February 14, 2010

A New Experience!

For the first time in my life, I got to taste Durian this weekend! I have read and heard so much about the King of Fruits and was really excited to taste it. I bought frozen durian during my last visit to St. Louis and was actually surprised to find fresh ones in Madison. Alfred Russell Wallace said "to eat Durians is a new sensation worth a voyage to the East to experience", though I am glad that I didnt have to travel all the way to Indonesia / Malaysia to eat them, the experience has been wonderful nonetheless! And no, my kitchen nor my fridge is stinking.

I have been holding the durian for a while now, waiting for a good recipe, in which I can cook the durian, instead of having it raw and have issues of odor. Finally this week I decided to go for a jelly instead of a pastry cream on my first attempt. I am saving the pastry cream recipe for the second durian still in the freezer. Here is my recipe for the jelly: Defrost the durian in a plastic bag, mash it to a smooth paste in the food processor along with coconut cream and a little milk. In a separate pan, bring to boil - water, milk, powdered sugar and agar (proportions will vary with amount of durian used). Once the mixture starts to thicken, add the durian paste, bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes. Then, either whisk the mixture over an ice-bath for a couple of minutes before pouring into a mold or pour directly into a wet mold. Let it set in the fridge, and serve the next day! I sprinkled a lot of shredded coconut in one of the molds.

For the first serving, I made a watermelon jelly and poured it one top of the durian jelly after it had set a bit. And for tonight's dessert, I tossed together strawberries, walnuts, almonds, raisins, cranberries in ginger honey & agave nectar and plated this along with the durian jelly. It was so yummy!

I am total durian fan now. And I love that my Cooking the World challenge is motivitaing me for a lot more new experiences with food, right from the comfort of my kitchen.
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