Sunday, February 27, 2011

Textured, with the Warmth of Cinnamon

Today I completed my final training run for the Armadillo Dash Half-Marathon.  The race is next Sunday.  I’m carbo-loading in anticipation.

Oatmeal Shake

I’ve been craving carbohydrates even more than usual, so it’s really no extra effort on my part to get my muscles ready for their 13.1-mile jog on March 6.  I like to cook and eat according to my cravings; this is one perk of eating by yourself most of the time.  There’s been lots of pasta and bread.  Quaker Oats Cinnamon Oatmeal Squares topped with a spoonful of peanut butter and a cold pour of milk is downright addictive; I’ve been eating that for dessert lately.  But I’m also finding that it’s quite nice to drink my carbs too, and I don’t mean in the form of beer.  I have nothing against bread in a glass, as I’ve heard some people describe Guinness, but I’m talking about oatmeal in a glass.  Specifically, an oatmeal shake inspired by a much-loved item on the menu at Irazu, a Costa Rican restaurant in Chicago.

My friend Daine told me about the oatmeal shake.  He sent me an e-mail and wrote, “An oatmeal shake tastes like the best horchata you've ever had, and isn't as chalky or chunky as you'd expect something with oatmeal in it to be.”

I thought, Horchata!  I like horchata.  I was intrigued.

He went on to say, “I'm planning on experimenting on it soon, and will be sure to send off any results if they're share-worthy, but I thought I'd pass on the culinary experience either way, just in case you haven't had the glory of Costa Rican oatmeal shakes and wanted to try your hand at it.”

Indeed!  Once Daine planted the idea in my head, I had to have my own oatmeal shake.  Since I no longer live anywhere close to Irazu, I’d have to make it in my own kitchen.  I asked Google what it thought about the issue, and it gave me this lead, from which I came up with a recipe sketch.  I particularly liked Brooke’s advice in the comments (scroll down, she’s near the end) because it meant I didn’t have to hunt for horchata in my small town.  Oatmeal, cinnamon, milk, and sugar are easy to come by here, but more exotic ingredients can be hard to find.  (On an unrelated note, anyone want to send me some Mexican chocolate?)

My oatmeal shake is thick and textured, with the warmth of cinnamon and a touch of sweetness.  I like to eat this one at home, as an afternoon snack or a healthy dessert.  I think the flavor is terrific, though I think the texture could be controversial, so I’ll say this: you might like this better with less oatmeal.  You could try 2-3 tbsp. instead of the 1/3 cup (~5 tbsp.) that I’ve been using.  With less oatmeal, I imagine you’d still get the flavor of oats, but your shake would be smoother.  Alternatively, you could strain it if you’re feeling up to the task.


Oatmeal Shake—An Irazu Knock-off

Inspired by my friend Daine and this blog post

Serves 1

Now, before I get into any trouble, I just want to emphasize that I have never actually had Irazu’s oatmeal shake.  Maybe this is similar to what they serve; maybe it tastes nothing like their shake.  Regardless, I like this version and can drink it quite happily.  The oatmeal does tend to settle over time, so it’s nice to drink it with a straw that can double as a stirring utensil.

2/3 cup milk (I use regular dairy milk here)

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup oatmeal, or less (to taste)

2 tsp. vanilla sugar

1 tbsp. plain malt powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1)  Place the milk, water, and oats in a measuring glass and let them sit for 1 1/2 hours or longer.  You can tuck this in the fridge if it makes you nervous to keep fresh dairy at room temperature.

2)  Dump the oatmeal mixture into a blender, along with the vanilla sugar, malt powder, and cinnamon.  Blend like the dickens!  Or blend for at least a minute on a high speed.  You want to pulverize those oats into something drinkable.

3)  Pour the shake into a glass and serve, preferably with a straw.


a said...

Ha, was that crack about keeping dairy at room temperature directed at me? ;)
Sounds delicious!

daine said...

I'll have to make this and let you know how it compares to the original. Either that or we'll have to go to Irazu next time you come to Chicago.

Do you make your own vanilla sugar?

Rosiecat said...

Ha! Maybe, a, maybe... ;-) But only if it makes you laugh! This reminds me: I should make some creme fraiche and then find something to do with it. Yum.

Daine, yes! I say both. I'm definitely ready for Irazu after all this intrigue. It's just a question of when...I miss Chicago a lot!

Yes, I do make my own vanilla sugar. And I do it super cheaply: just take a vanilla bean, preferably one you've already used for something else, and tuck it in a bag of granulated sugar. (Rinse and dry the bean if needed before adding it to the sugar.) I've been using the same old bean for years now, and it's still nice and fragrant. Cheap and homey!

a said...

I like creme fraiche in quiche :)

Shannon said...

ooh, i've added oatmeal to a smoothie, but not this much i don't think! must try... perhaps tomorrow? i've been on a smoothie kick ;)

good luck in your half marathon this weekend!!

Rosiecat said...

Yes, it is a lot of oatmeal in one shake! But with a name like "Oatmeal Shake," it's got to have a good scoop of oats, right? If you try it or a variation of the concept, let me know! I'd love to hear what you think.

And thanks for the happy thoughts about the race. I'm excited!

Rosiecat said...

Oh, and a, I love quiche. Your suggestion is terrific. I bet creme fraiche is even better than straight up cream. If only you were here to eat quiche with me!