Thursday, 27 November 2014

Rice pudding with chestnuts

Probably many of you have noticed that I'm not a sweet-toothed person, and when it comes to Spanish food I definitely prefer salty, savory dishes over sweets. So, there are only few recipes for traditional Spanish desserts on the blog, because I'm not really into flan, crema catalana, arroz con leche or natillas....well, maybe with the exception of rice pudding (arroz con leche). My first memories of this sweet rice are from already mentioned on this blog little family run hotel in Andalusian town Laujar de Andarax, where I spend some months at the beginning of my Spanish adventure, working and learning Spanish. Rice pudding was prepared there at least once a week. On these days I was waiting for the empty pot, to eat the remains of slightly burnt, dense and still hot rice pudding. This rice, often eaten with my finger, was absolutely the best:). This dessert is quite a filling one, so I do not recommend it straight after the main meal. For me, it tastes best for breakfast or with afternoon tea or coffee. I'm sure that eating it on empty or nearly empty stomach you will certainly appreciate its delicious taste:). 

Ingredients (serves 2):

60 g short-grain rice
60 g peeled chestnuts
600 ml whole milk
60 g sugar
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


How to peel chestnuts:

1. Rinse the chestnuts, then cut an ''x'' into the shell of each nut. Boil some water in a saucepan. Take the pan off the heat, then place the chestnuts in hot water for about 3-4 minutes. Remove and peel still hot chestnuts taking care to remove the inner skin from the crevices in the chestnuts.
2. Set a microwave to the highest power. Put rinsed and cut chestnuts on a plate and place them in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds. Peel still hot.

Put the rice into a pot (preferably with a thick bottom). Add peeled and cut into pieces chestnuts, cinnamon stick and lemon zest. Pour the milk and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to very low and cook, stirring constantly, for about 40 minutes. Add sugar and cook for about 10 more minutes, stirring constantly. Just before removing the rice from the heat, add the butter and mix well. Remove the cinnamon stick and lemon zest from the pot. Pour the rice into bowls and sprinkle with cinnamon. Leave to cool and then put in the refrigerator. Serve cold.


Due to the fact that every rice is different, the cooking time may be shorter or longer. When done, the pudding should be fairly pouring. The rice shouldn't consume the milk completely, because then, after cooling, the pudding will be too thick and dry.  


Enjoy !!!

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