Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Rice Pudding-loved round the world

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Rice. Milk. Sugar. These are staples of kitchens around the world. And the main ingredients of one of the most popular desserts in the world - Rice Pudding. Most of us probably grew up eating some form of rice pudding for dessert, usually a result of leftover rice from last night's dinner. It's cheap. It's easy. It's economical. And it's delicious.

Not to toot my own ethnicity's horn or anything but the Portuguese make a mean rice pudding (try Atasca's version) as do the Spanish and Venezuelans. Some versions are more creamy, others have lemon zest, still others are spiked with rum. Serve it warm or chilled, with or without cinnamon on top. They're all good. Perfect comfort food. Here's one of the many millions of recipes out there. It's a good one. What's yours?


RICE PUDDING

Ingredients:

• 5 cups whole milk
• 2/3 cup white rice
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tsp orange zest
• 2 tsp dark rum
• Cinnamon for sprinkling on top
• Fresh fruit to top off rice pudding (blueberries, raspberries, whatever you like - this is optional)

How to:

1. Pour the milk and rice into a saucepan with a heavy bottom.
2. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the bean. Or, add the vanilla extract.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil (stir often to ensure rice doesn't stick to the bottom or burn).
4. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the rice is tender, stirring often, about 20 minutes.
5. Mix in the sugar, rum and orange zest. Discard the vanilla bean.
6. Cook until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes longer.
7. Spoon the rice pudding into a casserole dish or individual ramekins.
8. Sprinkle cinnamon on top.
9. Refrigerate for several hours. Or, if you are going to serve within a couple of hours and would prefer the rice pudding warm or at room temperature, just let cool a bit on the counter.
10. Before serving, top the rice pudding with some fresh blueberries or raspberries (optional).

1 Comments:

Anonymous Donna said...

I order rice pudding whenever a restaurant offers it and, as Lynne indicates, there are many variations. This creation is creamy and fragrant (the zest?) and the blueberries & raspberries make for a beautiful presentation. Another winner, Lynne!

9:44 AM  

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