Monday, May 9, 2011

rice pudding with strawberry rhubarb compote

I can’t believe it’s been a month already since we got married!
The time passes waaay too fast while you are walking slightly above the ground. But, according to Oxford Dictionary, this “abnormal” feeling of well-being should be wearing off already, and by now we should be checking back with reality.
Well... not so fast! I don’t know what kind of a downer came out with an idea of a short-lived wedded bliss, but I am not signing up for that!
After all, we got married for life, not for a month! And we just want to have fun with it for as long as we can.
So, last week when our marriage certificate finally arrived in the mail and made the fact that we’re stuck with each other now very much official, we decided to celebrate, again!
In this spirit of prolonged honeymoon we cooked big dinner with a dessert to die for: vanilla scented rice pudding, spiked with brandy and paired with strawberry-rhubarb compote.
I can't even find proper words to describe how good this was. Honeymooners or not, I recommend you two try it immediately and make a date out of it!

for the compote:
1 pound strawberries, quartered +extra for garnish
1 pound rhubarb(about 3 stalk), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar

for the rice pudding
1/2c caster sugar(scant)
1½oz brandy
4 egg yolks
4c milk
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1Tbsp butter
1½ cups carnaroli rice

to prepare the compote: mix all the ingredients in a pan. Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Boil for about 5 minutes to reduce the liquid, then reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes until the rhubarb has soften.
Take pan off the stove, cool to room temperature and refrigerate.

to prepare rice pudding:
Whisk egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, set aside.
Combine milk and vanilla beans in a large sauce pan. Bring just to the boil, remove from heat and keep warm.
In a separate sauce pan melt butter over medium heat, add rice and cook for 2 min, stirring continuously. Add brandy and cook stirring continuously for another 2min.
Add warm milk/vanilla mixture, a cup at a time, stirring continuously until all milk is absorbed, before adding another one. Cook for about 25-30 min for al dente or longer if you like it softer. Add egg yolk mixture and cook for another 2 min. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.
Serve with strawberry rhubarb compote, garnish with fresh strawberries and mint leaves, if desired.
(serves 6)
loosely based on a recipe for Fig and Orange rice pudding from my favorite cooking magazine: Australian Gourmet Traveler.

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