Friday, September 29, 2006

food blog part II: Arborio Rice Pudding, a happy mistake

so while i was off to grill those steaks i talked about in Part I: It's what's for dinner, my lovely and talented wife Di was busy getting stuff ready for making Stuffed Red Bell Peppers. notice i used capital letters. that's because when Di makes stuffed peppers, they rate capital letter's.
anyway, she had grabbed the first bag of rice she could find in the pantry, tossed in a cup of rice and two cups of water into the rice cooker, and waited for the "ding".
what she had was a glob of rice, because she'd grabbed the arborio, also known as paella or rissotto rice. short, starchy, velvety rice that simply does NOT work in pepper stuffing.
as she was ready to toss it, i interceded, knowing that there had to be something i could make with it. hmmmmm.... RICE PUDDING! a quick search of the internet for arborio rice pudding popped out a couple of recipes, and i printed out the one from www.foodnetwork.com. of course i had to modify it a bit, but this is pretty much from their site, with tweeks. always with tweeks. you can see the original at the link

Recipe:
Ingredient list
  • 3/4 cup arborio rice
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tbs butter
  • 4 tbs sugar. i used a little less here, because i didn't want it too sweet.
  • pinch of salt
  • healthy tsp of vanilla. healthy like a full tsp and splash in a dash for the cook healthy. i can't be the only one that does that with vanilla, can i?
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk. don't use that skim or reduced fat crap. what's the point?
  • handful of raisins. i like golden raisins, so that's what i used.


procedure:
bring the water to a boil. add the rice and salt. the recipe said add the butter too, but since this was started after the fact, the butter went into the milk. don't know if it makes a difference, but MINE turned out great. cook for about 15 minutes, until "it is creamy but still al dente", to quote the recipe. di cooked it until the rice cooker dinged. here's the rice. note that it's kind of clumpy and well, starchy looking. that is a characteristic of arborio rice, and it is SUPPOSED to look like that
arborio rice

next i grabbed a 2 quart sauce pan, and added the milk, butter, sugar, a pinch of salt, a pinch of nutmeg, and enough cinnamon to cover the surface of the milk. that would be several healthy shakes. can't give an exact measurement. how much do you like cinnamon? use that much.
simmer
heat until it starts to simmer. don't use more than medium heat though, because it's easy to scald the milk, and that's not the flavor you are looking for here. i should also caution you to NOT walk away from the stove when the milk is near boiling, because it WILL boil over, and it WILL make a mess. not this time, but plenty of times before
once the milk starts to simmer, add the raisins and the cooked rice. use a wisk to get all the rice clumps broken up. lower the heat to medium low. let it simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently with the wisk. the rice will suck up a lot of the milk, and get thick and creamy, kind of like making rissotto. when it looks like a majority of the liquid has been absorbed, pull it from the heat. if you are at the 12 minute mark, and it's still runny, pull it anyway, cool it and eat. it's still good. and the next time, cook the rice a little less time.
pour the pudding into a bowl, and let it cool to room temperature. then toss it into the fridge until you feel like scarfing it up.
or do like we did. let it cool until it won't burn the insides of your mouth, drop a little into a bowl, add a couple of raisins and shake of cinnamon for garnish, and chow down.
arborio rice pudding

it's really yummy. i got the official Di seal of approval, so you know it's good.

how's that for a happy accident?

as always, if you try this recipe, or it inspires you to try something different, please let me know how it turned out. i'm always looking for fresh and clever ideas to improve my own cooking skills and recipes.

for a complete list of my online recipes, follow the link here

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2 Comments:

Blogger WillyShake said...

People often say, "don't quit your day job." Well you, shipmate, should seriously consider it: retire & open a restaurant!

10/5/06, 5:22 AM  
Blogger Ruthie said...

I LOVE rice pudding, and that looks good, I'm going to try it.

10/6/06, 8:29 PM  

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