Caramelized Banana-Stuffed Fried Oatmeal

Sometimes you feel like a nut ...

With just a little prep the night before, you can have a pancake-house style breakfast at home! 

... sometimes you don't.

A dollop of Greek yogurt is healthy, but most times I prefer whipped cream (compromise elsewhere).  If you want to speed things up, skip the caramelizing and stuff with your favorite preserves instead.  Oh, yum!

Caramelized Banana-Stuffed Fried Oatmeal
Yield: 8-10 servings 

4 cups old-fashioned oats
2 tsp. kosher salt
6 cups water
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 stick (4 Tbl.) unsalted butter, divided
2 very ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2" slices
3 Tbl. brown sugar
Assorted garnishes, such as maple syrup, honey, Greek yogurt, whipped cream, chopped nuts, brown sugar, raisins, dried cranberries, etc.

Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap; set aside.   Cook oatmeal according to package directions, using  4 cups of water and 2 teaspoons salt.  Stir in cinnamon, if desired.

Let cool, then pack into prepared loaf pan.  Cover and chill overnight.

The next morning, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add banana slices.  Saute for 2-3 minutes or until golden browned.   Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bananas; saute another minute.  Bananas will probably break up at this point, which is a good thing. Remove skillet from heat.

Turn oatmeal out of loaf pan onto cutting board; peel off plastic and cut into slices as thinly as possible.  With the back of a spoon, lightly press an indentation just insides the edges of half the slices, then spoon about 2 teaspoons of caramelized bananas into the indentation. Cover with remaining slices, sealing as best you can by gently pressing around the edges.

"Burnt" sugar along edges cleans out
easier from a non-stick pan.

TIP ALERT! If your skillet is not a non-stick, use a paper towel to wipe it out before proceeding (or else any residual sugar will fuse itself to the pan and be murder to clean later).

Return skillet to burner. Add remaining butter and melt over medium-high heat. Place 2 stuffed slices into the skillet.  Fry until golden brown on each side.  Transfer to a covered dish and keep warm. Repeat with remaining slices.

Couldn't wait, so just used whipped cream & nuts.

Plate fried oatmeal. Now the fun starts!  Top with any (or all!) of the following: a drizzle of maple syrup or honey, a dollop of Greek yogurt or whipped cream, a sprinkle of nuts, brown sugar, raisins or dried cranberries ...

A slight adaptation of this recipe has been entered in Food52's Your Best Weekday Breakfast contest.


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