11 November 2008

No-Raisin Zone

I don't believe in raisins at any time of day, but especially not at breakfast, and especially not in a fruit compote, a dish I hold forever dear- it's one of the first meals I ever had in a restaurant (sadly, the long-gone Kiev on 2nd Ave.) when I moved to New York.

I hadn't thought about compote in a long time, though, until I spotted a version stewed with tea in the October 2008 Gourmet.

The original recipe called for serving it over couscous, but I'm hooked on Irish oatmeal right now, so that's what I paired it with. You could certainly use any grain (quinoa would be good- and quick), depending on how long you can wait to eat.

Oatmeal With Fruit-Tea Compote
Makes: 4 servings.

1 1/4 cups water
3 tablespoons packed dark-brown sugar
1 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit (I used cherries, cranberries and chopped pears)
1 teaspoon loose black tea (Darjeeling), in a tea ball, or 1 tea bag
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 cups water
Pinch salt
1 cup Irish oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Toasted almonds and warm milk, for serving

1. For compote, simmer water, brown sugar and fruit in a small saucepan over medium heat, uncovered, stirring, until liquid just starts to become syrupy, about 8 minutes. Add tea and let steep off the heat for 10 minutes. Remove and discard tea, then stir in lemon juice.

2. For oatmeal, bring water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Stir in oats and lower to a simmer. Cook 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Mix in cinnamon.

3. Spoon oatmeal into bowls and top with compote, then almonds and milk, if desired.

This is the perfect breakfast for a crisp, almost-winter morning; the black tea plays off the concentrated flavor of the dried fruit and readies you to face the day.

And if you brew a plain cup of the same type used in the compote to sip alongside it, you can really detect the notes in the tea- and take in that much more caffeine.


Anonymous said...

kiev had great plain english muffins

ana dane said...

it certainly did. that, alongside a thick, ruby-red compote, will always be one of my most treasured meals.