since this winter has been kind of, um, special, i've been really into this hearty, life-sustaining, oat bran cereal lately. oat bran makes a great hot cereal, kind of creamy and light, really smooth, not remotely lumpy or even gloppy. this hot cereal has far more in common with cream of wheat than oatmeal. but the flavor, oaty deliciousness all the way. also, it cooks in 2 minutes. a new record even for me.
i read an interview a few years back with thomas keller, of the french laundry, arguably one of the most famous chefs in the world. well, in this inteview which was sort of about what chefs eat at home, he revealed that he brings little packets of instant oatmeal with him when he travels. he asks the hotel to bring up a pitcher of hot water, which is free, and makes his own oatmeal for breakfast, avoiding the pitfalls of expensive and heavy hotel breakfasts. brilliant. and hot oat cereals have been permanently validated in my mind ever since, because if it's good enough for thomas keller, it is definitely good enough for me, at home or away.
hot oat cereal with bananas and dried apricots
1 cup oat bran
1 banana, sliced
6 dried apricots, snipped into tiny pieces
1 1/2 cups boiled water
first boil some water, a kettle works nicely for this. in a small saucepan, place the cereal and fruit, pour the heated water over all. stir briskly over medium heat for 1 minute. allow to rest on medium/low heat for another minute or two, stirring occasionally. scoop into bowls. the bananas and apricots get soft and sweet and flavor the cereal as they cook. drizzle with a little natural local honey for a touch of added sweetness. this will make you happy all morning long.