David Rosengarten's Strawberry Risotto

David Rosengarten’s Strawberry Risotto

2 cups whole milk
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
2 strips lemon zest, each about 1/2 x 2"
2 T butter
2/3 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup heavy cream or creme fraiche
2 T eau de vie de Fraise Liqueur
1 cup sliced strawberries, plus extra for garnishing
Lightly toasted sweetened coconut, for garnishing
Lightly toasted sliced almonds, for garnishing

In a saucepan, combine milk, coconut milk, sugar, vanilla bean and lemon zest. Heat until very hot and bubbles appear round edge of pan. Reduce heat and keep warm.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt butter. When foaming subsides, add Arborio rice and stir to coat.

Remove vanilla bean and add simmering milk mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, to rice, stirring vigorously. Allow each addition to be absorbed before adding more. Regulate heat so that milk is absorbed at a brisk simmer.

It should take 30-35 minutes to add all the liquid. Begin tasting toward the end of cooking time. The rice should be tender but still firm to the bite. It will form its own sauce.

Stir in cream or creme fraiche with the last addition of milk mixture, and cook until partly absorbed. Remove from heat, and stir in eau de vie and strawberries.

Serve in bowls, sprinkled with coconut and almonds and garnished with more strawberries.