Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bananas Foster Baked Oatmeal

Earlier this month I shared my first encounter with steel cut oats and baked oatmeal in my recipe for baked pumpkin spice oatmeal.  Right now in Southeast Kansas we are in the middle of a forecast for three straight days of rain.  As I sit in my house listening to the rain and wait for the government to come declare my backyard a national wetland, I have oatmeal on my mind again.  What's better on a cloudy, dreary morning than a hot bowl of oatmeal?

I might answer that question with this: baked oatmeal with caramelized bananas and a splash of rum.  You've got to love a boozy breakfast!  I loved the pumpkin oatmeal mixture in my baked pumpkin spice oatmeal, but I thought the real star of the dish was the caramelized bananas the oatmeal rested on.  I knew right away that I would be making this dish again, but with mashed bananas instead of the pumpkin.  And then I thought that if I was going to make make bananas the main theme of the dish, I should use one of my favorite desserts, Bananas Foster, as my inspiration.  I did, and it was awesome!

This is the kind of breakfast that tastes like a dessert, but there is only a little bit of added sugar, and it's all whole grain, so you can feel good about eating it.  Your taste buds feel good for sure!  If you don't want to use rum, feel free to substitute rum extract, but even if you use rum, it's not like you're going to get a buzz off your morning oatmeal by making this.  You'll have to add some Bailey's to your coffee for that!  

The preparation of this baked oatmeal is basically the same as the baked pumpkin spice oatmeal I made earlier.  You start by adding steel cut oats (click the link above for the baked pumpkin spice oatmeal if you want to learn more about steel cut oats) to a bowl of hot water and some margarine, or use butter if you want, and let it sit for 20 minutes.  The original recipe instructs you to cover the bowl during this time, but I forgot and it turned out fine.  So now worries if you forget too! 
While the steel cut oats are soaking, make the caramelized bananas by melting some margarine, or butter, in a small skillet.  Add a sliced banana, some cinnamon, and a little brown sugar and cook it for a minute.  In my previous baked oatmeal I didn't add any sugar because I used a really ripe banana.  But I thought if I was going to use Bananas Foster as my inspiration for this baked oatmeal, it just had to have a little brown sugar!  
When the bananas are getting soft, add a splash of rum and cook for about another minute, then take them off the heat.  I used one banana like the original recipe called for, but I love these caramelized bananas so much I think I'm going to make two of them next time!
Also while you're waiting on the steel cut oats, whisk together the mashed bananas, milk, vanilla, and a little more rum.
After your steel cut oats have finished soaking, stir in the old fashioned oats, a little more brown sugar, maple syrup, and some cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Add the banana mixture to the oatmeal mixture.  Are you getting excited yet?  I'm getting hungry just writing this!
Spread the caramelized bananas on the bottom of a 2 quart baking dish and top them with the oatmeal mixture.  Bake it at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
If you can stand it, wait a few minutes for it to cool slightly, then dig in!  Now that's a great way to start your day!

Bananas Foster Baked Oatmeal
1/2 cup steel cut oats
3 Tbsp margarine, divided
2 cups very hot water
1 medium banana, sliced
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar, + 1 tsp, divided
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
3 tsp rum, divided
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Dash ground cloves
2 bananas, mashed
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease 2 quart baking dish.
Place the steel cut oats in a medium bowl with 2 tablespoons of the margarine.  Pour the hot water over the oats and cover the bowl.  Let stand for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon margarine in small skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the sliced banana, 1 tsp dark brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon.  Toss gently and cook about 1 minute.  Add 1 tsp rum and  cook for another minute.  Remove from heat.
In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the mashed bananas, milk, vanilla, and remaining 2 teaspoons rum. 
After steel cut oats have finished soaking, stir in the old fashioned oats, remaining 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, maple syrup, remaining 1 tsp of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Stir the banana mixture into the oat mixture.
Spread caramelized bananas over the bottom of the prepared baking dish.  Pour the oatmeal mixture on top of the bananas.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats