February 6th, 2009


The Bilbao Breakfast

This recipe is a memory of last spring when we went to the Basque country, Northern Spain for a pure stuff your face weekend. We had a table booked for dinner at the world famous Arzak (three Michelin stars) in San Sebastian. All excited and giddy like two teenagers on their first school trip, we were open to any possible form of indulgence.

We stayed in a contemporary hotel in Bilbao. We expected breakfast to be quite dull, so we thought we had better stock up on caffeine before we started sightseeing. Oh us of little faith,  as we were about to enjoy the best breakfast that we  have ever experienced. A table floating from the wall dressed with the most desirable morsels of Spanish breakfast cuisine. Passion, pride and perfectionism oozed from that table.

Amongst this entire eye catching fare was this very unusual but most memorable dish, rice pudding . As I was so pleased and surprised by this dish, I did some research that lead me to this flawless recipe. The method might perhaps look unorthodox for some of you,but  I guarantee  that it will become a gem in your recipe collection.I serve the Bilbao breakfast rice with cinnamon baked plums, delicious!

The most important benefit from this recipe is that it saves the lives of my saucepans. When I used to cook rice pudding with milk, it would stick to the pan before the rice was cooked and that meant that I would have to scrub until I was blue in the face. Fear no longer dear saucepans, this recipe is a sheer delight!

  • 200g pudding rice
  • 1L filtered tap or natural spring water
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 250ml milk
  • 20g corn flour
  • 50g unrefined caster sugar
  • Cinnamon baked plums

Place the rice, water, butter and cinnamon sticks in a medium size saucepan; bring to the boil. Once the rice is boiling turn the heat down, stir and cover with a lid. Boil for about 20 minutes until the rice is cooked. Stir occasionally, just to make sure that the rice does not stick.

In a separate bowl mix the corn flour, sugar, and milk to a smooth paste.

Once the rice is cooked, add the milk mix to the rice, bring the rice back to the boil and cook for a further 5 minutes while stirring continuously.

cinnamon_baked_plum_jarServe the warm creamed rice with cinnamon baked plums.

Makes 8 – 10 small breakfast portions

Food Fanatics Tips

The cooked creamed rice will last up to three days in the fridge providing that you cool it immediately after it was cooked. The rice will set up once cooled, if this consistency is too firm let the rice down with a bit of cold milk, stir gently until the desired  consistency is reached. The creamed rice is delicious both hot or cold. The rice is also delicious served with thyme poached apricots, home made raspberry jam or a spoon full of Seville orange and vanilla bean marmalade.

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