Cashew and Coconut Rice Pudding with Cashew Pica Colada

So here I am sitting on the beach in Caye Caulker Belize, watching the tide roll in and reflecting upon life, the universe, and everything “some Douglas Adams may have seeped into my thoughts from a novel I am reading”   As per usual I am going to roll with it and find a way to string my thoughts into a recipe.

So here is the thing about life, it is vastly more complex, beautiful, surreal, and amazing than any of us can comprehend.  We rely on our senses, for some primarily the sense of self to come to terms with this.  Last night I was reminded of a thought that I had back in the way back while watching HITCHHILERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY.  Not an epiphany, it wasn’t a life altering thought, something I had always known, just needed one of those all to rare moments of clarity to construct it into a fully conscious thought”.
“The answer Bletty well isn’t 42, it’s yes!”  These words resonated deep into my soul “yes at the time I was in love and this metaphor was the sweet liquor from which my heart would intoxicate itself with again and again.  I also took from it this; on the road of life in those rare moments of clarity when we ask ourselves a question to which the answer can only be yes or no.  The answer is more often than not yes!  Perhaps this is just my rambunctious overly thoughtful mind.  But I think we say no to things a lot easier than we say yes; we evolved to be cautious individuals.  Understandably so, we can’t go through life saying yes at every crossroad, though if you where to say no at every crossroad you would probably live a long boring life.  We evolved to have higher faculties of reasoning, so that we could tackle the problems that come with having higher intelligence.  Problems that we could not rely on self preservation to answer for us.  No is inherently easy for us, it is rooted in our primal brain and centuries of evolution, it requires no deep thought “pun intended”.  I strive to be comfortable with myself and my decisions, to live with a sense of wonder and amazement, and to never let those moments of clarity pass by unnoticed.
So what does this have to do with rice pudding, well last night I was inquiring with myself whether or not I wanted to continue in the pastry industry.  Maybe it was the laid back island vibes, or maybe vacations just have a way of making one rethink their life.  But I found myself questioning my career path, needless to say I decided to continue on my chosen path, I am one year away from having my food truck off the ground and hopefully career freedom.  So this morning with a reinvigorated passion and a spring in my step I went to the grocery store with no idea what to make other than it had to be made with a hot plate “as this is all I have to cook with”.  I wandered around assembling a dessert in my head;  I came up with this simple Belize inspired rice pudding using local ingredients.
On with the show!
Yields 4 portions
Caribbean Rum          2 tbs
Coca Cola                     1/4 cup
Mango                           1
Water                            1 cup
Cashew Fruit              1
Shredded Coconut    1/4 cup
Arborio Rice               1/2 cup

Butter                           3tbs

Start by cutting the rind away from the coconut meat “I had local coconut expert Coco Loco to help with this”.  Grate the coconut meat as fine as possible into your sauce pot “try to keep both halves of the coconut intact so you can use them for plating”.  remove the cashew seed from the fruit “the seed can be eaten but it must be properly roasted first to remove the acidic oil”.  The cashew fruit has a unique sweet, nutty, and yet acidic flavour that is unlike anything I have ever tasted, it ads a unique depth of flavour but could easily overpower a dish.  Remove the skin from the cashew, finely chop it and place it in the pot, do the same with both mangoes.  Place all the other ingredients in the pot except the butter and bring to a  boil, reduce to a simmer and stir periodically until the orzo is aldente “roughly 20 minutes”.  Mix in the butter until completely melted, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cool.
Serve chilled in the coconut shell with a refreshing  Cashew wine Pina Colada; find the recipe below.
Yields 4
Ice                        2 cups
Coconut Milk    1 cup
Honey                 2tbs
Cashew Wine    8tbs
Cinnamon          a pinch
All Spice             a pinch
Salt                      a pinch
pina colada

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