Monday, June 13, 2005

Rice pudding

Yes, it was tasty. Yes, it was smooth. Yes, it was rich. But I have no idea if I will ever make this particular rice pudding recipe again because it took over an hour of cooking time, not even including the prep time. Oh, who am I kidding, of course I will. The dish was Strawberry Risotto-style pudding or something like that, and consisted of two parts: the strawberry sauce and the rice pudding. The original recipe called for cooking the strawberries first, but in order to save time, I recommend that you start the rice pudding first, so that you can prep and cook the strawberries in parallel and save a teeny amount of time.

The rice pudding:
  • 1 1/4 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 gallon milk (yes, a gallon, and use full fat, you Scrooge)
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • zest of one lemon (no pith!)
  • 1 cup sugar
Use a big-assed saucepan, or a pot if you don't have one that will hold a gallon of milk and more. You are gonna end up using all of it at once, so don't think you can trickle some in at a time like you do with regular risotto.

Bring the water to a boil and add the Arborio rice. Keep boiling and stir until the water is almost all gone. Lower the heat to medium and add everything else except the sugar.

This is where the original recipe lies. The original recipe claims that the milk will thicken in about 20 minutes under medium heat. Lies! Lies! I weep. I shred my shirt. I gnash my teeth. My impression is that the only way this is possible is if the milk was pre-heated in a separate pan while you were doing something else. I mean, I haven't done the math, but I believe that if I did, it will clearly show that it is simply not possible to bring a gallon of milk from refrigeration temperature to steaming/simmering in 20 minutes. Nyet! Non!

Anyway, it took us about 1 full hour or more, and we even cheated and blasted the milk at high for a while (prob about the second half of the hour), even though we knew it could scorch the milk and make it taste funny. I think that maybe the right thing to do is to preheat the milk before starting with the rice.

Ok, so you are supposed to frequently stir the rice/milk mixture throughout this process, which means that you are probably going to have yoked arms afterwards, so we all come out winners. At some point, the milk will seem thicker. As far as volume of liquid, I believe it had reduced to roughly 4/5 (or a tiny bit more?) when it achieved this Holy Grail state. At this point, stir in the sugar, kill the heat, and stir. We cheated here and kept it on the fire a bit longer. Eh.

Meanwhile, while you were growing weary of stirring, you should have prepared the strawberry thingy.

The strawberry sauce:
  • 1 quart strawberries, rinsed and hulled
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
Mix it all up in a small-to-medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until strawberries are soft. Remove from heat and gently mash or smoosh or whatever. Sneak a teaspoonful and revel in the tasty.

Both things should be cooled until... cool. Then swirl some sauce on the rice pudding and eat. If you are fancy, you will layer the two things in pretty clear cups/glasses (not to be confused with eyeglasses, not to mention athletic/bra cups).

Seppo and I made this for a Southwest-themed potluck at Becky and Alan's place on Sunday. I forget what all were there, but there were at least some awesome guac and tender chicken enchiladas. A good bunch of people showed up, so we sat around and chatted and ended the evening with a hysterical game of "Talk Show". I love that game. The person who supposedly knew the least about any of us kicked all of our sorry asses.


Blogger Seppo said...

Tyler Florence is a low down, dirty deceiver.

9:27 PM  
Blogger casacaudill said...

I loved the pudding, as did Dakota. Mmmm ... rice pudding.

9:50 AM  

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