Friday, February 26, 2010

Mouhalabieh (Milk Pudding) With Balsamic Strawberries

There are times (plenty chez-nous) when one aches for something sweet to complete a meal. Times when the Valentines day candy stash you hid from your kids has run dry. Err...wait a minute...delete...

But given the propensity of heavy, spicy foods that you consume on a daily basis, you just need something cool and refreshing with a tinge of sweetness to refresh your palate. No heavy puddings. No gooey pastries. We'll save those for breakfast instead.

Enter Mouhalabieh - a creamy, delightful milk pudding from the Middle East that is a cinch to prepare. Milk, cornstarch and a little sugar. Boil. Cool. Eat. Lick. No-one is looking.

The following quantity is for 2 servings. Or one and a half greedy servings and a smattering for the spouse who walked in and caught you siphoning off his share.
But that totally didn't happen tonight.

(Middle Eastern Milk Custard)

Mouhalabieh For Two
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp sugar
2 heaped tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp rose water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Combine milk, cornstarch and sugar in a saucepan, whisk to remove lumps and bring to boil over medium heat whilst stirring.
2. Add vanilla extract and let the milk come to a full boil. Remove from heat. Mixture should have a thick consistency now.
3. Add the rose water.
4. Strain into two small dessert bowls or moulds. Let cool and refrigerate.

And now to kick up this dessert a notch further, I paired it with a few strawberries that had been doused in balsamic vinegar.


I was really intimidated by the balsamic vinegar because of its "Eau De Gym Locker Room" aroma. And I begrudgingly splashed a few drops on the ripe strawberries thinking "Well, gotta try it at least once!"

Atta girl! I love how the sweet strawberries enveloped the tart vinegar and you get some sort of magical reaction of sweet and tart. It ratcheted up strawberry's sexiness to another planetary level.
What a delightful combination and why did I not try this before I dumbfoundedly pondered as I shoved in a few more strawberries into my mouth.

But while I wax eloquent about Balsamic Strawberries giving Victoria's Secret models a run for their money, I will note that the husband was not entirely pleased with them and thought the vinegar detracted from the strawberries usual wholesome selves.

But I think he was just mad that I ate his share of the pudding.

Balsamic Strawberries
5 strawberries, hulled and sliced.
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar

1. Sprinkle sugar on strawberries.
2. Splash balsamic vinegar on the strawberries. Mix and let rest a few minutes. Use as an accompaniment to dessert.



Joanne said...

Strawberries and balsamic are such a winning combination. Thanks so much for all of these entries! You are a Middle Eastern food MACHINE. And I really am grateful for that. Because everything looks so delicious. I think the best part about hosting this is now I'm going to have five gazillion new recipes to try!

tasteofbeirut said...

I applaud your restraint with the sugar on this muhallabiyeh; and great idea to combine it with strawberries and balsamic!
Have you found a butcher yet?

Chef Aimee said...

Lovely...the rose water makes all the difference, doesnt it?

Deeba PAB said...

This is very nice and just so unusual! Lovely!!

Saveurs et Gourmandises said...

Je découvre un blog plein de bonnes recettes.
Je reviendrai.
A bientôt.

Ann said...

@Joanne - OK thanks, because I was borderline obsessed with Middle Eastern food at this stage, your event fit perfectly!

@Joumana - it was such a lovely, light dessert. Speaking of butchering, I hope I didn't "butcher" the spelling of it :-)! And as for real butchers, some people have directed me to some Halal stores on the Westheimer side of Houston. its pretty far from where I live, but I'm up for the adventure!

@Aimee - yup, the rosewater is a real refreshing touch!

@Deeba - thanks for stopping by!

@Saveurs - merci beaucoup de visiter mon "blog"!! =)

Chow and Chatter said...

wow love this great blog, thanks so much for stopping by mine Rebecca

tasteofbeirut said...

Just to let you know : I am an die-hard fan of Super Target; I buy everything there including my clothes and my daughter's.
Are you going to do the Saudi challenge>?

Nags said...

ok i can't pronounce this name but i think it sounds gorgeous, especially balsamic strawberries!

Jaya Wagle said...

Girl, while I have been away from the blogs, you have been cooking up a storm and getting more risque' with your writing (The bread post, below).

Balsamic and strawberries, sounds like everyone's fav combo. I have only had it with tomatoes and mozerrella. Got to get me some BV. Which brand do you use?