Just because we are in the dead of winter and the land seems barren and fruitless doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of a fruitful diet and consume only leafy greens and veggies burying themselves underground. There are winter fruits that thrive in January when your taste buds were thinking all is lost and there are no sweet fruits left in sight. Fear not; these fruits are here to sweeten your winter.
Lemons and limes. Nothing makes your food taste fresher than adding fresh citrus like lemons and limes. Use the juice and the zest to get the most intense citrus flavors. There are regular lemons and Meyer lemons, which are hybrids of lemon and orange. There are regular limes, key limes, and finger limes. Finger limes are different in that the pulp looks like tiny little beads full of tart lime flavor. Use these citrus fruits for drinks, salad dressings, or meringue pies.
Coconut–Lime Rice Pudding With Mangoes
4 Tbsp. sweetened shredded coconut
½ cup Arborio rice
2 cups water
2 cups coconut milk
⅓ cup sugar
zest of 1 lime, divided (half mixed in, half for garnish)
2 Tbsp. (divided) sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1 small ripe mango, diced
2 Tbsp. roasted almonds or unsalted cashews
Place the shredded coconut in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Shake the pan gently by the handle back and forth for 2–3 minutes to toast evenly until the coconut is golden. Set aside.
Add rice, water, coconut milk, and sugar to a medium saucepan, stirring well, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and let the rice bubble gently for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The rice should be plump and the pudding should be thick and creamy. Test the rice to make sure it is cooked through but still slightly firm.
Remove from heat. Stir in half of the lime zest and toasted coconut. Let cool slightly, place in individual serving dishes, and garnish with fresh mango, remaining toasted coconut, nuts, and a pinch of lime zest.
Want to learn how to cook delicious gourmet meals right in your own kitchen? Take one-on-one cooking lessons or give a gift to an aspiring cook you know. For more information, contact Take Home Chef personal chef services by calling 516-508-3663, writing to elke@TakeHomeChef.net, or visiting www.TakeHomeChef.net.