Stunning black rice is soaked before cooking, helping to give it a chewy bite and making it the perfect anchor for this especially satisfying dessert. The nutty whole grain rice is encased in a deep purple husk thought to contain antioxidants similar to dark berries. In Thai markets the rice and rich custard are often wrapped in pandanus leaves for the ultimate take-away treat. If you’d rather just enjoy the rice without the custard, try topping it with sliced mango.
1 cup (250 mL) black sticky/glutinous rice
2 1/2 cups (625 mL) coconut milk
2/3 cup (160 mL) coconut palm sugar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
4 large free-range eggs
Rinse rice under cool water until water runs clear. Place rice in large bowl and soak in water overnight.
Drain and place rice and 5 cups (1.25 L) water in medium-sized saucepan, bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 20 minutes.
Drain rice. Place 1 cup (250 mL) coconut milk, 1/3 cup (80 mL) palm sugar and 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt in saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Return rice to pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes.
To make custard, combine remaining coconut milk, remaining sugar, and remaining salt in small saucepan and heat over medium-low until sugar has dissolved, stirring often. Gently beat eggs in bowl and then stir into coconut mixture.
Pour mixture into 6 ramekins or similar sized heatproof bowls. Place ramekins on flat steamer tray such as bamboo; cover and steam over 3 in (7.5 cm) of simmering water for 15 minutes, or until set. (If you have a small steamer, you can do this in batches, making sure to add more water after the first batch. You can also try using a roasting or baking pan filled with about 1 in (2.5 cm) hot water that is placed in a 325 F (160 C) oven in lieu of a steamer.) Let cool and then chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It’s best to let custard sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.
To serve, scoop out custard and place on top of bowls of black rice.
Each serving contains: 372 calories; 8 g protein; 24 g total fat (19 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 36 g total carbohydrates (10 g sugars, 1 g fibre); 167 mg sodium
source: "Stir-Up Delicious Thai Food", alive #364, February 2013
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.