Today is World Porridge Day.
Yes, you heard us correctly, there’s a day devoted to this popular breakfast staple made with oats – and why not we say?
There is actually a serious side to the day, so before we get to the lighter stuff, let’s thank Mary’s Meals, the Scottish charity behind World Porridge Day. They feed more than 1.3 million of the world’s poorest children and conceived World Porridge Day as a way of raising funds and awareness, so well done guys.
Britain is rightfully proud of its porridge heritage, but we can’t claim it for our own. A similar dish has been enjoyed all around the world for thousands of years and, today, every culture has its own version.
That’s not surprising when you consider that it’s literally just a mushy bowl of soaked grains, but we all know it’s a lot more than that.
So, what do you put on your porridge? Our friends north of the border insist that porridge should contain nothing more than oats, water and salt, some prefer a topping of sugar while honey and syrup are also popular accompaniments.
However, savoury porridge is increasingly becoming popular. Perhaps it was Heston Blumenthal with his snail porridge (we tried it once at the Fat Duck and won’t be repeating it again!) but there’s now plenty you can do with this humble dish.
At the recent World Porridge Making Championships (yes, it does exist and has been running for 25 years!) entries included steak porridge, mussel porridge and leek and mushroom porridge, although the winner, predictably from Scotland, stuck to the traditional variety.
So, no longer think of porridge as a breakfast dish, in fact there’s no reason you can’t eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, although on second thoughts……
Here’s this week’s recipe:
Savoury porridge with Cheddar and fried egg
- 1/4 cup oats
- 3/4 cup water
- salt and pepper
- Grated cheddar cheese (add as much or little as you like)
- 1 tsp coconut oil divided
- 1/4 cup diced red pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
- 1 large egg
- Bring water to boil. Add oatmeal, reduce heat a little and let it cook for about 3 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat and stir in cheese, along with a small pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil to a pan on a medium-high heat. Add vegetables and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until they soften. Spoon vegetables over cooked oats. Reduce heat.
- Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon of oil and fry egg. Serve over oatmeal, adding more cheese, and chopped tomatoes and green peppers if you wish.