Saturday, June 20, 2009

Easy Peasy Rice Pudding

With only 26 days to go, Justin and I are officially in the "use up excess food items" phase of our move. In the last week, this has meant: 2 huge batches of hummus (to use up a giant jar of tahini and a pound of dried chick peas), three bowls of salsa (to get rid of the jalapenos we've had in our freezer since last summer's farm share adventure), and a big batch of rice pudding (to use up, well, rice). Still to go: that bag of frozen tilapia that doesn't really taste right, canned tomatoes and lots of chicken. On second thought, maybe we should throw out that tilapia.

Anyway, my go-to rice pudding recipe is actually from All Recipes, which does, occasionally, get things right. You probably don't want to be pulling any non-Midwest-centric recipes off there (these ladies will find a way to put cream of chicken soup in an enchilada recipe), but for home cooked staples? They know what's up. I like to throw in a few spices at the end, but otherwise I don't make too many changes. It's quick, it's easy, it's creamy and it tastes like childhood. What more can you ask for?

Easy Peasy Rice Pudding (adapted from All Recipes)

3/4 cup uncooked white rice
2 cups whole milk, divided into 1 1/2 cups and 1/2 cup
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan, add rice and stir. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until rice is cooked.
2. Add 1 1/2 cups of the milk you've set aside, sugar and salt to the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat 15-20 minutes. The mixture should look thick and creamy.
3. Stir in leftover 1/2 cup of milk, beaten egg and golden raisins. Cook two more minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Remove from heat. Stir in butter, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. Or, if you don't like your rice pudding so heavily spiced, don't add those last three things. See what I care!

There's something wonderful and homey and not-at-all summer appropriate about warm rice pudding, but luckily (or unluckily) we've had dreary weather for all of June, so warm desserts are just fine. For the record, though, this recipe tastes great chilled, too. So go ahead, people. Make it. You probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry, and you know you want to.

note from justin!
Dana first made this rice pudding when I had taken swooningly ill with a little flu not long ago. While I was laid up on the couch half-heartedly watching Gladiator and The Matrix (you know, real visceral gettin' better movies) and occasionally retching into a purple bucket, she whipped into the kitchen and came out moments later with a bowl of warm rice pudding that made everything better forever. I cannot get enough of this stuff, it is a gift from God. I would eat it four times a day if I could but, thankfully, never remember it exists at the right time to actually bring home the ingredients. Luckily, Dana has no such mental blockage and trundled home the ingredients yesterday. It's a good life.

Oh, second note: this post is dedicated to Michele whose surprise birthday party we attended last night. Standing in her gorgeous yard, buried amid throngs of her adoring friends and family clamoring for attention, she actually found the time to single us out with a hearty "What, no posts this week?" So, Michele, from both of us, happy 50th, go make yourself some rice pudding!

2 comments:

tastestopping said...

You know, a delicious recipe for a great dessert or comfort food is always nice. But that love note at the end from Justin? Priceless. Really. I might have the make the rice pudding just on that recommendation alone

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Dana said...

I liked the note he added, too! I'm a lucky gal.