The wind has been blustery today in Richmond, Va. Gusts up to 55 mph have me cowering at home, almost believing that something was going to fly into the window any minute.
Not to mention that it had been raining all morning, pretty heavily at times. But I think I prefer the wet weather to this rafter-shaking kind.
As I listen to the wind chime’s melody, my thoughts took me back to the days when I was a student. We do not have hurricanes in the Philippines- we had typhoons. Our city was equipped with a huge siren that can be heard all over. Whenever there was an impeding storm, I would lie awake at 6am waiting for the storm signals. Two wails by the sirens meant that classes were suspended. These were the days when I become so excited – the days when I could sleep late snuggled cozily under my blanket. Because we lived in a solidly built concrete building, I loved hearing the wind howl away then. We would watch store signs flap crazily in the wind until it would hurtle down the street or be carried away by strong water current. Of course, one time it was our own restaurant sign that got torn apart by the vicious storm and that was not fun to watch. In some strange way, I even looked forward to the loss of electricity (maybe because I knew it was inevitable).
This meant playing cards by candlelight, or swapping ghost stories, but the most enjoyable part is that bowl of Filipino chocolate rice pudding we call champorado that tasted the best during days like this! It tastes great as breakfast but I loved it more as an afternoon snack.
The recipe I have here is not champorado but is quite similar. It is a simple recipe but takes a while to cook. Be sure to use bittersweet chocolate!
Chocolate Risotto Pudding
· 3 cups milk
· ½ cup sugar
· 2 tbs. butter, divided
· 1 tbs. vanilla bean paste (or extract)
· 1 cup Arborio rice
· 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
· 1 tbs. chopped hazelnut
· small piece white chocolate, shaved for garnish
Bring milk, sugar and vanilla to a bare simmer and keep it hot.
Heat a tablespoon of butter in large saucepan over moderate heat. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring until the rice is hot about 1 minute. Begin adding the hot milk 1 cup at a time, stirring often. Continue adding the milk until the previous addition has been absorbed. Adjust heat to maintain a nice simmer. It will take about 20 minutes for the rice to be tender and al dente. It is possible that you may not need all the milk. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the remaining butter and chopped chocolate. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnut and shaved white chocolate for garnish.
It took about 30-35 minutes for my Arborio rice to become al dente. It looks like risotto does not soften as quickly with milk as it does with broth. I skipped the white chocolate preferring a splash of heavy cream instead to garnish.