The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition kicks off the Charleston tourist season with 40,000 attendees arriving to attend the three-day celebration of wildlife and nature. SEWE features art exhibits, wildlife demonstrations, and—our favorite part—food. The Local Palate hosts a tent during the event, serving Lowcountry cuisine and cocktails provided by our culinary neighbors. This year, we featured dishes and drinks from 492, Indaco, Short Grain Food Truck, Charleston Bloody Mary Mixes, Mercantile and Mash, Westendorff, and Poogan’s Smokehouse , featuring liquors from Ketel One vodka, Don Julio tequila, and Bulleit bourbon.
Chef Nate Whiting of 492 greeted early-morning festival guests with Stone Ground Olive Oil Oatmeal with Ricotta Espuma and Granola. Paired with a Bloody Mary from Charleston Mixes, the combination created an impressive mini-brunch you could carry around the exposition. Chef Whiting agreed to share the recipe for his amazing oatmeal, which pairs the creamy brightness of ricotta with the satisfying crunch and pop from granola.
“I soon realized that the olive oil oatmeal was the component in the dish that was the most memorable for the guests. Over the years, olive oil oatmeal has evolved into being a focal point rather than a role player.
“Originally I began experimenting on ways to cut back the richness of traditional oatmeal, because I wanted to use it as a vessel for other rich ingredients such as Foie Gras and Lobster,” Chef Whiting explains. “I soon realized that the olive oil oatmeal was the component in the dish that was the most memorable for the guests. Over the years, olive oil oatmeal has evolved into being a focal point rather than a role player. I love how the olive oil provides the dish with a familiar buttery mouth feel without excessive amounts of dairy. The olive oil also helps unmask the flavor of the oats, keeping them pure and direct. The recipe I’ve provided is a guide, adjustments to consistency are made as needed or to your tastes. I recommend experimenting with liquid ratios. Such as substituting water for as much milk as you like. Also try using water to adjust the cooked oatmeal rather than dairy. Use good extra virgin olive oil, and don’t be shy with it. I often drizzle more on top to finish. Anson Mills stone ground oats are easily the best I’ve ever tasted, and I highly recommend them. Yet, please don’t be discouraged if you can’t get them, any stone ground oats will work nicely. I’ve even produced good results from regular Quaker Oats.” One bite of this decadent oatmeal and you will never look at this morning staple the same way again.
Stone Ground Olive Oil Oatmeal with Ricotta Espuma and Granola
From Executive Chef Nate Whiting of 492 in Charleston, South Carolina
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