This recipe has been contributed by the exceptionally talented James Sherwin, who not only treats the good folk of Shrewsbury to fantastic food, but also showed us all a thing or two on The Taste with Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain and Ludo Lefebvre.
Rice pudding with stem ginger and black pepper.
I came up with this recipe when preparing for "The Taste" . We had been set the challenge of "comfort food"
My immediate thought turned to rice pudding, memories of being a child at my grandma's house fighting over the skin and stirring in a spoon of strawberry jam until the whole dish turned pink resonated with me. However, I was doing an adult take on it by adding spice and alcohol to make it less babyfood and more indulgent decadence.
For a while I struggled with the simplicity of the dish, was I really going to impress notorious pudding hater Anthony Bourdain and the "Frenchest" man on the planet with a simple, if jazzed up, rice pudding?
The recipe is incredibly easy; the difference between this rice pudding and a normal one is that it's made on the hob in a good pan and treated with the same love and attention that you'd give a risotto.
A large heavy bottomed Netherton Foundry casserole dish
Large glass bowl
300g stem ginger plus juice it comes in
400g pudding rice
1litre of full fat milk
1 glass of dry white wine preferably an Italian Soave
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
50g unsalted butter
100mls condensed milk
100 mls double cream
1 Vanilla pod
Pinch of salt
4-5 cherries per serving
1 tbs vegetable oil
Process for the rice.
1. Start by making the cooking liquid. Add the stem ginger, the seeds from the vanilla pod and the milk into the liquidiser and blitz until smooth. Strain through a sieve just in case there are any large pieces of ginger left.
2. Warm liquid in a pan but don't boil.
3. Add oil to the casserole dish, heat, add the rice and cook until rice is translucent.
4. When translucent, add the wine and boil away the alcohol.
5. When the alcohol has boiled away add a pinch of salt and a ladleful of the milky cooking liquid. This is where it is treated in the same way as a risotto, add a ladleful at a time and stir continuously, always clockwise, according to the Italians it encourages more starch out of the risotto and makes a creamier dish.
6. When the rice is all cooked through, take off the heat, add the butter, double cream and condensed milk and leave to sit for a few minutes.
7. Stir and add the juice of a lemon to cut through all the richness and serve.
Process for the Cherries
1. Cut cherries in half, add to a bowl with a sprinkle of brown sugar and a very generous glug of Kirsch. Leave to marinate for an hour.
2. After an hour, drain the cherries (but reserve the liquid) and place under a hot grill for a few minutes until caramelised.
3. Take reserved marinating liquid and put in a hot pan, boil down until syrupy.
Now assemble the dessert, put a very large helping of the rice pudding into a bowl, sprinkle liberally with freshly ground black pepper, place a few cherry halves on top and drizzle a little of the kirsch syrup on top.
This dessert is incredibly simple to make but hugely rewarding.
It's perfect following that really rubbish day at work or a stressful day with the kids. Enjoy!
Many thanks, James.