Sure eggs are flashy, but the true test of any breakfast joint is what they can do without them
When it comes to breakfast, eggs seem to have cornered the market. Poached, scrambled, fried, boiled and baked, these babies get all the love. And whether they're smothered in butter, cheese, cream or the like, it seems that these days, the more over the top you go with them, the better.
And though breakfast is meant for consumption, in today's Instagram-able world, it's also meant for picture taking. Chefs may as well serve their food cold, because the reality is, by the time table 42 finishes with the photoshoot bound straight for the glossy pages of, umm, Facebook, the only heat left at the table is radiating from the back of an iPhone, struggling with storage issues. (#nomnom and #meltinyourmouth only apply if you ate the food while it still really was 'nom nom' and before it actually melted on your plate.)
It seems that for eggs in particular, it's all about the close up shot. Yolks oozing, omelets browning and edges crisping in butter, render pictures so salacious, it's no wonder the term 'food porn' was coined, because eggs are, in fact, the porn stars of breakfast. And they will always smile for the camera.
When you're dining at a restaurant, chefs know this - that's why the egg dishes get all the attention. Even the decidedly unsexy egg-white-only dishes get names like 'The Warrior Omelet' and 'The Personal Trainer Scramble', because eggs, no matter how they're served, are where it's at.
You know where it's not at? Oatmeal. Glance at a restaurant's breakfast menu and you'll find it listed somewhere between granola and the '20% gratuity included on parties of 6 or more' line, as just that, 'Oatmeal'. And more often than not, it's really poorly done. Dry, lumpy and under-salted, oatmeal seems to be the red headed stepchild of AM dining. But you know what? I find that a bit of a cop out. If you can't make something as simple as a bowl of boiled oats taste good, then you can keep your big-busted, camera ready eggs - we all know how much butter it took to get them to look like that anyway.
This is why, the first time I dine at a restaurant for breakfast, more often than not, I order the oatmeal. I consider it the litmus test of a place, and if it passes, well then maybe we can talk oozing eggs next time.
Add the coconut oil to a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the apples to the skillet and sprinkle over the cinnamon. Cook the apples for about 10-15 minutes, until soft, stirring in 1 tablespoon of honey, 5 minutes before removing them from the heat.
Meanwhile, bring your water to a boil in a small sauce pot, add the oats and salt (salt is absolutely essential! Unsalted oatmeal is a crime), cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. If you're using 'quick cook' oats, your oats will cook in as little as 5-7 minutes, but for regular steel cut oats it will take considerably longer. Read your packet for cooking instructions. If you notice that the water is evaporating too quickly, add a little more as needed. You want your oats soft, cooked through and not dried out.
Whisk the remaining tablespoon of honey into the greek yogurt.
Spoon your oatmeal into a bowl, top it with the apples and yogurt, and sprinkle over some pomegranate seeds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with a little extra honey, if you're so inclined.
Sure, it seems silly to extract yourself from the depths of your warm, comfortable bed on a weekend morning, drag your tired bones all the way to a restaurant, inevitably stand in line for far longer than the food actually warrants, and then order oatmeal - I know that. I'm tellin' ya though, when you bother to perfect the simple, everything else is just icing on the cake.