Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Mexican Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is not a particularly local dish in terms of the ingredients, although rice pudding has been around in northern European cuisines since medieval times. This particular recipe is one my family picked up when I was a child and we were living in Mexico. The main change I have made to it over the years is to reduce the sugar from the original 1 cup, but you can always put it back if you like.

The lack of butter and eggs makes this less rich than more traditional baked Canadian rice pudding recipes (and is the reason I've been making it lately). It's also quicker to make and doesn't require the oven to be turned on. The fact that it is made with rice that is already cooked means that there is never any problem with still-crunchy rice, and that you can use whatever rice you like. I've used white rice and brown rice, long-grain rice and short-grain rice; they have all worked fine. As ever, I usually cook twice as much rice as wanted, eat some at a meal, then use the rest for pudding. The cinnamon, lemon and vanilla give it a rich but subtle flavour. You could make it without the raisins if you really don't like them, but rice pudding without raisins always seems a little sad and lacking to me.

This should keep in the fridge for up to a week, although I find if it sits too long the rice starts to get a little hard again. It's creamiest when it is first made; it will thicken up as it sits.

By the way, I am away at the moment - having my operation! That was quick... at least I didn't have too long to stew about it. I should be back to post on Friday if all goes well.ADDED: No! Wrong. It was a pre-op scope. No idea when actual operation happens.

8 servings
1 hour 15 minutes, not including cooking the rice

2/3 cup sugar
the zest of ½ lemon
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1 litre milk or soy milk
4 cups cooked rice
1/3 cup raisins (optional)
the juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Mix the sugar, lemon zest, and cinnamon in a large, heavy pot. Stir in the milk or soy milk a little at a time. Add the cooked rice, breaking it up with your hands or a wooden spoon to ensure that there are no sticky clumps.

Heat the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. When the pudding is steaming hot, reduce the temperature to low, and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the milk thickens and coats the rice. If you would like raisins in your pudding, add them when you reduce the heat. The pudding should not simmer, it should just sit and steam; this will take about 1 hour.

Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla when the pudding is removed from the heat. Serve the pudding cold, or at room temperature. It is best if allowed to sit for a couple hours or overnight before you eat it.

Last year at this time I made Ginger-Lime Parsnips

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