It's cold. And by cold I mean temperatures as low as -25°C during the day. Add some wind and it feels more like -40°C. The last two weeks or so have been challenging. For example, keeping your face (and especially your nose!) warm is the no. 1 problem when it comes to leaving the house. Your eyelashes will basically freeze. That may even look cute but it doesn't feel very nice. You'll also find yourself entering a fancy department store in not-so-approriate clothes but end up thinking "Oh whatever! It's freakin' cold outside. Deal with it." Busses and trains won't work as they're supposed to (I'm talking about calcelled trains and bus doors that won't open unless the driver gives them a good kick). You can't use your mobile phone either because it just stops working in a matter of minutes and finally the battery dies. Oh, and let's not forget that your fingers will fall off if you try to use your touch screen. On the other hand, it's never as gorgeous outside as on bitter cold winter days when the sky is blue, the sun shines, and snow covered trees turn the forests into magical winter wonderlands.
I guess many of you agree that there's a special kind of comfortness in bowl foods. Maybe it's because they're so easy to eat on the sofa, wrapped up in a huge woolen blanket. Or maybe because they're often pretty flavorful yet simple dishes.
When winter hits hard, it's nice to enjoy a warm breakfast. Porridge is a popular breakfast item in the Nordic countries and many of us enjoy a bowl of oatmeal every single morning. I'm not that kind of a person but I still enjoy having porridge for breakfast every now and then. I especially love rice porridge. Sometimes I serve it with sugar, cinnamon, and milk only but sometimes I top it with caramelized fruit. In today's recipe I've made caramelized cinnamon plums but you could substitute the plums with whatever fruit you like the most, such as apples, pears, or peaches.
Comfort in a bowl. I hope you like it.
Nordic Rice Porridge with Caramelized Plums
As I mentioned above, you can substitute the plums with whatever fruit fits your taste or the season the best. The porridge itself isn't sweetened at all but you can of course add some sugar if you want to.
for the porridge:
a knob of butter
1 dl (½ cup) water
85 g (1 dl; ½ cup) short-grain white rice
500 ml (2 ¼ cups) whole milk
¼ tsp fine sea salt
for the plums:
2 tbsp butter
2 plums, pitted & sliced into wedges
2 tbsp (demerera) sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
sugar & cinnamon
In a small heavy-bottomed pot, melt the knob of butter. Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the rice. Boil for a couple of minutes, or until the water is completely absorbed. Stir every now and then. Add the milk and cook over low heat for about 40 minutes, or until the rice grains are tender and the porridge is creamy. Remember to stir the porridge regularly to avoid burning and sticking to the bottom.
While the porridge is cooking, make the caramelized cinnamon plums. In a medium-sized frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the plum wedges, sugar, and cinnamon. Cook for around 2 minutes on each side, or until soft and caramelized. Set aside.
When the porridge is ready, add the salt. If you like your porridge sweet, you can add sugar to taste. Serve with the caramelized cinnamon plums.