Today’s breakfast may seem a little different from your typical cold weather, soul-warming-stick-to-your-ribs-bowl-of-comfort you typically eat to warm yourself against the winter chill, but I guarantee it’s no less effective at starting your day off right. In fact, this came out way better than I ever could have expected and I’m already sad at the thought of it being all gone. I will most definitely have to make it again.
While I don’t think this red rice, millet and oat breakfast bake is a super authentic Bhutanese breakfast, the ingredients and spices, including the famed red rice, no doubt pay tribute to the local flavors. And they did so with unicorns and fireworks.
I’ve mentioned before how I’m an oatmeal junkie and when I don’t eat it hot during the winter, I find ways to eat it cold during the summer. I’ve made a few switch-a-ma-call-its from Plain Jane oats with success, but this one knocks them all out of the park and was the best thing ever on a morning that greeted me with 6 inches of snow. Plus, it’s healthy and chock full of the good stuff. It can also be made gluten free.
Okay, I need to stop raving about how good this is and just show you. The one disclaimer I have is that it’s a multi-step process, but parts can be made ahead to make throwing it together the morning of a snap.
Thanks for the inspiration, gingerroot at Food52
- 2/3 cup Bhutanese red rice
- 1/3 cup millet
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 1 black cardamom pod (or 2-3 green cardamom pods)
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ TB unsalted butter
- ½ cup roasted unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped
- 1 TB brown sugar
- ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed (for about 1 cup)
- 2 cups of milk, any variety
- 2 large eggs
- 3 TB brown sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp vanilla
- The night before…
- In a small saucepan (or electric rice cooker, as I did) combine the rice, millet, water, cinnamon stick, cardamom and bay leaves; allow grains/spices to soak for at least 20 minutes before cooking. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, being careful mixture does not boil over.
- Cook until grains are tender, about 25 minutes. Pick out whole spices and discard. Cool and transfer cooked grains to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
- The next morning…
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 2 quart round ceramic baking dish or a deep pie plate. Set aside.
- In a small pan, melt butter over medium heat until beginning to brown. Add cashews, shaking pan or stirring occasionally, being careful not to burn them. Remove pan from heat and add the brown sugar and toss to combine. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, gently break up the cooked grains with a spoon (or your hands, in my case). Fold in the oats, and cranberries to evenly incorporate.
- In a separate bowl, combine mashed bananas, half-and-half, eggs, brown sugar, spices, salt and vanilla, mashing the bananas and overall combining it really well. Pour liquid mixture into grains and stir. Transfer to prepared baking dish.
- Top with toasted brown butter cashews. Bake for 40-45 minutes until top is golden and puffed up.
- Serve immediately, with a dollop of plain yogurt, if desired. Enjoy!
If you want to make this but are daunted at the thought of something so time intensive, check out an adaptation for making it a breakfast bowl.