No, your eyes do not deceive you.  That is indeed a hearty bowl of savory oatmeal that you see. Yes, salty oatmeal. Oatmeal cooked in chicken broth.  With a poached egg.  Over a bed of mixed greens.  And leftover roasted fennel bulb.

I already posted about this quirk of mine a while back at Chums’ Kitchen, but I just ate a bowl of it today and was so satisfied that I decided to repost it here.

Strange food pairings is always a fun topic of conversation.  I think it’s partly because people have to let their guard down in order to participate, and since the whole conversation is based on shared eccentricity, the risk of social rejection is somewhat alleviated.  In fact, the weirder you are, the more you contribute to the conversation!  It feels good to be known and accepted – eccentricities, shortcomings and all.

Maybe I’m reading too much into things…

Anyway, I grew up eating my oatmeal savory.  It’s one of my all-time favorite things, and very much a comfort food.  It was also a staple when I was working full-time + going to school and had little time to fuss in the kitchen.

To me, savory oatmeal is the perfect meal for several reasons:

  • It’s quick and easy (ready in less than 10′)
  • It’s healthy
  • It’s filling
  • It’s warm and comforting
  • It’s versatile  (Add meat/vegetables if eating for lunch or dinner)
  • It’s cheap
  • I prefer savory things to sweet things
  • It’s the perfect vehicle to make one of my most favorite things in the world – poached eggs (I could spend a whole separate post heralding the delectability of poached eggs and their drippy yolky goodness).

For those who are feeling adventurous…

Yields one bowl

~1/3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (pretty please do not use the instant stuff)
~1.5 c. chicken broth (beef, vegetable, or pork works too)
optional:  egg, cooked meat, cooked vegetables

1.  In a small pot, heat broth to a boil. (If you plan on poaching an egg, make sure your liquid is deep enough to at least almost cover a cracked egg.)

2.  Add oats and turn heat down to a simmer.

Simmering oats.

3.  Cook until oats reach desired consistency.  (I like my individual oats firmer, and the overall consistency of my oatmeal to be more soup-y than porridge-y, if that makes sense.)

If you plan on poaching an egg, cook the oatmeal almost to the consistency you like it, but a little underdone (the oats will continue to expand, and the oatmeal thicken while your egg is poaching).

2.  Turn off the stove, and crack an egg into the pot.

I like to use a fork to break up the egg white a little bit and disperse it throughout the oatmeal.

3.  Cover the pot and let it sit until the egg reaches desired doneness.

Note how the oats have expanded.  I like my yolk nice and drippy.

4.  Optional:  Put some veggies and/or meat in your serving bowl.

5.  Transfer oatmeal/egg to bowl (pour over optional veggies/meat), add some freshly ground pepper and salt if desired, and enjoy!


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