As I was saying in my “tostone shrimp canapé, coconut lobster ceviche and crab meat scallop and saffron paella recipes”, the following dishes include classic Latin ingredients of green plantain, coconut and rice. These are ingredients that I know well. It is always a pleasure to cook with products that we know because knowledge gives us lots of confidence, and that is power.
Rice – – what an easy ingredient! It is a basic dietary commodity responsible for feeding humanity all over the world; whether cooked savory or sweet, plain or mixed, rice is an ideal product to accompany any dish.
On that note, let’s go to the kitchen to prepare a classic rice dessert dish, a rice pudding. And with this version, no tricks or gastronomy skills needed, but one thing you need to know, never add sugar to the rice until the rice is completely tender. One more thing, do not allow the culinary lavender seeds to intimidate you, you can get it from amazon or a gourmet store of preference. The lavender could be left out altogether; this will be up to you as the rice pudding will be good with or without it. The idea of the lavender on this recipe came about from an internship I did in “Alta” a restaurant in the village NYC. They used culinary lavender in a few of their desserts. I am a happy cook every time I find a new product or idea to incorporate it into my cooking.
Here you have it. Enjoy!
Coconut Rice Pudding
For the rice Pudding:
Yield: 8 servings
8 ounces of Arborio rice
1 ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
2 ½ cups of cold water
1 vanilla bean
1 cinnamon stick
2 strips of lemon rind
7 ounces of shredded coconut
10 ½ ounces whole milk
18 ounces heavy cream
8 ounces good honey
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon of lavender seeds
For the garnish:
4 pineapples cut in half
2 ounces of shaved fresh coconut
2 ounces of honey lavender
Wash the rice thoroughly until there is no cloudiness and the water runs clear.
In a stockpot or deep pot mix the first six ingredients together and boil. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until all the water evaporates. Stir often to avoid the rice to stick to the bottom or burn.
After the water evaporates add the milk and cream. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat while stirring often to avoid sticking to the bottom. Cook the rice until tender. Add the shredded coconut, half of the honey, and cook for 5 minutes. In the meantime, blanchir* the egg yolks with the rest of the honey. Remove the rice from the heat and mix the egg yolks with a little of the rice at first to temper*. Once the rice and the egg yolks are tempered mix it well. Cool the rice pudding over an ice water bath or if eaten warm serve it right away.
For the coconut syrup:
Heat the honey with a tablespoon of lavender seeds. While hot strain the mixture. In a small pot cook the coconut in the honey for about 5 minutes. Drizzle it on top of the rice pudding.
Decorate with fresh mint.
The assembly or presentation:
Cut the pineapple in half and spoon out most of the flesh. Dry the pineapple well and fill it with the rice pudding. Drizzle the top with the coconut syrup and garnish it with the fresh mint.
Temper*= is to add a small amount of a hot liquid into beaten egg to bring it up to a temperature so that the egg does not scramble. This mixture is then added to the food being cooked. This Same concept is applied in any other product that breaks if roughly expose to a change of temperature.
Blanchir* refers to the process of working or whisking the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture reaches a pale yellow color.
This post is also available in: Spanish