Monday, October 08, 2007
Jill Dupleix's Porridge
I think Jill Dupleix is fantastic. In fact, she was the first food writer I ever got into, and whose recipes I started cooking, back when I was a mere 12 years old. I remember constantly borrowing her book, New Food, from the school library (yes, I went to one of those Kew private schools that has trendy cookbooks in their library), and reading it from cover to cover. A few years later, I bought the fantastic Old Food, which has become an often-used book. Since then, even though the Jill recipes may have taken a back seat to other celeb chefs (*cough* Nigella *cough*), she's always been a favourite of mine.
Her recipe for porridge from Old Food has proved to be a surprise hit in my (Chinese, non-porridge-eating) household. I made a batch of it a few months ago, in an attempt to be healthy, and we've been wolfing it down ever since. As you can (probably) see from the above photo, Jill's porridge contains a mixture of grains - rolled oats, braley flakes, rye flakes, sesame seeds and linseed - all of which I managed to pick up at a local organic store. The idea is that you mix up a large quantity of all the grains, and store it in a huge jar. This will last you many, many breakfasts.
At first, I didn't think my family would like it very much, but I was wrong! Mum's never really eaten porridge, and thinks it's heavy and weird. However, she loves this version, and especially likes the crunch and texture from the various grains. Now that our supply is getting low, she keeps asking me if I'm going to make more. This is a good sign! I think she eats it even more than I do. We usually eat the porridge cooked in water, with a small splash of honey or a scattering of dried fruits for sweetness.
Porridge makes a fabulously healthy breakfast. Let me explain why. Oats are high in soluble fibre, which travels slowly through the body and keeps you feeling full for longer. This also means they have a low Glycemic Index, and prevent the rapid absorption of glucose into the blood stream - good for those people who need to control their sugar levels and avoid sugar highs/lows. Oats also help to reduce blood cholesterol because they prevent bile being reabsorbed into the system, meaning that the liver gets its cholesterol from the blood (Source). So there you have it.
A few weeks ago, I came across a copy of New Food in an op-shop, and just had to buy it. I finally have my own copy! And last week, Jill's new book Lighten Up was released, which I instantly bought. It is full of healthy and interesting recipes; the type of food she and her husband (also a food writer), have been cooking and eating to lose weight whilst still enjoying good food. (Yay! A healthy recipe book written by a food writer!) I plan to be cooking from it a lot! They will be a nice way to balance out all the Nigella Express recipes that I'm making.
So, in the hope that some of you will enjoy this super-healthy porridge as much as my family does, and that you'll go out and buy some Jill Dupleix books, here is the recipe for her brilliant porridge.
Mix 1kg rolled oats, 250g barley flakes, 250g rye flakes, 100g sesame seeds and 50g linseed, and store in an airtight jar.
When you want to eat, mix 1/2 cup of grains with 1/2 cup of cold water in a saucepan, stirring briskly with a wooden spoon until creamy. Add 3/4 cup cold water and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until grains are soft and bouncy, and the pot suddenly smells sweet and porridgey.
Pour into a bowl, and serve. Top with a sprinkling of brown sugar or honey, and a little milk.