I’m a big fan of food hacks. I don’t have a lot of time and mental bandwidth to think of these myself, so when I come across them, I take a screencap for the future when I know I’ll be looking to cut corners. But, a food hack has to be a clever hack. The hack can’t ruin the final product. And it has to make my life easier. Like this one.
If you ask me, oat milk is the way to go with cold blender drinks. (I’m not a fan of it in hot coffee or hot chocolate – yuck!) I use a little bit in all of my smoothies if I have it on hand.
So, if you want to learn how to make your own, have a spare five minutes, have a high-speed blender, or have some oats about to go off, why not make your own oat milk to save yourself a lot of money?
DIY Oat Milk:
1 C Old Fashion Oats (fully unprocessed or milled oat flakes)
4 C Cold Water
1/8 or less Salt (as a preservative)
Tight Meshed Strainer
Bowl (to strain into)
Container (to chill your milk in)
That’s it, that’s all.
TIP: If you blend longer than 20 seconds, the oats gum up the milk liquid, making it harder to strain it all out.
Blend the three ingredients for 20 seconds (tops!). Time it with your phone app if you need to. Pour into strainer over a bowl. Push the oat mush around to allow the liquid milk to strain into the bowl with a spoon. When the mush has released everything it’s going to release, dump it into your recycle bin. I’m sure someone has a use for that ball of mush so nothing goes to waste, but I don’t. *shrugs*
What’s left in the bowl is your oat milk. At this point, pour it into a lidded container vessel so you can keep it in the fridge up to one week (or a bit more). You will notice when you pull it out for use the water and oat liquid has separated. Don’t worry. Shake it up and use it would as you’d use any other milk.
For the coming months when it’s too hot to turn on even the broiler for five minutes, I bring you Eggplant Parmesan made on the stovetop.
Yes, I know you don’t like eggplant, but perhaps someone else you know does?
The idea is the same as a traditionally made eggplant parm but you forego the lovely browned cheese on each of the crispy breaded eggplant round medallion slices.
It starts out by laying some paper towel on a plate and putting 1/2″ eggplant slices on it. Salt both sides, and prick each medallion. Microwave them for 1 to 1.5 minutes, checking at the 1 minute mark for doneness. Remove any that are foldable; continue microwaving the thicker cuts.
Set up your basic 3 Stage Dredge Station:
1. Flour + S&P in the first bowl
2. Egg whisked up in the second bowl
3. Panko + Italian Seasoning in the third bowl
While your hot pan is heating up some oil, quickly flour, wash, and coat a few slices to drop in the hot pan over the oil. Continue dredging a few more medallions as you check the colour on the first batch. Flip when you hit a nice looking crust. Add a bit more oil around the first few and drop the second batch down to brown.
Remove the done medallions to rest on a wire rack over paper towel until all the slices have been fried. Wipe out the pan’s dirty oil, and add a tomato sauce of your choice. Plunk the eggplant medallions into the hot ragu (being careful not the fully submerge both sides). Cut or grate some mozzarella cheese and place some on each eggplant slice.
Place a lid (or a big sheet pan if you don’t have a matching lid) over top of the pan to let the cheese melt as everything hits the same temperature.
Fish out two slices and place them on lovely fresh bun. Top them with a bit of the ragu, and if you like some lettuce and roasted peppers or pickles (I love the crunch and taste contrast here), and EAT!