Thursday, February 12, 2009

Creamy Rice Pudding

At a lack for what to do with leftover rice? Have a hankering for rice pudding? Need a somewhat healthy dessert? Need a dessert that tastes as creamy as the restaurant variety?

I suffered from all of the above problems, so I made rice pudding! It tastes extraordinarily creamy and rich, and is far easier than other homemade rice puddings that require you to cook the rice in milk.

Surprise! It tastes equally as good with leftover rice, cooked in plain water. It is extremely versatile, and even works with brown rice! Just make sure to use short or medium grain rice. If you're in Japan, like me, then this shouldn't be a problem.

The taste of sweetness and the taste of cream are my two favorite tongue tantalizers. When I get cravings, it is always for sweet, creamy things. This easy dessert hits the bar. I've determined that this penchant of mine is the reason I don't care for Manjula's Indian food recipes--she professes that she loves food sour and hot. Hot sour soup (Chinese) is pretty much the worst thing you could treat me to in a Chinese restaurant. I'm not going to use her recipes anymore. I like my Indian food to have some creamy to balance the bite.

Anyway, this rice pudding recipe is so good I've made it several times. And eaten it all myself! It uses only a few ingredients, all of which are usually on hand in the kitchen:

1.5 cups cooked Rice
2 cups Milk
1/4 cup Sugar
pinch of salt
1 Egg, beaten
Vanilla Extract

You can also add these optional ingredients, in any combination you see fit (I like them all!):
1 pat butter
Cinnamon (will make the pudding darker in color)
Nutmeg (will make the pudding darker in color)
Raisins (add before last step for plumper raisins)
Almond Extract
pinch of Chili Powder
Bananas (add after the last step)

  1. Combine rice, milk, vanilla, sugar, and salt in heavy saucepan over low/medium heat. Stir until mixture thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes. If you don't stir, the rice will stick to the bottom and burn! Also, do not boil the milk to death, or it will curdle and result in yucky little cottage-cheeselike curds floating in yellowish watery liquid.
  2. Pour some of the hot mixture into a cup with the beaten egg. Mix well to heat the egg a little. On low heat, stir the egg mixture back into the main pot. Make sure to do this step or the egg will cook and create stringy egg white pieces in the pudding! Cook for about 2 minutes. Serve warm.
Isn't it easy?

I also made bread pudding the other day. It features much the same ingredients, except that it is baked in the oven. And it's so easy! Since I wasn't using a recipe, I could make it just the way I like it: extremely moist and dripping with creaminess, with a crispy top. If there's one thing I hate, it's dry bread pudding! Some of the best restaurants have completely turned me off of them with their dessicated bread puddings. A good bread pudding needs to be dripping with milky sauce, and does not need extra saliva to moisten it before swallowing.

1/2 loaf stale french bread, cubed
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups milk
vanilla extract
1 egg
pinch of salt
pinch of chili powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Beat sugar into egg. Beat with milkk, salt, chili powder, vanilla.
  2. Pour over cubed french bread. Turn, mix, shake, and do whatever you have to do to make each bread morsel sopping wet. There should be a lot of extra liquid on the bottom of the pan, at least halfway up. If not, add more milk. Toss raisins inside the mixture (do not leave exposed on top--they will dry out and burn!). Cover.
  3. Bake covered at 350F (or a little under) for about 40 minutes. Bake uncovered for last 5 minutes for a crispy top.

1 comment:

  1. This reminds me of Frank. . . I used to get bowls of this stuff. . . this tater tots, delicious sandwich day, and smoothies made Frank worthwhile. . .