After checking out a few recipes, The Boy gave his seal of approval to the version from the new Joy of Cooking. It came out quite differently from previous versions I’d tried, since the rice and black eyed peas are cooked separately before the two are stirred together to cook a wee bit longer.
Want the recipe? Look it up. I can’t afford the cost of reprinting without permission. :)
Honestly, if you don’t have a copy of Joy, what the hell are you waiting for? While I rarely actually cook from it, it’s worth its weight in gold just as a reference tool – it really is the definitive tome as far as how long things should be cooked and how best to prepare just about anything (even turtle.. honest!)
…and for dessert, I figured we might as well do something with those umpteen boxes of phyllo leftover from the other New Year (y’know, the Jewish one).
Phyllo Cups with Dulce de Leche and Spiced Apples
1 can condensed milk
4 sheets phyllo pastry, thawed
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 apples, preferably MacIntosh or Granny Smith
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup brandy
DULCE: Pierce two small holes into the top of can of condensed milk. Place can, pierced side up, in a pan and fill with boiling water until can is 3/4 immersed. Simmer over low heat for 2.5 hours, periodically refillling the pan as the water boils away.
PHYLLO CUPS: Preheat oven to 375F.
Lay out the four sheets of phyllo under a damp towel. Place one sheet of phyllo onto your work surface, brush with melted butter, and repeat with remaining sheets until all four are stacked and brushed with butter. Cut into 12 equal squares (this can be done with two cuts from the short side and three from the wide side).
Line six large muffin cups with two squares of phyllo dough, offsetting the edges to make a cup. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
(Both the dulce and phyllo cups can be prepared up to two days in advance. Cups should be stored at room temperature in an airtight container, while the dulce should be removed from the tin and refrigerated.)
SPICED APPLES: Cut the apples into quarters. Peel and core. Thinly slice each quarter.
In a skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium-high heat. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add apples and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until they are lightly browned and beginning to soften. Remove pan from heat and pour in brandy, then return to heat and cook for 5 minutes or until apples are very soft.
ASSEMBLY: Fill each phyllo cup with a couple spoonfuls of dulce de leche. Divide warm apple mixture evenly between the filled cups. Serve immediately, garnished with a sprinkling of cinnamon and icing sugar if desired.