Apple Cinnamon Porridge
So I was watching Shokugeki no Soma, and while most recipes featured on the show are very innovative and fascinating yet unpractical for home cooking, I was particularly interested in Yukihira’s Apple Risotto dish which he cooked as part of a challenge to come up with a breakfast recipe which is easy on the stomach, yet has a rejuvenating effect on the eater. I was really intrigued by the combination of sweet ingredients like apples and apple juice with ingredients more on the savoury side like bacon, onions and cheese. Unfortunately, me cooking this recipe to the dot would be unlikely, for several reasons:
1. My grocery shopping list doesn’t include apple juice, and there’s no way I’m buying apple juice just to make a risotto.
2. My stomach can’t handle fatty foods in the morning, like bacon. So it’s a given that I’d be excluding this anyway.
3. Cooking this recipe in the mornings when you’re short on time is a little bit… risky? It takes quite a bit of time and effort, and most people who look for breakfast recipes are looking for something quick and easy.
4. As I said before, it’s not ideal for home cooking. This is something you’d serve in a high-class restaurant, or your crush in the morning one weekend.
5. I don’t like risotto.
So while I don’t like the dish overall (or risotto in general), but like the idea of a breakfast that’s easy on the stomach and uses apples, I decided to come up with something else which fits my needs and resources a little better. This will likely fit the needs and resources of others who read this, too. (´･ω･`) So instead of a risotto, I decided to go for a porridge. Although I’m pretty sure risotto is basically a dinner porridge anyway.
I had to do some experimenting; first I tried grating an apple into a pool of lemon juice (to prevent oxidization and to add some lemony flavour) then adding it to the porridge near the end and cooking until most of the lemon juice evaporated, but this didn’t go very well; the lemon juice completely overpowered the flavour of the apple. And I had to sweeten it anyway with 2 spoons of honey, so that was just dumb…
So then my second plan was to soak the apples in lemon juice, then cook them in a frying pan with some butter, honey and a pinch of cinnamon until they’ve softened up before adding them to the porridge. This worked a little better, although I had to sprinkle on an entire spoon of cinnamon while I was eating it because it was very lacking. So for my third attempt, I decided to cook the apples with more than a pinch of cinnamon; 1/2 tsp instead. The resulting dish was excellent. The apples were cooked beautifully and the cinnamon complimented the flavour of the apples very well, however I realised that I accidentally just made apple cinnamon porridge, which is already a thing, and a very popular thing too.
So I’ll give you the recipe for my Apple Cinnamon Porridge… And I did eventually come up with something that matched my requirements and was a little truer to the original dish I was trying to copy, and I’ll be posting the recipe for that dish fairly soon~! (´･ω･`)
Ingredients per serving
1/4 cup steel-cut oats (or 1/3 of rolled oats, depending on the size of the flakes. Check the package for the serving suggestion.)
1 cup water
a pinch of salt
1/2 medium-sized cooking apple (gala is good, granny smith isn’t because it’s too sour)
1/2 tbsp butter
juice from half a lemon
1/2 tsp cinnamon
honey/brown sugar to taste
(With all these halves, it’s so much easier to just cook 2 servings at once… But unfortunately my parents hate porridge. ;-;)
1. In a small saucepan, pour in your oats with a pinch of salt, add the water, bring it up to a boil, then reduce to medium and let it cook stirring occasionally for 5-20 minutes (depending on what kind of oats you’re using.)
2. Dice an apple and add the pieces to a bowl filled with the juice of half a lemon. Sprinkle in your cinnamon, then give the apples a toss until they’re all coated in that lemon juice and cinnamon.
3. Heat up the butter in a small pan at about medium-high and wait until it melts.
4. Pour in the apple + lemon juice into the pan and sauté for about 1-3 minutes until the cinnamon has fused to the apples and the lemon juice has evaporated. Remove from heat and set aside.
Rolled oats may probably be done at this point, if so then remove from heat and set aside. If you’re using steel-cuts, then just keep cooking until that water disappears from the top.
5. Once the oats are done cooking, remove from heat, let sit for a minute or two, then pour in the apples and stir them in. If you were to pour the apples in while the oats were still cooking, you’d risk making the apples go all mushy.
6. Stir in a bit of honey or sugar until it’s as sweet as you want it, and serve!