Winter breakfasts: Porridge


Food writer, broadcaster and author Caroline Hennessy has been focused on food and writing since editing Ireland’s first food website for RTÉ in 2000. Chair of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild, she established the award-winning Bibliocook: All About Food in 2005, is the author of two books about beer and food and has a column in the Irish Examiner in which she writes about small food producers and the ways in which they develop and maintain a sustainable local food system.

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8 Responses

  1. Rob says:

    Ok, here’s another variation: sweet persimmon, a fruit that’s completly new to me. I never knew it existed until a few months ago.Anyway, we recently re-discovered porridge, and in a sudden genius-like flash of inspiration one morning, I added some pieces of persimmon to my bowl (it felt right – I can’t explain it more). The flavour (almost honey-like) was fantastic with the porrige – highly recommended.

  2. Caroline says:

    Rob: I must admit to having admired a sweet persimmon in the market recently, buying it…and then letting it go off in the fruit bowl! The next time I hope to get up enough courage to eat it before it goes rotten. I like the sound of sweet persimmon sliced into porridge.

    Speaking of fruits/vegetables that we may not have come across at home, have you made pumpkin soup yet? I made a huge pot of it last night with curry spices and coconut milk and, judging by the reactions of my housemates and the Boyfriend, it is definitely a tasty new addition to my repertoire of soup recipes. I’ll be posting the recipe here soon.

  3. Barbara says:

    I rediscovered my ’80’s crockpot recently and now put the porridge in the crockpot and turn it on before we go to bed. It makes the best porridge and I guess similar to using the Aga. I love persimmon so must try it in the porridge. Sometimes I add grated apple and sultanas to the crockpot porridge.

  4. Caroline says:

    Barbara: Crockpots – I presume the one you’re talking about is an electric one – are a big thing here in New Zealand. There are lots of books on crockpot cooking ie being able to throw the veg/meat/flavourings into the pot in the morning before you go to work and coming home to a perfectly cooked dinner. Are they any good? I never came across them in Ireland. Cooking porridge in a crockpot should, I think, be the modern equivalent of my grandfather’s bottom oven in the Aga!

  5. Barbara says:

    I rcently heard the Holts’ talking on radio about their latest recipe book for crockpots and dragged mine out of the laundry where it’s been languishing for a few years. I was never happy with the results I had with the meat and vegies thrown in and left all day. Now I use it for porridge, roasting a chicken and soup. Roasting the chicken was my greatest discovery and now I use it all the time. It doesn’t brown the skin so I’m not tempted and as I need to save on calories currently it suits me. I have also used it for mulled wine – succesfully!

  6. Caroline says:

    Sounds like a very multi-purpose piece of kitchen equipment – porridge, chicken and mulled wine! I had misgivings about cooking stew-type efforts for an entire day too. Surely they’d be simmered to extinction if they were on for eight hours? And what about browning the meat before you put it in the pot with liquids and vegetables – does the crockpot allow you to do that? I think that that step makes a big difference to the taste of the eventual meal.

  7. David Riley says:

    Cleaning the porridge pot needn’t be a chore. Use a heavy non-stick saucepan and don’t soak it. Just leave it on one side. A couple of hours later (or when you get home from work) you will be left with a dried skin of porridge which will peel off effortlessly.

  8. Caroline says:

    Thanks for the tip, David. Sounds like a great lazy way around the whole washing up problem!

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