How funny is it that I have a cooking blog but consistently don’t post recipes. Lots of laughs and good times here, I know.
Rice pudding. Someone actually wrote me that they wanted the recipe. My recipe? Guess so!
Here’s the 411 on my rice pudding. So, so easy. Ridiculously simple. Just a enough ingredients that you can count them on one hand, provided you have all your fingers. And if you don’t, well, the recipe is so good that if you have to leave out an ingredient or two, it just might come through for you anyway!
No eggs. No heavy cream. Just rice, milk, sugar and, if you really love your pudding, whole vanilla bean. If you are the femme fatale of pudding, you might just even add a cinnamon stick or two to the mix.
Let me break it down for you, NJ diner-style. El Matador, Peter Pank, you know what it is all about. Thick and creamy, this pudding will definitely get you looking like Snookie in no time.
1 gallon milk, the wholer the better
2.5 cups of sugar, avoid white refined sugar because it has no taste. Turbinado or evaporated cane are lovely
1.5 c rice, white or brown, short grain is my fave but basmati or jasmine add a flair of their own–up to you!
1 extra long vanilla bean–split it, scrape it, use *everything.* Yes, you can add a teaspoon or two of extract if you are too cheap to buy the beans.
Okay. If you want to make life easier for you and your pot washer, coat the bottom of your pot with ghee (clarified butter). If you don’t have ghee, just make sure you are vigilant about your stirring.
Pot size. Use a large pot. Seriously. Milk foams up and boils over and is a white burnt on pain in the arse to deal with. Tall sides will do you and your stove scrubber good. I am not going to tell you what size pot to use because, after all, this is America and you have choices. I would recommend something stainless steel with a wide base and tall sides. Basically, I bust out the 3 gallon pot whenever I am boiling one g of milk. Makes my life…a little better.
Your pot size and stove BTU’s are going to seriously have an effect on the cooking time. So let’s say you are going to cook your rice pudding for 45 minutes. However, don’t hold me to it.
1) Coat the bottom of a pot with ghee.
2) Turn burner on high.
3) Pour in milk. Stir occasionally until milk comes to a boil.
4) Add rice to milk. Stir occasionally until milk returns to a boil.
5) Add sugar to boiling rice and milk. Stir occasionally until milk returns to a boil.
(If you are confident of your stirring abilities, add rice and sugar at same time. Sugar burnt on the bottom of a pot is a PITA and sugary milk burnt on your stove is more difficult to clean up than plain old burnt on milk…so if you feel you can handle it, be a badass and dump it all in at once.)
6) Take your extra long vanilla bean, bifurcate it with a knife and scrape the contents into the pot. Throw the pod in their for good measure, cause you know you didn’t do that great a job scraping!
7) When it all comes to a hard boil, reduce heat to medium. Give it a stir and, as long as it is boiling, go update your Facebook status and read the news for about 30 minutes before checking back with your dessert.
8) Cook your rice pudding down until the grains are soft, the color is light golden and the liquid is thick and comes off the spoon a consistency similar to pancake batter.
9) Off the heat and make sure you remove the pot from the burner to prevent burning! Let cool on the stove top about an hour and then refrigerate covered. You could just shove it in the fridge uncovered to avoid condensation but maybe your fridge stinks so, in that case, just be patient. In the end, you want to refrigerate it at least an hour before serving.
10) Like many things delicious, rice pudding is best made the day before so all the flavors can get to know each other and feel more comfortable socializing in your mouth.
If you like the way your mom made rice pudding as a kid–scooped from the deli containers from the local Shoprite, you might want to sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Personally, I like eating mine with fresh, seasonal fruit.