I think it’s safe to say I’ve found my little black dress of the kitchen -> gluten-free oats. They’re versatile, affordable, and a blank canvas for any extra accessories. Like bacon.
Dress them up or keep them casual.
Sweet or savory.
Hot or cold.
Whirl them into flour and make the gluten-free waffle of your dreams.
Make a whole new kind of risotto, simmering the oats with white wine and herbs, and tossing crispy, roasted cauliflower on top.
Or whip up a stack of these bacon oatmeal fritters with creamy avocado and you’ll want to eat them for every.meal.of.the.day.
Thinking about all those options, you can see why oats have been in style for nearly 140 years (just like a little black dress!). A big thanks to the world’s largest oat miller and my partner, Quaker, who just launched gluten-free oats – hooray! (All oats are naturally gluten-free, but read more here about how they can be contaminated if not treated carefully.) I’ve been using their bulk quick oats to make many of the ideas above, as well as these savory cakes. And I’ll admit, I typically shy away from “instant oats”, but these are actually rolled oats, just cut differently to help them cook faster. I’ve been super impressed with the texture and taste, much different than “instant oats”, never turning gummy. They actually remind me of steel cut oats, and I think you can even see that texture in the pictures.
The process to make these bacon oatmeal fritters is similar to how you would make seared polenta squares. You’ll cook the oats on the stovetop (as you would polenta) as you normally would, then spread them into a pan to let cool so they form one uniform slab. In the last minute of cooking, crumbled bacon, chives and black pepper get stirred in, a flavor combination that is begging to be made into a potato chip (Lay’s contest, I’m coming for you next year).
I used a biscuit cutter to shape them into rounds once cooled, but you could just as well cut them into squares with a knife. They only take a few minutes to sear in a hot pan, and because the oats are already cooked, you don’t have to worry about the inside not getting done.
The end result is crispy, nutty edges and soft, toothsome oats on the inside. A little bit of bacon sprinkled throughout, and pops of pepper to make things interesting. And smashed avocado on top seals the deal, a creamy contrast that makes for the perfect bite.
Enjoy the weekends, friends. xo
cooking tip: When I visited Quaker headquarters last month and cooked with Sam Stephens of OatMeals in New York (her restaurant serves only bowls of oatmeal, from sweet to savory, any topping you could ever imagine – genius!) her tip of toasting the oats in a bit of fat for extra flavor stuck with me. Taking that cue, I sautéed the oats in some of the leftover bacon fat instead of letting it go to waste…. yeeasss!
- 3 pieces bacon
- 1¼ cups dry Quaker Gluten Free Quick 1-Minute Oats
- 1½ cups + 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1½ tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon bacon fat or olive oil
- ½ cup mashed avocado
- Heat a 10-inch skillet to medium high heat, then cook bacon until crispy, turning as needed. Remove bacon and let drain on paper towel. When cool, crumble into small pieces.
- Leaving one tablespoon of bacon fat in the pan, return it to medium heat and add the dry oats. Sauté for about 3 minutes, until you can smell a toasty-ness.
- Add the water and stir to incorporate, turning the heat down to medium low. Cook for 4 minutes, until oats are cooked through (al dente like), but not as to not cook them to mush.
- Stir in the bacon, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chives. Cook for one minute longer.
- Spread oats evenly into a parchment paper lined 8-inch cake pan, or 9x9 inch square pan pressing down firmly to make the top a flat surface. Refrigerate for 40 minutes, up to two days in advance. Remove from refrigerator and gently flip pan over so that the slab falls out.
- Use a small biscuit cutter to make about 6-7 rounds. Then heat olive oil in a skillet to medium-high heat, and add 4 fritters. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, then repeat with remaining fritters. Serve topped with 1 tablespoon mashed avocado per stack.
I bring this post to you in partnership with Quaker Oats, and appreciate both them, and you as readers for supporting my blog.