In my beginnings, there was the rice pudding. I must have been no more than 3 or 4 years old. The home cooks who showed it to me were absolutely portentous. Women of great size, wearing dresses with floral motifs, their hair pulled back and a predisposition to raw judgment and an excessive use of olive oil. I guess that certain characters should be preserved and protected as monuments of our collective memory. I wonder whether Unesco has ever thought about that. Paying tribute to the last Highlanders of our regional kitchens. The most delicate and glorious rice pudding comes coated with shortbread in Rome and Tuscany. A constant presence on holiday tables, it's a big round cake, not higher than 3/4 inches and baked in the oven until you get those nice caramelising edges. We are going to go for the lighter version today. Rice cooked in milk enriched with either candied oranges, raisins soaked in Vin Santo or, for the most greedy, small pieces of bitter chocolate. That's what we are aiming for, in the recipe below. This was a video conceived as a result of a collaboration I did for a Parisian production company, hence subtitles are in French. However, images talk for themselves, so if you want to give it a try, you can find the instructions below the video. For all of you gluten-free folks out there, here is a mouthwatering recipe that will drive you crazy. Are you smiling in #foodhappiness swing? Now that's better.
Rice and chocolate (serves 4 people as a snack or dessert)
- 150 gr. Carnaroli rice
- 1/2 vanilla pod
- 500 ml. fresh whole milk
- 100 gr. dark chocolate
- 50 gr. caster sugar
- 1 unwaxed organic lemon
Grate the lemon in order to obtain its zest. With a sharp knife, split the vanilla in two and collect the seeds. Pour the milk into a saucepan. Add the vanilla, the lemon zest and the sugar. Let it cook at low fire; make sure to turn off the heat before it comes to a boil.
Next, add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon. Cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. When the rice is cooked and all the milk will be absorbed, remove the lemon zest and the vanilla altogether. Chop finely the dark chocolate. Place the rice in a small bowl or cup and sprinkle each serving with abundant chocolate.
With love and pudding,