Saturday, May 7, 2011

crock pot porridge.

I know what you're thinking, the weather has finally changed and it's time to clear up some real estate on your counter where your crock pot once sat. But before it gets too hot and humid, you really need to try this recipe. At the very least save it and dust it off in the Fall.  
I should preface this post with a little back story on why I am making porridge of all things.
I got a call from my sister in February asking if I could bring porridge to my niece's first birthday brunch in May (she's a planner!). Well sure, in February porridge sounds like a great addition to any brunch menu, but alas here we are in May and porridge she shall get! I don't know what "real porridge" is actually made of-- I just think of the bowl of mush from Goodnight Moon. But I did understand exactly what my sister was asking for.  There is a deliciously adorable restaurant in my hometown of Gloucester, MA called Sugar Magnolia's that makes there own porridge (read: fancy oatmeal).  It's loaded with all sorts of goodies like nuts, dried fruit, apples, coconut etc... She wanted me to recreate it and I was up for the challenge. Rather than old fashioned oats, I used steel cut oats which have a more hearty texture so I assumed they'd hold up better for hours in a slow cooker.  This is a super simple recipe, just add everything into the crock pot at once, set on low and cook for several hours (6-8 at least)-- it'd be a good idea to do it right before bed and breakfast will be ready for you when you wake up. 

Crock Pot Porridge (serves a LOT)
3 cups dry steel cut oats
12 cups water
2 granny smith apples
1 cup pecans
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
2 cinnamon sticks 
1/2 cup brown sugar
ground cinnamon, a generous sprinkle

Start by adding the water and oats to the crock pot. Then chop the apples-- you want them to be spoon size, but not so small that they'll breakdown into nothing in the crock pot. I peeled them but did leave some skin here and there, to each their own.  Add it to the slow cooker. 
Next measure out a cup of whole or halved pecans and then give them a coarse chop. I just put them in a plastic bag and stepped on them.  Walnuts would also be a good choice. Add those to the crock pot too.
Then add the remaining ingredients. Get creative with what you put into it, dates, figs, coconut would all be good! Cover and cook on low heat for about 8 hours. Make sure you remove the cinnamon sticks before serving, and if you don't want to make enough to feed the Duggers, cut the recipe into 3rds for a more manageable batch. I hope you like it! 


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