Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Coconut Rice Pudding with Chocolate Shavings

1/2 cup Basmati rice, soaked in cold water to cover for 1/2 an hour
13 oz. can coconut milk (Not Cream of Coconut)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1 vanilla bean, split--seeds scraped and saved
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 ounce dark chocolate, shaved

Drain rice from water; transfer to 2 quart heavy saucepan along with coconut mil, heavy cream, sugar, extract, vanilla bean seeds, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer; continue simmering for 25 minutes, stirring on occasion. Remove pan from heat; transfer mixture to bowl; let cool; then gently fold in shaved chocolate.

Pour into individual serving dishes; chill until ready to serve. Can be made up to 2 days ahead.

Garnish with additional shaved chocolate and/or toasted coconut if desired.

Makes 4 servings

Monday, August 9, 2010

I say Brasciole.... say Rouladden.

Growing up in an Italian family with Italian food as the mainstay of our table, I was intrigued when dining at my future husband's house where his mother served Rouladden. Let me tell you, the aromas were wonderful! Bacon, onion, and mustard filled the top round meat rolls that would be browned and simmered until fork tender. My mother-in-law accompanied these gems with mashed potatoes, burnt green beans (an inside joke--mom ALWAYS burned the beans), and spoonsful of delicious gravy. My husband, his father, and sister would count the toothpicks at the end of the meal to see who ate the most and which person deserved the last....and this remaining rouladden on the platter usually got split or speared by the fastest fork. I've now made these for many a Christmas dinner, since my sons enjoy them, too.

This weekend, I had an urge for brasciole. They are the Italian equivalent of Rouladden, or vice-versa depending on your ethnicity. Mom always used egg and breadcrumbs in hers; I omitted the egg and used a filling of chopped sundried tomatoes, freshly grated Parm cheese, fresh breadcrumbs from an Italian loaf, and pesto. I combined the rolled and browned rolls in the "gravy" (The Italian word for sauce), along with some country pork chops. Though I've come to love Rouladden, there's just nothing like the aromas coming from a pot of gravy....and knowing that this homemade Italian staple would be served with my Eggplant Parmigiana. An antipasto started this meal that was truly a delicious comfort food for me.