I’m just back from the great city of Portland, OR (thanks Bob and the Bob’s Red Mill crew) where I was honored to judge, along with Leather Storrs, chef at Noble Rot in Portland and winner of this season’s Food Network’s “Extreme Chef;” and Rachel MacRitchie, Scottish native and honorary president of the Daughters of the British Empire, the Spar for the Spurtle Ultimate Oatmeal Throwdown.
Matthew Cox, The 2009 World Porridge Making Champion and Golden Spurtle Winner, animated the event, which will send the winner to compete in Scotland later this year.
It was a tough decision among the 3 finalists. Jim Schafer, from Wisconsin, had already made almond milk and churned his own butter for his Nutty Coconut Oatmeal by the time the judges arrived. Portland resident, Rachel Kimbrow, wowed us with her gorgeous silky custard and a gingerbread-flavored oatmeal. In the end, Merry Graham, of California, won us over with crisp black bean porridge patties. I know…I know…oatmeal patties? I thought the same thing, but once we tasted them, we loved the Southwestern flavors and crisp coating as well as the surprising take on “oatmeal porridge.”
Black Bean Porridge Patties with Black Bean Pico de Gallo
2/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill Award Winning Steel Cut Oats
1 2/3 cups water
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinse, drained, divided
1 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/3 cup minced cilantro for patties, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro for pico
3/4 teaspoon Bob’s Red Mill Baking Powder
1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill Oat Flour, additional for forming patties
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1 ½ chopped fresh tomatoes
2 green onions, chopped, additional for garnish
1/2 cup picante salsa, medium or mild if preferred
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
1. In a 4-cup bowl, combine Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats and 1 2/3 cups water, stir and set aside for three hours. Do not drain water after oaks have soaked. *Alternative non-soak method listed below.
2. Pour softened oats and soaking water in a 4-quart or larger saucepan, combine, garlic, water, and salt, cover, and cook on high or medium-high for 9 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times. Uncover, add 1-cup black beans, cumin, and red pepper, stir constantly and cook 4-minutes.
3. Pour hot porridge into a large bowl and stir in 1/3-cup cilantro and then add baking powder, stir, add all but about 2-tablespoons of the oat flour until uniform in consistency. Sprinkle a work surface with about 1-tablespoon of remaining oat flour. Form 4 patties by scooping 1/2-cup oat mixture. Sprinkle each mound with about 1-tablespoon of oat flour; press down with the back of a metal spatula and shape with hands. Use additional oat flour if needed.
4. In a large non-stick skillet, heat grapeseed oil on high. Fry patties on both sides 5 minutes, adjusting heat between high and medium-high, until patties are brown and crispy. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl toss together remaining black beans, 1/2-cup cilantro, tomatoes, green onions, and picante salsa.
5. Place Black Bean Porridge Patties on a large serving patter or on individual salad plates. Top patties with Black Bean Pico de Gallo and dollop with Greek yogurt. Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions. Serves 4
Winning Recipe by Merry Graham, COURTESY OF BOB’S RED MILL
* Alternative non-soak method: Combine oats with 2 2/3 cups water in a 4-quart saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cover, adjust heat to medium and cook for 14 minutes or until water has almost completely absorbed into oats. Uncover, and add black beans, cumin and red pepper, stir constantly and cook 4-minutes. Continue instructions as listed above.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO COOK OATMEAL?
I recently visited Portland, OR and was lucky enough to get a grand tour of Bob’s Red Mill by the One and Only Bob Moore himself. Bob has a fascinating story and is one of the most passionate people in the industry. More than that, he is beloved by his staff (who share company ownership) and makes the rounds of his 7-acre facility at least several times a day, stopping to say hello to various employees. I’m several decades younger and work out regularly, but keeping up with Bob, who just turned 82, was not an easy task.
Before and during the tour, Bob played the piano, and talked about everything from his love of books and mechanical engineering to his antique mills. He also made me promise to tell everyone to “make sure to store Bob’s Red Mill flours in a cool place so they stay fresh.” Bob’s Red Mill now offers over 400 grains, seeds, flours, and more, including gluten-free and certified organic products. Some products that I personally love and always have stocked in my kitchen are the Steel Cut Oats (for muesli), Almond Flour, 7-Grain Hot Cereal, Organic Medium Grind Cornmeal, and Coconut Flakes (great in banana bread and chocolate chip cookies). I’m also eager to try the newer products like Teff, Organic Amaranth and Chia Seeds.
After our tour, Bob insisted on taking me to the Whole Grain Store for lunch in his Ford Model A Roadster.
I was sad to leave but will be back soon to judge the SPAR FOR THE SPURTLE CONTEST, the Ultimate Oatmeal Throwdown.
I love this quinoa salad, which is also gluten-free; free toss to in the best from your garden.
I love the Shun Chef’s Knife.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BOB’S RED MILL PRODUCT AND WHY?