domingo, 5 de abril de 2015
RICE PUDDING (ARROZ CON LECHE)
And to celebrate Eastern with you we want to share one of our favorites recipes Rice Pudding, which is delicious and very sweet :-) Along with French toast and fried milk, the favorite dessert to enjoy during Holy Week is rice pudding. It is very soft, creamy and sweet, accompanied by a glass of anise ;-) Although this rich dessert is prepared and eaten throughout the year, it is during this week when it is prepared in every house, almost as if it were an obligation. When my mother prepares it, the aroma coming from the kitchen takes us back to our childhood and Holy Week. And now we will learn a little more about this dessert and its tradition. As we read in the blog Blog.20minutos.es, ... If we would travel around Spain from one end to the other end, you would see how we have different types of sweets in each province, that are cooked during these dates (French toast, Lenten fritters, rice pudding, pestiños...) all quite high in calories. But the mass consumption of sweets during these days was something specific and exclusive to Holy Week and Lent (the forty day period from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos)). Centuries ago it was mandatory during Lent to perform acts of sacrifice and penitence known as 'fasting' and 'abstinence'. Fasting consisted of consuming one main meal a day (except Sundays) during the period of Lent and this was obligatory to all those persons who had reached the age of seven (currently it is from age 14) to 59. Also exempted were those who were sick or women who had just given birth. Moreover, abstinence marked the prohibition of eating meat any Friday during the duration of Lent. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday were the days in which both fasting and abstinence should be practiced. During those days, it was allowed to eat small portions of food that were made with eggs, milk (which was made from almonds, so as not to have animal content), flour or honey, and it was a generous energy source, especially for those workers who had to endure long working hours (which lasted from dawn to dusk) with a single meal in the body. Today, while fewer people follow the strict sacrifice and penitance guidelines (in comparison to past) and we don't need that extra energy that supplies extra calories to go all day without eating, the custom of preparing homemade sweets has become a characteristic tradition of Holy Week. And here's the recipe from my mother, which needs to be made with ample time, patience and love ! INGREDIENTS • 1 heaped Cup (250 grs.) Round Rice • 8 1/2 Cups (2 litres) of Whole Milk • 6 Tablespoons White Sugar • 2 Sticks Cinnamon • Peel from 1 Lemon • 1 Pat of Butter • 2 Tablespoons of Cream • 1 Pinch of Salt • 1 Splash of Anise • Cinnamon powder HOW TO PREPARE: • In a tall pot we are going to start heating a liter (4 1/4 cups) of milk and once it starts boiling we will add the rice, the lemon peel (trying to avoid the white skin part because it is bitter) and cinnamon sticks. * We reduce the heat to medium and begin to stir it so that the ingredients come together and also so that the milk does not stick to the pot. • Little by little, we will be adding another liter (4 1/4 cups) of milk that we previously heated. • The total cooking time will be 45 minutes. • Ten minutes before the end of cooking we will add the butter, the cream and the sugar, and we will continue stirring, especially now since sugar gets very easily sticky. • And finally we add the splash of anise which will give a very rich taste to our rice. • It is time now to distribute the rice with milk in different bowls, we use earthenware bowls, sprinkle with a little cinnamon powder and we recommend letting it cool to be served at the table :-) And you can already see how tasty it is. Take your spoon and we are sure that you can not stop eating ;-) Looking forward, as always, to hearing from you to see how it turned out. Have a very Happy Eastern with family and friends !