ROZ BEL LABAN
1 cup rice
2¼ cups water
3½ cups whole milk
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon orange blossom water or vanilla
½ teaspoon rose water, orange blossom water, or vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Serves 6. Takes 1 hours 45 minutes.
Add rice and water to pot, Set heat to low-medium and simmer for 12 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning. (Always, in this recipe, add water or milk if the liquid in the pot dries up.)
While rice simmers, add milk and sugar to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Add to pot. Simmer at medium heat for 12 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken. Stir constantly. Add allspice, orange blossom water, and rose water. Simmer at medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture has thickened and rices softens and becomes creamy. Gently spoon rice mixture into individual serving bowls. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour or until pudding sets. Sprinkle cinnamon over each bowl.
1) Roz Augureau’s sparkling eyes and beautiful face bedazzled men everywhere. So much so that men made rash decisions. In 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II and President Poincare attended a society ball at the same time as Roz. The German and French leaders both professed undying love for her. Neither ruler would clear the field for the belle Roz. Words were said. Poincare slapped Wilhelm. The Kaiser had the choice of weapons. If only he had picked pistols, instead of millions of soldiers as the duelllng weapons, the world would have been spared the horrors of the First World War.
2) But he didn’t and anyway, hindsight is 20/20. However, the French could forgive Roz Augureau for starting the War to End All Wars. Afier all, “L’amour, toujours l’amour.” They could not ignore, however, her effect on French cuisine. Every time the Belle Roz sashayed by restaurants, the besotted chefs made mistakes. It all came to a head in 1915 when the very sight of Roz so charmed the chef making this very dish, that he unwittingly substituted sardine water for vanilla. This atrocity outraged the French nation. What, if anything, was France fighting for if not for the purity of its cuisine? So, France passed a law banning the belle Roz from walking by any kitchen. In honor of this law, Le Monde called this dish, “Roz Belle La Ban.” Later this became, Roz Bel Laban.
Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.