Mystery Box Madness at I Heart Cooking Clubs is here again! I love this theme where we're provided with a list of ten ingredients from which we are to use at least three in a dish from any of the featured chefs. The ingredients this month were: chocolate, cherries, cinnamon, oats, couscous, pomegranate, curry (powder/paste), coconut milk, lentils, hot peppers/chillies.
I needed a reprieve from all of the sweets and rich foods that have started to appear during this festive season (some of which I've been guilty of making!) and made Spelt and Oat Porridge with Pomegranates and Pistachios, from Diana Henry's book A Change of Appetite. This was a warming bowl of hot cereal made with farro used in place of spelt and oats, and topped with pomegranates and pistachios. Not included in the original recipe, and as my third "mystery box" ingredient, I
added a cinnamon stick to the farro cooking water and again to the farro-oat-milk mixture so the porridge would be infused with its flavour.
The steel-cut oats* took twice as long to cook and needed twice as much liquid as the recipe indicated, which was actually more in keeping with the package directions, and I added a little salt to the porridge along with the sugar. Not a quick cooking cereal, I
made it on a Sunday to enjoy during the week adding just a splash of milk while reheating it to restore its original creaminess.
Perked up with tart pomegranate arils and crunchy pistachios, who wouldn't want to start their day with this
nourishing bowl of goodness.
* in my North American edition, this
ingredient is listed as "steel-cut rolled oats", a form that doesn't
exist; the cooking instructions in the recipe would have worked for
I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone else used the Mystery Box ingredients.