‘Cooking with Laurie’ The Golden Spurtle Competition

Written By: Admin
Published: December 1, 2012

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


  1. Heat 2 TBSP butter in an 11-inch frying pan over medium heat.  Sauté onion.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Slice and serve.

Cook Time:  15 minutes
Servings:  12

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