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Possibly the best rice pudding I’ve ever had at Sidewalk Cafe

Posted on June 25, 2012 by in rice

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Parmesan Rice Pudding

I love the creaminess of rice pudding, I also love the fact that it is not so overly sweet as I am not a fan of sweet desserts, maybe with the exception of Malva Pudding, so when I saw rice pudding on the menu at Sidewalk Cafe, I was a happy camper, until my daughter pointed out to me that it was …….
indeed a savory rice pudding, in other words risotto which is also one of my all time favorite meals. At first I was somewhat confused  at the thought of a savory rice pudding, but the idea grew on me and when the dish finally arrived, I was so ready to tug in…..
I was in love, every bite was just so delicious with all the different textures from the sun-dried tomatoes and the toasted nuts and in between mouthfuls of the creamy risotto…heaven on a plate! I think the idea just worked, but all honor goes to Kholiswa Loze, sous chef at Sidewalk Cafe.

I was invited to the annual Chefs Showcase at the Sidewalk Cafe and according to Richard Griffin, managing director of Madam Zingara Group: “The stakes are even higher this time round.We’ve opened the competition to all the chefs in our restaurants; from sous chef to griller, whereas previously the executive chefs were the only ones in the spotlight. They will each have to prepare their own menu and impress a panel of judges to secure a spot in the final six contenders.”
In this competition, the top six chefs will showcase their specially crafted menus over breakfast, lunch and dinner for a one week period each at The Sidewalk Café. “This is probably the hardest part of the challenge as the chef’s have to impress a pretty tough crowd; the diners,” says Griffin. “Not only do they have to blow the diner’s minds away with their culinary skills but also interact with them and share their thinking behind the dishes in an effort to gain more votes – all this while they keep the kitchen running like a well-oiled machine.
Last year I visited the same restaurant and I am glad to report that this time it was better, service was better, food was better and the chef’s food was really flavorful!
I also visited Cafe Paradiso( also part of the Madame Zingara Group) last year and you can read all about it here
We enjoyed a 7 course menu and although my family all had their own particular favorites, the one course that stood out for me, was the Parmesan Rice Pudding and this is my version of it……

Parmesan Rice Pudding 
serves 4

3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion – very finely chopped
1 clove of garlic – crushed
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
250 gr mushrooms – chopped and sauteed in butter ( I like a selection of wild mushrooms)
50 gr sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil – drained and chopped
a knob of butter
125 ml grated Parmesan cheese
125 ml roasted mixed nuts – chopped roughly
Pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Keep liquid hot. In a large, heavy saucepan over low heat, heat oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until white spots appear in the center of the grains, about 1 minute. Add the wine and stir until absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Add one ladleful of the hot stock, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Continue adding the stock, one ladleful at a time and stirring constantly, until the rice is just tender but slightly firm in the center and the mixture is creamy, 20-25 minutes longer. Stir in the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes and lastly fold in the cheese and the knob of butter. Serve immediately with a handful of nuts scattered over the top.
The 2nd Annual Chef’s Showcase will run for six weeks starting from 5 June 2012. Watch the press for more details or visit
More risotto recipes 


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2 Responses to “Possibly the best rice pudding I’ve ever had at Sidewalk Cafe”

  1. Cooking Foody - Christie-Anne 26 June 2012 at 8:47 am #

    Hi Nina dit lyk werklik waar ongelooflik! Gaan dit definitief so gou as moontlik maak en proe!

  2. Nina 26 June 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Baie dankie, so jammer ek kon dit nie maak terwyl julle hier was nie!!!Volgende keer!!

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