Steel-Cut Apple Risotto

Steel-cut porridge oats with diced apple and onion slices cooked in the style of a risotto.

So in the last post I mentioned accidentally coming up with an Apple Cinnamon Porridge recipe. After that “incident”, I decided that I still wanted to do my own thing, so I went ahead and got a little bit more extravagant… ⊂((・▽・))⊃

Restate points from previous post:

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.

And now, the solutions I came up with:

1. Come up with a substitution for apple juice.
Easy. 2 tablespoons of honey or sugar dissolved in 1 cup of water for every cup of apple juice. The oats won’t be infused with an apple flavour, but the sweetness is about the same.
2. Exclude bacon.
Obviously that doesn’t mean you can’t throw a nice slice of bacon on top of this dish~!
3. Wake up earlier or get good.
This should be good to go in 30-40 minutes if you’re efficient in the kitchen.
4. Modify the dish to make it ideal for home cooking.
I’m just going to say I was wrong and up my standards for breakfast dishes. I’m getting better anyway, it’s reasonable.
5. Make it not a risotto.
Replace rice with steel-cut oats. It’s a porridge, right? Just because it’s cooked in the style of a risotto, doesn’t mean– okay fine it’s a risotto, but a sweet one so I’m sure I’ll like it~!! (´・ω・`)

So without further ado… here’s what I’ve managed to come up with. I’m using steel-cut oats, and I doubt rolled oats will work for this but you can use arborio rice, because we are actually making a risotto this time!!! \(^O^)/

Ingredients per serving
1/4 cup steel-cut oats
1 cup water
2 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 medium-sized cooking apple (unlike the last recipe, granny smith may work here since there’s no cinnamon this time)
1/2 brown onion
1 tbsp butter
1 lemon (1 lemon works with 2 servings too)
(With all these halves, it’s STILL so much easier to just cook 2 servings at once… But my parents STILL hate porridge. oats in general. ;-;)

1. Bring a stainless steel or cast-iron skillet or saucepan over on the stove (do not use nonstick) on medium heat. Get it nice and hot while you prep your ingredients.
2. In another saucepan, pour in water some water and put it over medium heat to get it nice and hot. Stir in 2 tablespoons of honey until it dissolves.
3. Dice your apple and put the chunks in a pool of water so it doesn’t oxidize.
4. Very finely dice the onion and set it aside.
5. Grate the lemon and have the zest ready, then cut the lemon in half and save a thin slice for garnishing (optional), then squeeze the juice from the rest of the lemon and set it aside.
6. Once prep is done, throw your butter into the hot pan and let it melt for a few seconds (NOT BURN!!! IF IT TURNS BROWN THEN YOUR PAN WAS TOO HOT!!!)
7. When the butter has fully melted, add in your onions and sauté until the onions soften up and become translucent.
8. Throw in your steel-cut oats and continue to toast on medium heat until the oats have cooked a little. Add a pinch of salt. Feel free to add more butter if it looks too dry.
9. After a bit, deglaze the pan by splashing some lemon juice in with the onions and cook until it has evaporated, turning the heat to medium-high heat. It’s time for things to get serious.

10. Pour in 1 ladle’s worth of your honey-water in with the oats and onions. Stir constantly, cooking the oats on medium-high and keeping your honey-water hot on medium-high so it doesn’t cool down the oats and just keep stirring until the oats absorb all that liquid and the liquid gets creamy.
11. You’re going to be adding the next ladle’s worth when the liquid no longer separates from the oats. You want the oats and the liquid to marry into a sticky, creamy risotto. Continue adding ladle by ladle making sure you’re constantly stirring. Remember to add in the lemon zest at some point, maybe after the first or second ladle.
12. After you run out of honey-water, just continue to cook the last ladle’s worth until the oats absorb most of the liquid and you’re left with this creamy risotto that slowly oozes off from your wooden spoon when it’s picked up. If you’ve managed to maintain this creaminess and the oats are soft and only slightly chewy, congratulations, you’ve made a perfect risotto.
13. Remove the pan from the heat, continuing to stir. Drain the apples from the water and stir them into the risotto. You’ll always want to put them in at the very end just to warm them up, otherwise they’ll get all mushy and lose their crunch.
14. Serve garnished with the slice of lemon, maybe some Italian parsley, and sprinkle on a little black pepper. It actually works out really well!

Unlike most recipes I do, this one is actually pretty easy to mess up. It really is like a real risotto. Make a mistake and it will be visible in the resulting dish. The trick is to be calm, practice the dish on the weekend when you’re not in a rush, have all your ingredients and materials out, set up and ready to be thrown in, and follow my instructions to the dot. It’s a risotto, so you gotta take it slow. If you’ve already cooked a risotto before, you’ll know what I mean. All the rules apply to steel-cut oats as they do to rice.

Would you like to see the progression of this dish until I got it perfect, including the part where I accidentally made apple cinnamon porridge? Too bad, I’m showing you anyway: \(^ω^\)

About Crisis

Ha nem lehet mind enyém, akkor nem kérek semmit.

Posted on September 24, 2015, in Breakfast, Grain & Starch, Original and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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