Porridge for Dinner

Gruel. Even the word is unappealing. But porridge these days is nothing like the Dickensian muck of Oliver Twist fame. Made with a range of grains, the dish has become fashionable, thanks to restaurants like England's The Fat Duck, where the tasting menu recently featured an oat porridge crowned with snails, Iberian ham, and shaved fennel. For a simpler weeknight supper option, try chef Yoni Levy's version at San Francisco's Alta CA: creamy cracked-wheat porridge accented with meaty hen of the woods mushrooms, shaved turnips, and a bright salsa.

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