26 Jun 2010, Posted by admin in EAT + DRINK, 0 Comments
Tapioca. One of my dad’s favorites. The instant version, cooked into a homemade vanilla pudding (mom’s). Great stuff, and then I tasted pudding made with whole tapioca pearls. Not as big as those in boba drinks, but big enough for a bit of chew. Really good chew. Though I have to admit I still like a cup of cafeteria tapioca every once in a while.
Judging by the stiff lingo in this story (and the title: “Sensuous, with a Smooth New Style” — seriously?), you’d think this was my first LA Times story (actually I think it was my second). Ah, good old 2006. There were, at one point, some beautiful photos to go with the recipes. And tapioca pearls spilling out of my pantry. Actually, I still have two packages back in there somewhere from testing recipes. I guess they’re not quite in the “not that old” category that I thought they were, but those tapioca recipes were really good. Ya, ya, throwing out those boxes now.
Here’s a recipe flashback from the story. It sounds more complicated to make than it is. Even just the tapioca pudding by itself is great. It’s amazing what whole pearls and a vanilla bean will do to that cafeteria pudding.
From: “Sensuous, with a Smooth New Style,” by Jenn Garbee, October 4, 2006, Los Angeles Times Food section.
Tapioca with peaches and mint
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes, plus 1 hour standing time and 24 hours soaking time
Note: From Danielle Keene, Wilshire Restaurant, Santa Monica, CA. Large tapioca pearls are available at select Whole Foods (Islands brand) and well-stocked supermarkets. This recipe calls for soaking the tapioca for 24 hours. [NOTE: Danielle Keene now has her own bakeshop, Bittersweet).
Citrus macerated peaches
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1/2 lemon)
1/2 teaspoon orange zest (about 1/2 orange)
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice (about 1/2 orange)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon white wine
6 large mint leaves, sliced
thinly in a chiffonade
2 cups thinly sliced ( 1/4 -inch) ripe yellow peaches, peeled and pitted (about 2 peaches)
1. In a medium bowl, combine the lemon and orange zest, orange juice, sugar, white wine and mint. Add the peaches. Let sit 1 hour until the sugar is dissolved and the peaches have softened slightly. Remove the peaches, reserving the liquid, and refrigerate them until ready to serve.
2. Pour the liquid into a small saucepan and simmer, over low heat, until the liquid has a syrup consistency and is slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.
Tapioca pudding and assembly
1/2 cup large tapioca pearls
2 3/4 cups whole milk, divided
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1. Soak the tapioca for 24 hours in 1 cup of the milk, in the refrigerator.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the tapioca-milk mixture with the remaining milk, vanilla bean and sugar. Heat to simmering then cook on medium-low, stirring constantly, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until thickened and the tapioca is cooked through (taste a tapioca pearl — it should not be at all crunchy). Discard the vanilla bean.
3. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it into a bowl set over an ice bath. Place plastic wrap directly onto the pudding surface and let stand until chilled.
4. Whip the cream to medium-soft peaks and gently fold it into the pudding mixture. Refrigerate until completely chilled. To serve, spoon the pudding into bowls. Top with the chilled sliced peaches and spoon the syrup on top of and around the peaches.