Seamus Mullen's Savory Oatmeal
Tertulia chef and cyclist Seamus Mullen isn't one to serve a sweet breakfast. "Embrace the savory!" he says, citing full-fat yogurt, sautéed vegetables, and salads as excellent breakfast foods. On a big workout day (90 minutes or more on the bike), he'll go for savory oatmeal with bacon, a fried egg, and avocado. "This is a good way to fuel up for a big training ride," he says. "Having enough of the right kinds of food keeps your body performing at its peak level." Applegate agrees: "This meal will give staying power in terms of energy," she says. "That's a breakfast where the athlete or everyday person won't be hungry later on in the morning."
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced double-smoked bacon
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 1/2 pound mixed wild mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon good white wine vinegar
- 2 cups steel-cut Irish oats
- 4 cups chicken stock, heated
- 1/2 cup finely grated Irish Cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons Irish butter
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley
- freshly ground black pepper
Warm the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add the bacon. Sauté until golden brown. Add the shallots and mushrooms and sauté until the shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, cook for 30 seconds. Cook about two minutes. The mushrooms should be moist and there should still be a little liquid in the bottom of the pot. Toss in the oats, then a ladleful of the chicken stock, and stir with a rubber spatula. As the oats absorb the liquid, add in a bit more just as you would to make a risotto, stirring the whole time. Stirring helps the starch in the grains come together and will lend a nice creamy texture to the oats.
Once the oats are fully cooked through, about 15 minutes, fold in the cheese and then the butter. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve with a fried egg, if you like, and a sprinkling of parsley.