Saturday, June 20, 2009

Le petit déjeuner parfait

Yesterday I made two batches of yogurt. I didn't intend to. I thought I had botched the first one but hadn't. This morning I was bemoaning the fact that we had no fresh fruit to put with the yogurt (yes, we ate all the blueberries I picked yesterday and no, we don't regret it a bit). After poking around idly on some of my favorite blogs, I happened upon something called breakfast-in-a-jar on the Food In Jars blog. I got all giddy, and only partly because of how cute it looked in it's little jar... those things do matter you know. First, I was reminded that I could use jam to mix into the yogurt. We have jam! Then I saw that she used old fashioned oats and nuts. We have those things too! We have all the stuff, it looks easy to make and tasty too. My culinary-triumvirate! I wasn't sure I'd like eating raw oats (or if I could convince the Hubs to either), when it dawned on me that they might taste o.k. if I toasted them first. Note to self: toasting and burning are not the same thing. The result (after the second go at toasting without getting distracted)? Oh Yum! "That's really a taste sensation" was how Hubs put it...

Here it is, not so much recipe as assemblage (amounts listed are per serving):
  1. In a dry skillet over Low-Med heat, toast 1/3 cup of old fashioned oats. Every minute or so, push the oats around with a spatula and shake the pan to even them out on the surface again. Keep a keen eye on them and don't get distracted (like me). When they're fragrant and a little crunchy, they're done. Dump them out of the pan immediately onto a plate or cutting board and spread them out a bit. You want them to cool down before adding the yogurt.
  2. Once the oats are cooled, layer them in your glass in this order: oats first, followed by 1/2 cup plain (Greek or homemade) yogurt, then a couple big tablespoons of jam and finally, top with some chopped walnuts or pecans.
When I went to get the jam out of the fridge, I saw that we had half a bottle of Kozlowski Farms Blackberry Syrup/Sauce... "that'll do nicely", I thought. And it did it ever. Not satisfied yet, I couldn't resist sprinkling a bit of mint on top. It's all about the layers after all. That being said, this is really only a parfait if you do layer it in a glass or jar. I kind of just shlumped it all into little bowls. Yes, shlumped. Sometimes you just need a new word when the old ones don't quite answer. But even shlumped in a bowl, there was no denying the layers of flavor. Have I mentioned that parfait is French for "perfect"?

Notes from (3/21/09): I just saw a posting from a Canadian magazine for an Apple & Maple Verrine also served in a jar. Literally meaning "little glass" in French, verrine is used to describe food layered and served in a glass. Parfait, it seems, is not posh enough anymore. Regardless of what you call it, my mind is racing with possibilities (and no it's not the coffee). How about replacing the jam in our parfait with sauteed apples and cinnamon with a little maple syrup? Wouldn't that be incredible on a winter morning? And hopefully maple syrup prices will have come down by then. There's got to be a zillion ways to vary this... Tropical fruits with honey and coconut (and macadamia nuts)... Or, Cherry compote with dark chocolate and chopped pistachios? (This is what happens when you write about food when you're hungry!)
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