Elevenses, Dinner For Two, Sweet Things, Nordic Love
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Scandinavian Rice Porridge Three Ways

I slowly roll the porridge around my mouth, feeling carefully for the prized almond before biting down. Cautious bite after cautious bite, I wryly think that this is one way to force someone to eat slowly. Whoever finds the single blanched almond hidden in the porridge receives a reward of a marzipan pig. And I want it. Tor doesn’t even like marzipan all that much. I’m nearing the end of my bowl, and no almond presents itself. I really don’t want to take seconds, but am considering it when I notice a slight smile stealing onto Tor’s face. He holds up the almond, which, as it turns out, he found early on and had been squirreling away, silently and joyously observing my slow, vigilant eating.

Porridge

Christmas Porridge

This recipe for Christmas Porridge should make enough to serve two for dinner, with enough leftovers for both the baked pudding and the rice cream. If you’re only making the porridge, it serves six.

Ingredients

300g (3.5 dl or 1 1/2 cups) Grötris (porridge rice); substitute short or round grain rice if needed
3 dl (1 1/4 cups) water
¼ teaspoon salt
1.75 L (7 1/3 cups) milk
seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
1.5 dl (2/3 cup) crème fraiche
1 blanched almond (optional)
marzipan pig, or other prize (optional)
Cinnamon, white sugar, and butter, for serving

Directions

Bring rice, water, and salt to a boil and stir until most of the water is absorbed. Add the milk, vanilla seeds, and salt; stir, cover, and turn the heat to medium. Stir every 5- 10 minutes until it begins to simmer. Turn the heat to low, keep covered, and stir every 10-15 minutes until the consistency becomes thick. It will take between 50 and 70 minutes, depending on the desired consistency. If you want to make Rice Cream (recipe below) for dessert, remove 2 dl (7/8 cup) per serving before adding the crème fraiche. Add the crème fraiche and blanched almond to the pot, and stir to combine. Serve with a dollop of butter in the middle of each bowl, and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and sugar.

Porridge3

Baked Meringue Rice Pudding

This makes a great brunch addition. The recipe for four servings calls for only two egg whites—the yolks are added to the rice—which only makes enough meringue for two of the four ramekins. I find that some people like the meringue, and some don’t. If you want every serving to have meringue, and don’t mind the extra yolks hanging around, double the meringue ingredients.

Ingredients

6 dl (2 1/2 cups) leftover Christmas porridge
120ml (1/2 cup) milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
zest of two clementines or tangerines
three eggs (two divided)
60 ml (1/4 cup) white sugar
slivered almonds
clementine or tangerine wedges
blackberries (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 180C/355F. Get ready four 2.5 dl (1 cup) capacity ramekins

Combine porridge, milk, cloves, zest, egg and 2 egg yolk, and stir to combine. Divide evenly between ramekins.

Whisk 2 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add sugar, whisking until soft peaks form. Spoon or pipe over two ramekins, going all the way to the edge. Sprinkle slivered almonds over all.

Tip: The almonds don’t get quite as toasty on the ones without meringue. If you want, after removing the ones with meringue, put those remaining under the broiler for a few seconds to brown them up.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until meringue is browned and almonds are toasted. Serve with clementine or tangerine wedges and blackberries.

Porridge5

Rice Cream

Ingredients per Serving

2 dl (7/8 cup) leftover rice porridge
1 dl (scant 1/2 cup) whipping cream
2 tablespoons raspberry, strawberry, lingonberry, or cherry jam (or fresh berries)
slivered almonds (optional)

Directions

Use 1 dl cream and 2 dl porridge for each serving you want. Keep leftover rice porridge chilled until ready to use. Whip the cream, then fold it into the porridge until well mixed and no clumps remain. Layer porridge with jam, if desired, or just put jam or berries on top. Serve with slivered almonds, if desired.

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