Archive for porridge

Nigel Slater’s Classic Porridge

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2012 by Robin Gosnall

(Source: Observer)

I was brought up on sweet, milky porridge made with rolled oats, but that all changed when I was shown how to make it by champion porridge maker Ian Bishop from Carrbridge in Scotland. My method is now his.

The recipe

Pour three cups of water into a small saucepan and place over a moderate heat. Tip in one cup of medium oatmeal and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. As soon as the porridge starts to blip, add half a teaspoon of salt. Continue stirring until the porridge has been cooking for a total time of 5 minutes. Tip into warm bowls. Have a bowl of cold milk or cream ready. Lift a spoonful of hot porridge and dip it into the cold milk or cream and eat.

The trick

Only stir your porridge clockwise or you risk summoning the devil. A wooden spurtle will get right into the corners and prevent your porridge from sticking. Eat immediately it is ready. The porridge will thicken as it cools. Use medium oatmeal rather than rolled oats. Add salt to all porridge, even if you are going to sweeten it afterwards.

The twist

Each to his own, but porridge is correctly made with water rather than milk. The usual embellishments are red-berry jams, golden syrup or honey, but other ideas include a compote of stewed dried figs, maple syrup or a mixture of fresh berries, sugar and ground cinnamon. You could also leave it to set into cakes and fry it in butter. Oatmeal ice cream, made with toasted oatmeal and cream, while not quite porridge, is certainly worth a visit, too.

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Search terms for 7 days ending 2011-07-18

Posted in Blog Stats, Culture, Food, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

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Search terms for 7 days ending 2011-05-09

Posted in Blog Stats, Culture, Food, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

More bizarre search terms that have been typed in by people probably not looking for this blog, but who ended up here anyway …

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Search terms for 7 days ending 2011-04-07

Posted in Blog Stats, Culture, Food, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Not done this for a while. Just to show what an excellent blog this is, here are the results of a quick look through my blog stats:

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why was it traditional to eat porridge standing up (again, more of a question than a search term, yielding results for every website that contains any of those words)

Perfect Porridge

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Lady Claire Macdonald writes in the Daily Mail:

I was browsing around Marks & Spencer when I found myself staring at the shelf in front of me. It was crammed with pots and pots of ready-made porridge.

I’m passionate about porridge. So I’m thrilled that it is enjoying such a revival.

McDonald’s is branching out with bowls of it. And supermarkets are crammed with every flavour imaginable.

With temperatures plummeting and snow falling, it’s the perfect time to enjoy the original comfort food. It’s filling, it’s nutritious and it’s full of health benefits.

Porridge has the proportion of protein needed for repair and growth in the body and boosts the immune system. It’s also rich in soluble fibre, which has been shown to lower blood cholesterol.

It’s high in vitamin B6, which promotes the feel-good brain chemical serotonin. And the slow-releasing carbohydrates in oats sustain energy levels.

Porridge has always been a fantastic fast food. But it fell out of favour when we became too busy to wash up the hideously sticky pans. That is no longer a problem – use a non-stick pan.

My first introduction to porridge came soon after I arrived in Scotland as a young bride.

I was staying in this fantastic old house where our fellow guests were the judges of the piping section of the Highland Games.

I watched in fascination as one of the three – a sprightly looking man in his late 70s – proceeded to eat porridge for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I realised then how seriously the Scots take their porridge.

There’s even an annual porridge-making competition in Aviemore. Traditions abound. Some people will only eat their porridge standing up. Purists swear that porridge should never be eaten with anything other than a dash of salt. Others insist on eating their porridge washed down with whisky.

And then there’s the question of how you stir your oats. Traditionalists use a spurtle – a stick specially produced for porridge stirring.

You can understand why the Scots are so passionate about their porridge. It was their staple diet for generations. Bonnie Prince Charlie’s followers went into battle at Culloden with slabs of cold porridge tucked under their tartan cloaks. They lost, but they still swore by their porridge.

While other nations were tucking into pasta and rice, the Scots were eating porridge slabs: oats mixed with water and salt, allowed to go cold and then sliced into pieces.

Porridge is easy to make. You just need the right ingredients and the right equipment.

Oats come in four main sizes: pinhead, fine, medium and coarse. Freshly harvested oats contain 14 per cent moisture, so they have to be dried and toasted to develop their flavour.

You don’t need milk – porridge has its own creamy consistency. I love heaping demerara sugar on my porridge. It is so versatile you can add anything: bananas, strawberries, honey. And there are so many other things you can do with oats – such as add to crumble mixes or coat fish and chicken.

90g pinhead oatmeal
100ml full-fat milk
10g butter
15g sugar
cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Soak the pinhead oatmeal for 12 hours and drain off excess water.

Put the oatmeal in a pan with the milk and simmer gently, stirring occasionally until the oats have softened (approx 20-25 mins). Then beat in the sugar, butter and spices.

Kinloch Lodge Hotel special porridge recipe by head chef Marcello Tully

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