Carla Hall gives favorite recipes an oat-tastic ingredient update, interview

Carla Hall for Quaker Oats
Carla Hall for Quaker Oats / Quaker Oats

While that hearty bowl of oatmeal is always a delicious way to start the day, Carla Hall wants everyone to open a contain of Quaker Oats and see the flavorful possibilities beyond that bowl. During a recent conversation with the celebrated chef, Hall offers some delicious and easy to follow insight to using oats in many ways.

When Chef Carla Hall enters a room, it instantly gets brighter, livelier, and welcoming. Everyone knows that her hospitality is endearing. More importantly, her recipes are delicious as well as approachable for the home cook.

As a long-time Quaker Oats partner, Hall invites everyone to see the plethora of uses for oats. While some people might remember her savory oats dish from Top Chef a while back, that culinary approach of using oats in sweet and savory dishes is more than just a culinary competition requirement.

When Hall recently spoke with FoodSided, she discussed a few concepts that use oats in a variety of dishes. Although many people think about the oats on a crisp or used in a crust, there are benefits of using oat flour in a recipe.

Hall called it “the unsung hero” in many of her recipes. She explained, “I use it in pancakes, cookies, and cakes. Adding something that is non-gluten like an oat flavor lightens it up with that sweetness.”

Additionally, Hall explained that the oat flour would be delicious with in a crisp. She explained, “since you do not have to worry about it rising, the oat flour makes tighter clumps, more like shortbread cookie. The oat flour can even be used in a biscuit, too.”

That versatility is one of the reasons why Hall uses Quaker Oats in multitude of recipes. During the conversation, she showcased meatloaf sliders, a fruit smoothie, and a key lime layer bar. For the home cook who wants to streamline the pantry, it shows that the Quaker Oats is that ingredient that works in almost everything.

Hall shared, “Quaker Oats is the ingredient that I trust, and I have been using for a long time.” As Hall explained with the smoothie, “I’m adding the oats because it is will not make my sugar spike. I’m using it in my meatloaf mixture. Not only is a gluten free option, but it adds another layer of flavor.”

For anyone who loves meatloaf, those sliders are delicious idea. By making the smaller sizes in a sheet pan, they can easily pop on the bun and everyone has a handheld bite that is the ultimate comfort food.

Since Food Network fans loyally watch Hall on the various baking competitions, home cooks trust her baking advice. While she loves a good pucker and has taught many people to appreciate that there is flavor in the brown, her recipe for the key lime layer bars showcases all the ways oats can be used.

Explaining the crust, Hall said, “the crust is the perfect example of how to use oats flour and oats in the crust. You get the crunchiness on the bottom and you get the chewiness. The idea is to think outside of the canister because you can use oats in so many different ways.

A few simple ideas are  what makes Quaker Oats a favorite. As Hall said, “I think of the texture, I think of the sweetness, and I think of adding fiber.” It is the total package that packs a flavor.

While Hall offered a key lime bar dessert, she mentioned that the citrus flavor could be swapped. She explained, “obviously, you could use lemon. Orange would be a little sweeter, but adding some yuzu would be amazing. But, I would not advise using grapefruit, because the pith could be a little bitter.”

With the flavor in check, Hall mentioned a key baking tip that will help everyone get more flavor out of their recipes. She said, “one of the mistakes that I see people do is under bake things because they are afraid of burning them.”

She explained, “by using a white sugar, you’re going to get more crunch. Just allow things to cook and to caramelize. You can see how you’re going to get all that color. Do not be afraid of the brown.”

With people discovering the power of oats and the flavor that they offer, it is time to get into the kitchen and cook. The traditional bowl of oatmeal might still be a great way to start the day, but oats can be part of every meal around the table. Isn’t it time to open a canister and taste all the possibilities?