Thursday, August 6, 2009

Creamy Rice Pudding

As you know, I had a run-in with some greasy Tex-Mex the other night. While it was tasty enough, my stomach revolted. I can't blame it solely on those enchiladas though. We've been doing a lot of heavy, celebratory eating and I think it simply added up.

When I have agida (Italian-American slang for indigestion), I crave poached eggs with buttered toast and, oftentimes, rice pudding. Well, last tonight called for both.

I always have a bag of Arborio rice handy for quick risottos and thought it would be just perfect for pudding. After all, those fat little grains are experts at releasing starch to create a pot of creamy goodness. I didn't have a vanilla bean on hand but that would have certainly taken this comfort food up a notch.

Barely warm, mild and creamy rice pudding should always be eaten the day after a gut bomb.

Creamy Rice Pudding
This recipe can easily be made without the egg but I really enjoy the custard-y results.

1/3 cup Arborio rice
3 cups whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 vanilla bean, split (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract if a vanilla bean isn't handy)
1 egg, beaten

Garnish ideas:
A dusting of cinnamon or nutmeg
Fresh berries
Fruit compote
A dollop of jam
Caramel or chocolate sauce

Place rice, milk, sugar and salt in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until rice is tender and pudding is thick, about 30 minutes.

Place beaten egg in a small bowl. Whisking constantly, add a few tablespoons of hot rice mixture to the egg. Continue whisking and adding warm pudding until a cup or so has been added. Pour all egg mixture back into the saucepan with the pudding; stir well. Continue cooking for another minute.

Remove pudding from heat and stir in vanilla extract, if using. If you're feeling especially decadant, a teaspoon or two of butter can also be swirled in at this time. Pour into serving bowls and garnish as desired. Serve just-warm.

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