I obsess over food. No really, I do. Not that anyone could have guessed that, I’m sure. Because it’s not at all obvious, right? Yeah, sure.
Lately it’s breakfast that has my attention. I had been making muffins regularly. Healthy, delicious, satisfying muffins. Tons o’ muffins. I would bake them, freeze them, take them to work for breakfast. They also made a great pre-afternoon-workout snack.
Then I started having some sort of food reaction, and stopped all baking while I tried to figure it out.
What to do about breakfast, that most important meal of the day? It must be hearty, satisfying, easy, and portable. As well as free of possible intolerance-inducing foods.
After trying several things, I hit on a wonderful idea.
No, wait, let me explain. It’s easy, creamy, transportable, and good hot, cold, or in between. It’s mainly composed of rice, which is safe for me, and just a few other ingredients. It’s sweet and satisfying. It’s naturally gluten-free.
Okay, yeah, it’s also a dessert.
Don’t judge me…
It’s kind of funny that I love this stuff, because I never had rice pudding growing up. I guess it wasn’t anything the extended family liked. I saw it on a few buffets in my twenties, and it always had unappetizing looking raisins floating in it. It resembled something nasty and I think it was served cold. I’m pretty sure the first time I ever ate rice pudding was after trying a recipe that I thought looked good. Yes, really, I do that. I’ll look at a recipe for something I’ve never had before and never even wanted to try, decide the recipe looks good, and make it. So anyhow, I tried it, and it was tasty. I’m actually cooking that recipe right now. I’ll post it later, after I’ve had a chance to reacquaint myself with it.
In the meantime, here’s the recipe I made a few days ago. No photo because, well, it’s rice pudding, and how do you photograph something so plain looking? But it tastes good. Or rather tasted good, until I polished it off this morning. And I mentioned it’s naturally gluten-free, right? Which means you can take your all-time favorite cookbook, the one you used to use for everything because all the recipes turned out just right, and make the rice pudding recipe in it. It will be good, and you won’t have to convert anything. Pretty cool.
from The Joy of Cooking
3/4 C medium or long-grain rice
1 1/2 C water
1/4 tsp salt (I used a pinch of salt instead)
4 cups whole milk (I used 3 1/2 cups skim, 1/2 cup half & half)
1/2 C sugar
Fresh grated nutmeg (optional, this is something I added)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Combine the rice, water and salt in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the water had been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir in the milk and sugar (and nutmeg, if using). Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring frequently, especially toward the end of cooking. The pudding is done when the rice and milk have amalgamated into a thick porridge. Do not overcook, or the pudding will be solid instead of creamy once cooled. Remove from the heat, then stir in the vanilla. Turn into a large bowl or 6 custard cups. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold (I recommend warm). If you didn’t go for the nutmeg option, Joy of Cooking recommends sprinkling cinnamon on it.
Note: Cover the pudding while still warm with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface, if you are freaky about the skin that forms on the top. Or, simply cover the bowl while it cools, and then give it a stir. Voila, skin be gone! I was worried about overcooking this, so I guess I undercooked it, and it was a little on the runny side when it cooled. Next time, I’m going to cook it longer and let it “amalgamate” more.
By the way, I’m looking for a good slow-cooker/crock pot recipe for rice pudding. Preferably one that doesn’t use pre-cooked rice. If anyone has a recipe they like, please let me know!