Yield: 4 servings
8 slices bacon
½ cup whole milk
¼ cup water
1 ½ cups chicken stock
½ cup steel-cut oats
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh chives, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons for garnish
Salt and fresh place pepper to taste
1 heaping cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
Cayenne pepper sauce (optional)
1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon in batches, turning frequently, until browned and crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside on a paper towel.
2. While bacon is cooking, bring milk, water and stock just to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Stir in oats and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring regularly, for 25 to 30 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and oats are tender and cooked through. Stir in cheddar, chives, salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Just before serving, crumble bacon and stir into oatmeal. Top with cherry tomatoes and extra chives and serve cayenne pepper sauce on the side.