Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish (Steel Cut) Oatmeal with a Ginger-Orange Cashew Topping

An Irish Blessing
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
and rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again 
may God hold you in the palm of His hand

Six years ago my beautiful friend Annie crossed my path, and my world has been a better place ever since.  Her nearly 5 foot frame literally bursts with happiness and occasionally erupts with the most contagious laughter that has graced this earth.  We don't see each other very often as a few years ago life led her to Colorado.  Leaving behind her little town by the sea our busy lives leave little time to chat, and some of her short visits don't even allow enough time to see each other.

However, every year, about 2 days before St. Patrick's Day an envelope arrives in the mail with some sort of Irish best wishes.  Annie is a beautiful mix of Japanese and Irish, looking more Polynesian than anything, but always signs it "To my favorite Irish Friends".  She nicely includes me with my German blood, but my 100% Irish husband always feels that the card is really for him!  This years card included the above blessing, however, my husband's favorite was the one that told this Irish joke:

Front of Card: "So these two Irish guys walk out of a pub..."   

Inside of card: "End of joke!  But I suppose it could happen..."

Viewing all of the beautiful Irish recipes in my blog travels this last week has led me to the realization that I don't really know much about Irish food.  Pulling out my only "Irish" recipe and tweaking it just a bit, we present our St. Patrick's Day contribution of Irish Oatmeal with a Ginger-Orange Cashew Topping.

I am surprised at how many of my friends won't make Irish, or steel cut, oatmeal as they say it "takes too long".  Many of them love it, but buy it frozen at Trader Joe's or simply don't make it at all.  I have a trick!

Before you go to bed heat 4 cups of water in a sauce pan.  When it boils, add the steel cut oatmeal and turn off the heat.  Cover, go to bed.

When you wake in the morning the oatmeal simply needs a quick heating and maybe a few minutes of cooking, but your prep time will be cut down considerably making this healthy bowl of goodness an easier start to your morning.

Needing something to spice it up, we topped our oatmeal today with ginger and orange enhanced cashews finding the orange permeating nearly the entire bowl giving it a lovely fresh flavor.  Finishing off with diced banana and mango (just what we had on hand, any fresh or dried fruit will do!) the kids started their St. Patrick's Day morning with a nutritious and somewhat Irish breakfast.

Ginger-Orange Cashew Topping
adapted from Sunset Magazine

1 cup coarsely chopped cashews (I used salted nuts)
3/4 tsp ground ginger
zest of 1 orange, about 1 Tbs
2 Tbs flaked, unsweetened coconut
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp honey (or agave)
1 Tbs minced crystallized ginger

Place all ingredients into a small bowl and mix until evenly coated.  Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil (for easy cleanup) and bake, turning nuts half way through, until light golden in color, about 5-10 minutes.  Let cool.  Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

We have a winner for our World of Cake Giveaway!!  Lisa, Authentic Suburban Gourmet should have the book in her hands tomorrow.  Enjoy!!


  1. I never thought of cooking it the night before! Truly inviting topping too! Yum! Isn't it special to have great friends? I'm glad you and Annie share a great friendship! ♥- Katrina

  2. Your friend sounds like so much fun. Love the Irish joke.
    Now, ginger for breakfast with orange, cashews.... that really sounds a great way to start the day and even better we can have more the next and the next!

  3. What a tasty bowl!!!Ful of good stuf and healthy too!!


  4. This oatmeal looks supreme! Great tip on the overnight cooking method - love it! I am looking forward to receiving my new book. You totally made my day when you shared I was the winner! Enjoy St. Patrick's day!!

  5. I have steel cut oats at home, and have only tried them once. I know I didn't make them right the first time, so I think I'm gonna try your method and give them another shot! Looks delish!

  6. This looks so bright and refreshing! And, it's a nice color change of pace from all the green I've been seeing today!

  7. I might even try oatmeal for breakfast with your addition of cashews and a yummy fruit toppin...a big improvement over what my hubby makes!

  8. What a great tip! The coconut, mangoes and cashews, on top sound divine-- Like Irish oatmeal goes on vacation!

  9. I enjoy steel cut oatmeal. I had to learn how to make it properly first That topping sounds absolutely heavenly!!

  10. After my granola bars, I am loving the ginger cashew combo so I would totally love this. I did get a giggle about the joke on the card too!

  11. Gotta love that Irish humor! And you gotta love this oatmeal....sounds wonderful!

  12. I didn't even know you cold buy frozen oatmeal. We sometimes make steel cut oats in our rice cooker. Your oatmeal looks so delicious and the fact that it is good for you too is such a bonus.

  13. i eat rolled oats almost every day, but I'm going to try the steel cut ones, and your tropical topping.
    My husband is 50% Irish, s he'll love that joke.
    My husband has a mug with that Irish blessing on it.

  14. What a lovely way to serve oatmeal. The steel cut oats are a great ingredient. That's such a good tip to soak them overnight.

  15. LOL! I Love that joke!! hahaha Woooohoooo I can't stop laughing and I can't wait to tell it! need to see what this post was about.
    Oh yes... the oats! ;-) This looks fantastic... I'm especially intrigued by the cashew topping! Love what you've done with it!

  16. I lovvve oatmeal and I'm totally loving the ingredients and color you've added to this dish! Fabulous!

    Delightful Bitefuls

  17. Irish joke made me chuckle.

    Love the cashew topping, so scrumptious!

  18. Steel cut oats are a staple in my home. It's my husband's breakfast everyday (and mine too sometimes) with yogurt and apples. Great tip on how to prepare it for those who are reluctant to try it--it really is good. Love your ginger orange cashew topping--I can see using it for other dishes, too. Thanks for sharing it, Kim!

  19. The Irish joke is fabulous! LOL
    OK, so I'm one of those strange people that loves any and everything made with oatmeal, but I've never been a fan of warm breakfast oats. With this said, I think my opinion could be changed if I had a bowl of your creation in front of me. The steel cut oats looks so much better and the ginger/orange/cashew topping sounds simply divine. I bet it would be equally good on top of some greek yogurt too.

  20. I like the idea of pre-cooking. Sure helps when you are eager to eat in the morning. This a wonderful recipe and looking forward to giving it a try.

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  21. Hi Kim - Loved this post. Great idea for cooking the oatmeal!
    Thanks for the blessing and happy Belated St. Paddy's Day to your hubby and the entire family.
    I eat oatmeal almost every morning and am always looking for variations. Today's oatmeal had lo-so soy sauce, sesame oil, pine nuts, scallions, and roasted seaweed laver.
    Please keep your good ideas coming!

  22. wow The oatmeal with ginger, mango, banana...that's a bowl of treasures!

  23. I've always wanted to try my hand at steel cut oats and looking at this really makes me jealous! It would have been a way better breakfast than my 2 cups of coffee (does that even count as breakfast? lol) =)

  24. That meal looks absolutely delicious! What a great start to the day!!!

  25. Great Irish breakfast! Magically delicious? I think so :) Thanks so much for sharing and great tip with the cooking overnight.

    By the way I've given you an award over at Deep Dish today. Thanks for being an awesome blog.

  26. That topping looks so good. Love the ginger and cashews.

  27. I love steel cut oats! Trader Joe's now makes a quick cooking (not from the freezer section) version. The oats look just like the regular version, but they only take 5 minutes to cook.

  28. You have no idea how much I love oatmeal. And THIS recipe!?!? Well, this would make anyone do the happy dance at the breakfast table! I LOVE the flavors!!!! And wish I had some oranges in house so I could make it right now! Very creative. Very cool!

  29. I love your trick! I make overnight oats a lot, but am always up for new, easy oatmeal recipes. And your topping is seriously to die for :)

  30. Oh woww what a terrific bowl of oatmeal! I could so eat this every morning for brekkie.. and the ginger orange cashew topping looks divine!!

  31. what a great way to start your day, I do love oatmeal! I got my girls eating oatmeal, I need to introduce them to steel cut oats so they can see how good oatmeal can really be!

  32. Lovely, fresh, colorful power breakfast! In my blog travels this week I read several tips on preparing steel cut oats and one was to cook it the night before - so you know a wee bit more than you think :)

  33. What a wonderful story and beautiful poem. The oatmeal topping is just the icing on the cake so to speak.

  34. What a great topping. Looks delightful!

  35. The topping sounds amazing with crystallized ginger, yum!

  36. How terrible is it that I've never even heard of steel-cut oatmeal. I had no idea it came in this form, but it looks delicious, as does the recipe.

    I love the joke from the card. Classic.

  37. Thanks for sharing this wonderful dish :)


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