THIS CLASSIC EXTREMEÑAN DESSERT REFLECTS A TRADITIONALLY CONSERVATIVE ATTITUDE TO KITCHEN MANAGEMENT — MAKE USE OF EVERYTHING, AND USE YOUR SKILL TO TRANSFORM THE MOST BASIC INGREDIENTS INTO SOMETHING MUCH GREATER THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS. IN EXTREMADURA, REPÁPALOS CAN ALSO MEAN MEATBALLS’, BUT IN THIS RECIPE IT REFERS TO SOFT LITTLE BREAD DUMPLINGS SITTING IN A BOWL OF COLD, SWEET MILK SPICED WITH CINNAMON AND MINT. A PERFECT SUMMER DESSERT.
Place the milk, lemon zest, cinnamon sticks, mint, sugar and anis in a large heavy-based saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 30 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Strain, then measure out
Pour the remaining milk into a bowl. Break the bread into rough chunks about
Cut the melon in half, then scoop out and discard the seeds. Using a melon baller or small spoon, scoop out balls or round shapes, placing them in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Heat the olive oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan to 190°C (375°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 10 seconds.
Carefully lift the bread out of the milk one piece at a time and dip them in the beaten egg, allowing the excess to drain off. Deep-fry the bread chunks for 1 minute, or until golden, turning several times. Drain on paper towel and repeat with the remaining bread chunks and beaten egg.
Place the warm bread dumplings and melon balls in chilled bowls. Pour the reserved chilled milk over and serve scattered with a few torn mint leaves and a sprinkling of ground cinnamon.
© 2009 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.