Monday, February 13, 2012

spicy citrus oatmeal with toasted honeyed pecans

it is good to be back in san francisco and back in my kitchen.

the rain is making intermittent visits throughout the neighborhood....and a separate chilly wind is also making sporadic appearances as well. it is a very gray day today. as i was making my way through my early morning work emails, skype conversations, and such, i kept thinking about how today is a perfect day for oatmeal. i do love whole grain porridge in general and think it is quite unfortunate that there are those who exclaim that grain porridge is boring. when i hear things like response in my head (yes i can be diplomatic at times) is that they are lacking imagination.

i mean, really.

in general, i have little tolerance for the "i'm bored" immediate response is..."what are you going to do about it then?" even something as simple as day dreaming during something can day dreaming be boring? again....being bored from my perspective is a lack of imagination.

during my break today, i puttered around my kitchen, just happy to be home. i looked through my pantry and thought about what i was in the mood for....and what seemed to be calling out to me. i thought some toasted spicy pecans would be nice with the as i pan toasted them with black pepper, cayenne, and cinnamon....i was thinking how a touch of honey would be nice as well as allow the spices to adhere more to the nuts. the toasting released some lovely aromas and i put the honeyed nuts aside.

for the oatmeal, i chopped up a few pieces of candied dobashi-beni satsuma mandarin peel from june taylor and added it to a mixture of organic oats, organic full fat clover milk, water and salt. i cooked it slowly. as i was cooking the oatmeal, i thought about how i wanted to add more chili spice to the dish...but didn't want to cook chilies with the oatmeal as i really wanted there to be potential variation of flavor in different bites. so i delved into my assortment of dried chilies from tierra vegetables and settled upon using dried pulla chilies. i decided that grating a bit (using a tiny box grater .....the side that i usually use for whole nutmeg) onto the plate....

and on top of the oatmeal would be a way to add spice but not have the spice overwhelm the citrus that i really wanted to come through.

it all came together quite quickly ....

and it was at the very last minute that i decided to drizzle some buckwheat honey (local CA....but to be honest....i prefer the raw buckwheat honey from new york than the buckwheat i have found from CA)...

this dish made me so happy. i was humming to myself as i was eating it.

warm, spicy, sweet, savory, nutty, and comforting.

to me, this is a cozy winter dish.

this is one of the reasons why i love cooking so much....being able to make things specifically for my own palate or mood at any given time. realistically speaking, i 've never seen a spicy oatmeal on any menu anywhere....yet in my home kitchen....i knew that i could try it....and make it so that it was tailored to my palate....and for my current mood.

it is so nice to be home.

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