Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Roses and rhubarb

From Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons comes this great dish. An updated version of rice-pudding with rhubarb that transforms it from English boarding school into Mediterranean delight. I made it to take to Eve's the other night and it was all polished off in a second. It is really easy and very delicious - the rice is creamy and custardy and the rose flavoured syrup works surprisingly well with the rhubarb flavour to lift it out of the everyday.

I bought gum mastic from the turkish grocer on Smith St - a few spoons of yellowish clear lumps cost me $3.50 but I do think the taste it adds is worthwhile if you can find it. It's one of those subtle tastes that you barely notice but it is distinctive - just reminds me of Greek desserts or Turkish delight. I think it's a resin from some kind of orchid. If you can't get it just leave it out.

Rizogalo with Rose scented Roasted Rhubarb
(Rizogalo is a Greek rice pudding)

  • lots of rhubarb cut into 10 cm lengths (I used about 900g)
  • 150 ml water
  • 200 g sugar
  • 1 tbsp rose water70g short grain rice
  • 850ml full cream milk (I used soy milk and added a dollop of cream)
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp mastic (ground in mortar and pestle)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 60 ml double cream
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C. (350 F)
  2. Put the rhubarb pieces in a baking dish. Cover with sugar (200g) and water (150ml). Seal with foil and bake for 30 - 40 minutes.
  3. Cover the rice with water and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes and then drain.
  4. Heat the milk with the rice, sugar and mastic.
  5. Bring to a boil and then simmer gently until the milk is absorbed. It takes 15 - 30 minutes. Stir occassionally.
  6. Take the rice off the heat.
  7. Mix the cream with the egg yolk and then add to the rice. Turn out into a bowl to let it cool.
  8. When the rhubarb is roasted - soft but still in distinct pieces - drain it, keeping the juices.
  9. Boil the juice down into a syrup. Add rose water to taste and then pour the syrup over the rhubarb.
  10. Serve the rice and rhubarb in two big bowls garnished with rose petals.

Did you notice I learnt to post photos? Now I just need someone to buy me a digital camera so I can record my efforts.

No comments: