Monday, January 28, 2008

January 20, 2008: Caribbean rice dessert

As Michael hinted in his last post, the Caribbean-themed wraps we enjoyed for dinner were chosen to match this Caribbean rice dessert. The dessert is January's featured recipe in our World In Your Kitchen 2008 calendar. I must admit that I'm not a big fan of rice desserts (this one excepted) and the Caribbean treatment didn't do much to sway me. I liked the sweet buttered nuts and coconut, but there just wasn't enough of them! The mixture was fairly dry and bland, but perked up with a few cherries on top. (Not only are they in season, but a bit of internet research revealed them to be appropriate to the theme.)

Here are three ways that I might alter the recipe for future use:
1. Halve the amount of rice. This'll up the flavour with a greater density of sweet, buttery fruit and nuts.
2. Fresh fruit on the side. I already sorted this out the first time around, and I think it's essential.
3. Use the rice as a savoury side. Retaining the original proportions of rice to flavourings, this is a cute (if less healthy) alternative to plain rice, much like a peshwari naan. In fact, we poured a dhal over the second half of the rice and couldn't get enough of it. It's neither Caribbean nor Indian, but it's good.

Caribbean rice dessert

225g rice
6 brazil nuts, chopped
1 tablespoon sultanas
1/2 - 1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut

In a saucepan, cover the rice with hot water and add half the coconut. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and cook for 10-15 minutes until done. Drain the rice.

In a large pan, melt the butter. Fry the nuts, sultanas, sugar and remaining coconut for a couple of minutes, until golden and fragrant. Add the drained rice, combine well, and serve.

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