Sunday, February 05, 2006

Comfort Food with Presence

I've always assumed that semolina is similar to rice pudding - one of those stodgily traditional British desserts, to which English people have an extraordinary attachment, but everyone else finds just a little bit odd.

263. Baked Semolina

This recipe directly follows bread and milk in the "Comfort Food" section of the One & Two chapter, but is much, much better. According to the instructions on the packet, making ordinary sweet semolina porridge necessitates stirring it over heat for 2 hours!! Nigella's recipe for baked semolina, thankfully, requires no such feats of endurance, and "is just a snip above" the stirred variety.

You start by whisking semolina into hot milk, and then stirring it over heat for about 10 minutes until thickened. Then let it cool, and fold in egg yolk, vanilla sugar and a whisked egg white, before baking it in a buttered dish for about 40 minutes.

The recipe serves 2 and is supposed to be baked in a 500ml capacity dish, but as I was only making it for myself, I halved all quantities and baked it in a 250ml ramekin. (I didn't halve the "1 egg yolk", because I forgot to, and impatiently mixed the whole thing into my semolina. It didn't seem to have any disastarous effect.

Fabulously, upon baking, the little homey-sounding pudding rose up into an impressive soufflé-type thing.


How good does that look? I reckon I could easily sell these at a trendy eatery for nostalgically minded, rich yet culinarily-challenged customers at $12 a pop, just like they do with mac & cheese in New York City.

And it tasted good too. I tried the pudding with honey, and with strawberry jam. Both are nice, but neither is strictly necessary. The pudding is lovely as it is.

Warning: Eating a piping hot, honey-drenched semolina pudding balanced precariously on one knee, with a cup of coffee in the opposite hand, sitting at the computer, watching a hysterical episode of I'm Alan Partridge, is not a good idea.


Lotta said...

That looks good! :)

I wonder if our semolina is different from the kind Nigella uses because to make semolina porridge from you only have to cook it for about 10 minutes!!

augustusgloop said...

Yum. That looks sooooo good!