I have around 30ish recipes for oatmeal on this site. For someone who isn't a huge fan of a lot of breakfast foods, I like oatmeal. Most of those recipes are based off of a formula of one part oatmeal to one part water to one part milk. Guys, its wrong. As much as I can dress up a bowl of oatmeal with just about anything, (Lime wedges? Sure! PB&J? Delicious! Mascarpone cheese? Mercy.), the underlying bowl of oats should taste good on its own. Unfortunately, the one to one to one ratio just ends up with goop. Thick, rib-sticking, hearty, but goop, nonetheless.
For those of you that don't like oatmeal, when served a bowl like that, I understand. But this. THIS. You must try it. This method is so ridiculously easy and delicious, that I rarely put anything on my oatmeal anymore, except a splash of cream, a sliver of butter, and a pinch of salt. (I learned of pairing these toppings in a book I'd read awhile back, where the main character considered oatmeal prepared as such comfort food. I can't recall the actual book, but the preparation definitely is worth trying.)
Megan Gordon, of A Sweet Spoonful, has released a lovely book called Whole-Grain Mornings. While I've tried quite a few recipes out of the book, from throughout the seasons, (her book is divided seasonally, so you can eat whatever is freshest each season. I love that!), and as much as I love many of the other recipes, this one is the one that I keep coming back to, if only because it makes my beloved oatmeal so very much better.
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup milk/nut milk
generous pinch salt
pinch of cinnamon (optional, I use it every time)
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water (or 3/4 cup plus an extra splash, as I do)
heavy cream, for serving (optional, I use half and half, as it's what I usually have.)
brown sugar, for serving (optional, I use the butter and salt as mentioned above)
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the oats and toast until fragrant, about 5 minutes or so. (If you put them on at the same time as the water mixture up next, I've found they're ready about the same time.)
In a medium saucepan, bring to a slow boil over medium heat the milk, salt, cinnamon, and water. Add the toasted oats to the mixture, stir gently, and then cover and turn off the heat. Let sit for 7 minutes. DON'T STIR!!! The oats have never stuck for me, and stirring tends to break them down and make them gummy. Resist the urge to lift the lid and peek, just leave the whole thing alone. After those 7 minutes are done, uncover and check on the oats. If they are more watery than you'd like, let them sit, covered, for a few more minutes. I've always found them to be done at the 7 minute mark. Serve however you enjoy your oatmeal. Enjoy!
P.S. This recipe doubles wonderfully. I imagine it triples well too, though you probably have to let it sit a bit longer. (I've only got three in my family, and so have no need to triple it. If you test it out tripled, let me know how it works!)