Pumpkin Mochi Doria
南瓜もちドリアKabocha Mochi Doria
Doria, a creamy rice dish, is said to have been first invented by an Italian family with the name of Doria who tried to represent the Italian flag (with tomatoes, cucumbers and chicken). Later, Doria appeared on the Japanese menu for the first time in 1925 at the New Grand Hotel in Yokohama. At the time, Western-style dishes were all the rage. The dish was prepared by a French cuisine chef from Switzerland—and with that, a legend was born. The variations to this dish are endless, but the components are similar. Doria must include rice, cheese and some sort of sauce. Usually béchamel (or white sauce) is favored, but you can find tomato- and meat-based sauces depending on the recipe. This Doria is subtle yet flavorful. It utilizes sweet kabocha squash, chewy mochi (rice cake), and salty melted white cheese. It’s also pretty to look at—an array of orange, browns and whites. (Serves 3-4)
½ cup chopped leeks (white parts only)
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups thinly sliced kabocha squash 1 cup whole milk
2 cups cooked short-grain white rice
¼ cup thinly sliced hard mochi
4 to 5 slices creamy cheese (suggestion: Monterey Jack)
Deep sauté pan, ramekin or small casserole dish
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Sauté the leeks in melted butter until softened, then add the squash. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until kabocha has slightly softened. Add the milk, and slowly bring to a boil.
2. Add the rice, and mix until the mixture has softened and expanded.
3. Grease a casserole dish. Spoon half of the rice mixture into the dish, and flatten. Place mochi slices evenly atop the mixture, and press firmly.
4. Add the remaining rice mixture, and smooth the top. Top evenly with cheese.
5. Bake 5-7 minutes or until cheese has nicely browned.