Breakfast, Entrée, Spring

OATMEAL SOUFFLE

I am months behind on reading the food magazines but am working my way backwards. I love the content towards the beginning of the year because it's the lighter, vegetable focused stuff that is nowhere to be found in all the holiday issues. I was obsessed with this piece in the March issue of Food + Wine about the "new healthy" kinds of foods - which, surprise, is just real food. It was shot by a favorite food photographer and stylist and if you can grab an issue, it's worth it. I will likely try each of the recipes but this one struck me first as I desperately need some new life in my breakfast routine. With the whipped egg white situation and the 20ish minute baking time, this may be more of a weekend thing, but I love it. The original recipe is written with whole milk but I tried a coconut milk version to keep it dairy free (operation baby gas issues over here, you use what you prefer). The texture is lighter with the souffle element,  making it a perfect dish for a brunch or part of a buffet of other breakfast goods. I also felt like the bit of extra protein made this breakfast stay with me longer, if only in my head, and Curran liked it too, so there's that. Breakfast can become a "short order" meal and I'm not always up for that. In the Southern California area, fresh berries are available, not great ones, but available. You could use some sauteed apples or pears or pomegranate and persimmons if that is what tastes fresh near you. 

OATMEAL SOUFFLE // Serves 4-6

Recipe lightly adapted from Food + Wine magazine

I opted for a dairy free version here which while it works, tastes a little cloudy as coconut milk can. Replace the liquid with 3 cups whole milk if you'd rather. To get ahead, you could do the oat and milk cooking step in advance and loosen that up with a bit more milk when you are ready to complete the recipe. You'll want to enjoy it fairly soon after baking.

1 cup thick cut rolled oats
1 14 oz. can coconut milk
1 cup almond milk
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp. turbinado sugar
seeds of half a vanilla bean
3 large eggs, separated
zest of one lemon
2 cups mixed berries, fresh or frozen, chopped
pure maple syrup, to finish
toasted coconut, hemp seeds, granola etc., for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350' and grease a 2 qt. baking dish (or comprable smaller dishes). 

In a large saucepan, combine the oats, coconut milk, almond milk, salt, sugar and vanilla bean. Bring it to a gentle simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until the oats soften and the mixture begins to thicken. Remove the pot from the heat. 

Separate the eggs. Once the oats have cooled slightly, mix in the yolks completely. With a stand or electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites and lemon zest into the oat mixture until incorporated but not over mixed. Fold in a handful of the berries.

Pour the mixture into your prepared pan(s) and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is just puffed and golden. 

Pour a bit of maple on top (I liberally brushed some on) and garnish the top with fresh berries, toasted coconut or goodies of choice. 

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