Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal... Perfect breakfast!

Who doesn't love a nice, warm, cooked breakfast on a chilly Autumn morning...?! Well, I definitely do - pity I always have to cook it myself and it can't be delivered hot, straight into my bed (with some strong coffee on the side!) well, maybe one day ;) As it's October - a month of pumpkin as it seems - I also gave into the world wide craze! Last few weeks there's pumpkin almost in everything I bake and cook. Can't complain because of that really - there's something comforting and cheerful at the same time, in that bright orange mush that comes out of the tin (how convenient!). 
I wanted something different this time round, not yet another pumpkin cake, pumpkin bread etc. so I turned to somewhere we all turn when on a "quest" for a new recipe (or sometimes in an act of desperation...) - Internet. And what a result! On one of my favorite sites TheKitchn I came across - Pumpkin steel cut oatmeal (pinhead oats for those living in Ireland or UK), what a brilliant idea! Yes, you might have to get up those few minutes earlier, but it's SO worth it! I've stick to the recipe religiously this time  - something that's rarely happening, unless I'm baking something completely new... - and I don't regret it! This unusual version of "porridge" literally disappeared in minutes! Sweet, spicy (almost "Christmasy"), warm, very creamy consistency and because I've cooked my steel cut oats that little bit longer  - very soft and smooth too. There's no crunch to it, as I wanted it that way, but cook it not as long as me and you'll have a nice bite to it with almost "al dente" oats. The smell while it's simmering away is very intense - cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg it all almost made me start singing "Jingle Bells"... So comforting and "cosy" feeling.
I ate my portion (and I had two, yes NOT one, but two extra helpings) with some Greek yogurt and a little bit of honey drizzled over the top. Please DO try it! It really is that good :)

How to make it...

- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
- 1 cup pumpkin or squash puree
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 cups milk
- 2 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt

In large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. When the butter foams up, stir in the oats and fry them, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until they smell toasted.
Push the oats up against the side of the pan, and drop the second tablespoon of butter in the now clear center of the pan. Dump in the pumpkin puree. Fry it in the butter, only stirring after about a minute. Stir in the sugar and spices and continue frying the puree for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until the color darkens slightly and the raw smell disappears. It's OK if a few dark brown spots appear as the puree sticks to the pan.
Pour in the milk and whisk everything to combine. Whisk in the water, vanilla and salt. Put a lid on the simmer for 20 minutes, not lifting the lid at all! After 20 minutes stir the oatmeal. It will look quite loose still, but the oats should be al dente and tender. The oatmeal will thicken rapidly as it cools. Eat immediately with a drizzle of cream or milk and maple syrup, or let cool and then refrigerate.


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Pumpkin bundt cake