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Porridge Degustation menu


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Hi all,

I was having a silly discussion with my brother tonight, which has now resulted in us planning a 5 course meal based around porridge...

I am just a home cook, enthusiastic and quite adventurous but this will stretch my skills and i am looking for a bit of help for a few of the dishes in particular. Here is the menu we have planned:

Soup: Porridge and mushroom soup, served with porridge bread.

Entree: Tempura porridge balls (with an asian dipping sauce).

Mains: Porridge Canneloni, with a side salad (incorporating porridge somehow, as a dressing?).

Dessert: Trio of porridge - Porridge brulee, porridge + apple pies, porridge waffles.

Coffee, with a porridge truffle.

Now obviously the whole thing is just for fun and some of these will probably taste awful, but we are ok with that. However, I would like to see if we can make them work (i am imagining the soup and canneloni being the worst!).

We have decided that other things can be added in (for example, the waffle batter will have an egg and some flour to make it cookable), but the porridge (or oats) must be a key ingredient and still resemble porridge to a large degree. Think of it as an Iron Chef porridge battle!

I am expecting the desserts to actually taste quite great, and can't foresee too many problems with them (though the waffle may take some experimentation).

So my main concerns/problem areas are this:

1) making firm porridge - this is important for the balls that will be battered and fried, they need to keep their shape somewhat. I am thinking that making it thick to begin with, then chilling it will help, but i still may need gelatin or perhaps adding some flour?

2) The salad to go with the canneloni. I was imagining something like porridge croutons made like polenta - cooked porridge, somehow made into a firm mass, then cut into little chunks and toasted/fried. But I can't see this working... perhaps a dressing instead?

3) Porridge and mushroom soup - this was the best flavour we came up with, as oats are quite earthy in taste and may compliment the mushroom flavour... any alternatives, or suggestions to make it a winner?

Any ideas or comments are most welcome :)

- stuart (long-time eGullet appreciator, newbie poster)

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As long as you over boil the porridge and then chill it I don't think you will need gelatin or flour (that would make it too gummy I think). So try a small pot for now and over boil your porridge til the rice is VERY large and the porridge is the spoon stand up in it stage. (Usually this means you messed up and left the porridge on too long). Then chill it in the fridge. The condensation should help is become less gluey and then roll into balls like arrancini. :) I think you would be better off dipping the balls into flour, egg, and panko and doing like a ton-porridge ball than tempura'ing it.

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Now you are forgetting the Many kinds of Porridge...for some of us the first thought was Rice not Oats...so now you have your soup because rice and mushroom soup is good... Congee

How about some toasted Oat or Rice bran in your salad dressing

Cream of wheat....somewhere

Polenta....fried Polenta balls stuffed with cheese and ham

Porridge away sir


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A friend of mine makes a delicious leek and porridge soup. It's easy too: sweat a bunch of sliced leeks in butter, add rich chicken broth, steel cut oats, and a sprig of thyme. Cook till the oats are tender and the soup thickens slightly. Season and finish with a little cream.

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hmm, some good thoughts.

I hadn't really considered other types of porridge, so the rice comment made me think. But I reckon this time we will stick with oats, because that was the initial idea and I find it a fun challenge.

That soup sounds great, raw/cooked, i think I will go with that instead of the mushroom.

I did a mini test today where i overcooked some porridge and left it out to 'dry'. And I think it is firming up well so i probably won't have to go with gelatin either.

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I wonder if you could do the tempura porridge balls so that they're actually liquid inside. Make balls in one of those spherical ice cube trays and freeze them. Then make a porridge with eggs and flour, dip the frozen balls in that, deep fry to seal in the liquid, and then possibly deep fry again once the inside has melted.

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