all, who the fuck wants to wake up 3 hours ahead of time just to make some shit to eat. Both of these dishes can be made in under 20 minutes with the right ingredients. They are also highly modifiable if you wish to experiment with variations.

One: Savory Oatmeal

Preface

Sweetened oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins is pretty good. So is oatmeal with white granulated sugar, cinnamon, and a tablespoon of peanut butter stirred in at the end. But eat that too many times and you’ll still get sick of that shit. That’s what happened to me.

I searched around online for some savory oatmeal recipes. Some simpler ones called for salt and pepper with olive oil and parmesan cheese, or oatmeal served with a fried/poached egg and some greens. The salt and pepper one turned out to be too bland, and greens kind of taste like shit alongside oatmeal. So I formulated a recipe which suits my own tastes.

Ingredients

Your minerals and gas for this dish. No additional pylons required.

1/4 Cauliflower*
~1 cup dried oatmeal**
~2 oz cheddar***
Chicken stock (low/no sodium)
Vegetable Oil
Salt
Pepper

*I know yellow squash is pictured. I was too lazy to take pictures when I actually made it with cauliflower. In reality any crisp vegetable without a strong aroma can be used, such as asparagus.
**Use rolled oats and not the instant-cooking crap. Both are usually the same price. Rolled oats take longer to cook but are superior in texture. A lot of ingredients are basically eyeballed so I don’t know the actual amounts. Add as much as you generally would per serving.
***You can try many different types of cheese, I just like cheddar. If you are using a very sharp cheese you can get away with as little as half that amount.

Build Order

First, dice your cauliflower into 1/2 inch blocks, and shred or chop your cheese into tiny pieces. Set both aside. Place a medium sized pot on the stove at medium heat. Add about 2 teaspoons of oil and saute your cauliflower for about 3 minutes with a little salt. When sauteing, the trick is to not spend so much time stirring the vegetables around. Let the cauliflower sit and sizzle in the oil for about a minute before tossing and letting it sit again. This will lightly brown the cauliflower, providing a lot of aroma and flavor.

At the end of 3 minutes dump your uncooked oatmeal directly onto the cauliflower and cover with the appropriate amount of chicken stock. To my experience, this is roughly enough to submerge the oatmeal plus about 1/4 inch extra, but the amount really changes with how much oatmeal you are using. At this point in time you can season to taste. If you are using store-bought chicken stock that has been salted, you may not want to add any salt at all. Keep in mind that cheddar cheese itself has a good amount of salt, so you do not want to over-salt the dish.

It's not a stool sample, it's oatmeal! Really!

Stir your oats around with a spoon as it cooks. This isn’t too important early on, but once your oats start to thicken you want to stir constantly to prevent it from sticking and burning on the bottom of your pot. Cook until the pieces of oats start to expand and “bloom” a little. You want to fully cook your oatmeal.

Once the oatmeal has been fully cooked, take it OFF the heat. Stir it around for a few seconds to dissipate a bit of heat, then add the cheese. Fold the cheese into your oatmeal until it is completely melted.

Almost done. The cheese part is like when Terran has almost won and is calling down MULES

The oatmeal will begin to look creamier as you stir. You’re done when the cheese is melted. Serve warm.

How the fuck is a walkthrough on cooking oatmeal this long? I dunno either.

This is your basic savory oatmeal. If you wish to un-ghetto-ify your oatmeal, here are some suggestions:

1) Serve with bacon and eggs, or some other combination of breakfast items.
2) If serving solo, you can add bacon directly to the oatmeal. Top the oatmeal with a poach egg or a fried egg (sunny side up or over easy preferred).

Two: Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chocolate-chip-pancakes-2.

Ingredients

Store bought mix is for dickless pansies. Or if you are a girl, for chicks with dicks. Something like that...

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk*
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract**
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips

You will also need measuring cups, two containers, and a non-stick cooking surface such as a griddle or a flat pan.

*I’ve experimented a bit with the milk. If you add more milk, it will make the pancakes a bit mealier and denser. I presume adding a bit less milk will make it fluffier.
**This is the important part, highly recommended. It’s what makes the pancakes amazing instead of just good.

So this is kind of just the original recipe with all the ingredient amounts halved, plus vanilla extract. Most pancake recipes are similar, with slight variations in ingredient amounts. You can safely change the sugar and salt amounts without affecting how the pancakes cook. Like all pastry/baking type recipes, certain ingredients like flour and baking powder heavily influence the outcome so precise measurement is necessary.

Procedure

Get two bowls or containers. In one, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. In the other, whisk the egg with the milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.

Segregated, like the US in the 1950's

Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients (not the other way around!). This is to avoid the formation of flour lumps in your pancakes. What you want to to is pour a couple of tablespoonfuls of liquid in at a time, and stirring to incorporate as much of the dry ingredients as possible. After the first few tablespoonfuls of liquid you should be able to stir together something like a dry dough. Stir that around several times to smooth out the mixture. Then add the rest of the ingredients to create a smooth batter.

Integrated, like US schools after Brown vs Board of Education. Except today there are still a lot of segregated schools which would be like... if this batter still had a lot of lumps. This metaphor is going nowhere.

Looks great! Stir in the chocolate chips and heat up your pan/griddle. You want it pre-heated to about medium-high and hot BEFORE you add any pancake batter. Drop batter 4 tablespoons per pancake onto the hot pan surface. Pancakes cook really really fast, so I didn’t have time to take any pictures. Sorry. Mine came out kind of crappy because I recently ruined the surface of my non-stick pan and am now using a large pot, which makes cooking kind of awkward.

Let the pancakes sit until you start seeing bubbles on the surface. Count out ten seconds, then flip the pancakes and cook for roughly twenty seconds or so. The entire process takes only about a minute. Pancakes should have a smooth golden brown surface on one side and a rough golden-ish brown surface on the other. Serve warm. If you want to get fancy, serve with powdered sugar, maybe some fruit on the side, and a glass of milk.

Look kind of like hamburger buns from this lighting

Conclusion

There it is, two recipes, one savory, one sweet. The oatmeal recipe may be a bit unorthodox for some peoples’ tastes, but pancakes are loved by all. I don’t really have a rating for the dishes, probably around a 4-4.5 for both.

I’d like to end this installment on a sad note. Shortly after I made the pancakes, my room mate’s dog got to them so I was only able to eat one before the rest got destroyed. Luckily the dogs didn’t eat much of the chocolate parts so I’m (probably) safe from getting sued for poisoning them. But man, fucking dogs can be so dumb sometimes.

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