The Golden ‘what’?? Some of you may or may not know what a spurtle is…I just found out last August, when I won Bob’s Red Mill ‘Spar for the Spurtle’ national recipe contest. A spurtle is a wooden stick that is traditionally used to stir porridge in Scotland. And speaking of Scotland…my prize for winning the ‘Spar for the Spurtle’ contest was an all-expenses paid trip to Scotland to compete in the 19th Annual World Porridge Making Championships and $2,500.
On Saturday October 6th I competed with 15 other finalists in Carrbridge, Scotland for the Golden Spurtle and the Best Speciality Dish (you were required to make, simultaneously, porridge with only water and salt and a speciality dish sweet/savory that used porridge as the main ingredient in 30 minutes or less using only 2 gas burners). My recipe for ‘Italian Pinhead Torta’ won the title of ‘Best Speciality’. I met so many wonderful people…one couple who was visiting their hunting lodge near Carrbridge, came to cheer me on when they found out I was from California…they make Santa Monica their home the rest of the time. It truly was the trip of a lifetime!!
My torta recipe is reminiscent of a recipe my Mother-in-law used to make. She used white rice, fresh oregano, parmesan cheese and eggs and baked it in the oven in a Pyrex pan. I substituted Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats for the white rice, which gave my torta an incredible chewy texture that I love. I also added dried mushrooms for earthiness, sun-dried tomatoes for a hint of sweetness, freshly grated zucchini, fresh oregano, onions, eggs and parmesan cheese. This dish makes a great main course or can be cut into smaller pieces for appetizers.
P.S. My Cameraman, Timothy Benton of Sonoma, had twin boys the end of August…he’s been just a little BuSy…times 2…hoping to have another episode of Cooking With Laurie soon…stay tuned and Happy Cooking!!
Italian Pinhead Torta
1 oz. dried portabella mushrooms, rehydrated in 1 ½ cups boiling water for 10 minutes (reserving the liquid to soak the oats in). After soaking, drain, squeeze dry and dice mushrooms.
1-½ cups Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats (also known as pinhead oats) soaked in reserved mushroom liquid for 10 minutes.
6 TBSP butter, divided
1 cup diced onion
1 cup coarsely shredded zucchini
½ cup diced sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
6 eggs, room temperature
½ cup chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp. garlic salt with parsley
1 cup dried Parmesan cheese
- Heat 2 TBSP butter in an 11-inch frying pan over medium heat. Sauté onion.
- While onion is sautéing, heat 2 TBSP butter in a 10-inch saucepan over medium-high heat. Add soaked Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats and stir constantly for 2–3 minutes or until remaining liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Once onion has become translucent, add the following to the pan: mushrooms, zucchini, sun dried tomatoes and Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats; mix well. Remove from heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and then add garlic salt, oregano and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and then stir in Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats mixture.
- Return 11-inch frying pan to medium to medium-high heat and add remaining 2 TBSP butter. When butter has melted, immediately pour in Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats mixture and place a tight fitting lid on your pan. Cook covered for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove lid and remove pan from heat; invert onto a serving plate. Immediately top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Slice and serve.
Cook Time: 15 minutes