Creamy Rice Mould with Prunes Dessert recipe

Creamy Rice Mould with Prunes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 500 ml(17 fl oz) milk
  • 65 ml (2.2 fl oz) boiling water
  • 3 tablespoon gelatine
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 65 ml (2.2 fl oz) cream, whipped
  • boiling water

Prunes:

  • 125 g (4.4 oz) prunes, pitted
  • 250 ml ( 8.4 fl oz) white wine
  • 125 ml (4.2 fl oz) boiling water
  • 2 tablespoon sugar

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Procedure:

  1. Place prunes in a bowl, add half the wine and boiling water.
  2. Set aside to soak overnight.
  3. Pour the liquid and prunes into a pan, add remaining wine and sugar.
  4. Cook for 12-15 minutes until tender.
  5. Place the prunes in a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  6. Boil liquid until reduced to 1/2 cup and syrupy.
  7. Pour the syrup over the prunes, allow to cool and chill.
  8. Add rice to a pan of boiling water.
  9. Cook for 5 minutes and drain.
  10. Bring the milk to boil, add rice, and cook over a gentle heat until milk is absorbed and mixture is creamy.
  11. Set the pan aside and allow it to cool.
  12. Sprinkle gelatine over 1/4 cup of boiling water and stir briskly until dissolved.
  13. Add sugar and stir into the rice mixture with the cream.
  14. Pour mixture into a lightly oiled, flute mold and chill for 2-3 hours.
  15. Unmould rice on to a serving dish.
  16. Drain prunes, place on top of rice and serve with syrup on the side.

A creamy mushroom tartine recipe

The warmer weather is upon us in Southern California, and this has revived one of the fondest summer traditions of my childhood: being able to eat outside. Raised in Normandy with many, many days of grey and rain (admittedly accountable for the amazing grass and thus, very healthy cows producing amazing cream and cheeses), I grew up valuing and savoring every second of sunny and warmer days. Meals savored outside felt like a joyous celebration of the end of the dreary tunnel that winter in Northern France can be. It felt like a rebirth, like one could finally fill one’s lungs with a deep breath of fresh air. To sit down, feeling the sun on my back, listening to the sounds of the world out there, and eat a simple crudités salad, dipping bread in its vinaigrette… what a way to commune and connect with loved ones, with oneself, to slow down, take time.

To take our  time. The very opposite of losing or wasting time. For being in the moment is the best possible use of our time. Cooking, eating are golden opportunities for us, to reclaim time.

The other night, after a long day of cooking and preparations for Pablo’s birthday picnic, a day of people in a small kitchen, ovens going and stifling heat in the house, I suddenly felt the walls around me. I peered out the window to the garden, and just the thought of eating in the quiet dusk outside made me feel relieved, calm, like a sigh, an exhale. When we eat indoors, our meals are lovely, we take our time, we bond, we laugh and savor together, but everyday life is still there, around us, lurking. The cleaning, organizing that has yet to be done. The objects around us remind us of the past, sad or happy. Photos of lost ones. Gifts from the estranged. Images of past voyages. (Though this is the burden of adulthood, as young children do not (and cannot) project in this way. They are wired to be fully in the moment. There’s too much fascination in the present to bother about the rest. Yet.)

In contrast, when we eat outside, I glance at my herbs and strawberries in becoming, and I feel surrounded by the present and the future, by inner and outer growth and ripening. The descending light makes our other senses more attentive to the world around us: the smell of sundown, of the neighbors barbecuing; the song of the tireless mockingbird, of a firetruck in the distance, of an airplane going to a faraway land; the sensation of a passing evening breeze on the skin; the flavors on our plates.

I don’t know much about what the future holds, but I do know we shall be savoring most of our meals outside for the next few months (and cooking them outside too whenever possible).

So should the weather show some clemency wherever you live, I wish you many meaningful, mindful, delightful meals outside, precious celebrations of the timeless here and now.

I have become a big fan of “tartines” in the past few months, simple open-faced sandwiches. They are as scrumptious as easy to make, and ever so versatile. It is such fun to experiment with the ingredients and different combinations. It allows us to think with our palate. They make a lovely lunch, along with a salad. Children and grown-ups can eat with their fingers. And indeed with this one tartine I’m sharing today, all our fingers were thoroughly licked. Hope you enjoy!

And scroll down for our upcoming week’s menu… 🙂

Mushroom comté prosciutto tartine

Adapted from Petit Larousse des Recettes aux Légumes du Potager by Valérie Lhomme

Makes 4 tartines

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Age for babies: 12 months and up, they will most likely eat the components of the tartine with their fingers, which is fine.

1 lb mushrooms

1 sprig of thyme

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp crème fraîche (or heavy cream)

3.5 oz grated comté cheese (or pecorino, manchego, gruyere, any flavorful hard cheese or your liking)

4 thick slice of good country bread

4 slices of prosciutto (San Daniele is very good and not too salty)

4 pinches of nutmeg

Salt & pepper

Clean the mushrooms, cut off the tip of the foot, and slice. Wash the thyme and remove the leaves from the stem.

In a pan over high heat, melt the butter and coconut oil, and toss in the mushrooms. Cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, then add the thyme leaves, a pinch of salt and pepper, and continue cooking over medium heat for another five minutes.

Drain the mushrooms. In a bowl, whisk the crème fraîche and add in the mushrooms, gently stir to combine and set aside.

Preheat the oven at 450°F

Toast the bread slices lightly. Place a slice of prosciutto on top of each slice. Add some creamy mushrooms, some grated cheese, a pinch of nutmeg, and place in the oven for 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Creamy Kale Pasta

It is time for a new Secret Recipe Club post and this month I have been assigned to the Pajama Chef. The Pajama Chef is Sarah, a 28 year old academic librarian with a passion for running. She is also very organized: she plans her meals a week ahead. I on the other hand am lucky if I plan the meals for the day in the morning!

In that spirit, I started browsing Sarah’s blog about 30 minutes after I should have had lunch. I wanted to choose one of her many kale recipes. You have to know, I have a difficult relation with kale. I know it is healthy, but I am really not a fan. Too tough and chewy. And too many fibers! But I know I should have it once in a while, so I am always on the look for good and new recipes.

Long story short I stumbled on her Creamy Shells and Yogurt and I was sold. It turned out pretty good. Kale is still not may favorite thing, but the pasta was pretty delicious!

Ingredients

  • 3 oz. pasta (I used cellentani)
  • 4 leaves kale
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 2 tbsp grated pecorino
  • 3 sprigs mint
  • salt
  • black pepper

Directions

  1. Start boiling the water.
  2. Meanwhile clean wash the kale, rip the leaves from the tough stem and cut into thin ribbons.
  3. Mix the egg, with the yogurt, the grated pecorino, the mint and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. When the water boils, salt it and add the pasta to the boiling water. Depending on how tough you like your kale, put it in the boiling water together with the pasta or as late as 30 seconds before draining it.
  5. Drain the pasta and the kale and add it to the bowl where you prepared the egg sauce.
  6. Enjoy warm