Sunday, February 7, 2010

Spiced Vanilla Rice Pudding

Now that I have this blog up and running, I'm feeling much more motivated to cook. Usually, I spent more time pouring over recipes, cookbooks and food blogs to actually get into the kitchen and make anything. Now, being able to write about it adds a level of excitement! Two nights ago I had a craving for rice pudding. It was pretty simple to look through my bookmarked recipes and find the right one. The ingredients needed to be pretty basic because I'm a little limited, being snowed in and everything. I wanted something that was stove-top only because I haven't tested my pots to see if they're oven-proof yet, and my pyrex dish is currently housing my sweet potato and banana casserole. I found the perfect recipe on Gratinee.
I changed it up slightly by adding a cinnamon stick while it was cooking, adding a combination of sugar and Splenda, and adding ground cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg when serving. I think next time I would use whole milk - I used skim because that was all I had on hand. I think whole milk might make a thicker custard. But the flavor was delicious, and it definitely fulfilled my craving!

Spiced Vanilla Rice Pudding (adapted from Gratinee)
3/4 cup arborio rice
1 1/4 cups water
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
2 cups milk, divided (I used skim but any kind would suffice)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup Splenda
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp good vanilla extract
1 tbsp butter
Ground cinnamon
Freshly grated nutmeg

Boil 1 1/4 cups water in a medium saucepan. Add rice, cinnamon stick, and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Stir every once in a while. After 20 minutes, most of the water should be absorbed, and the rice will have just started sticking to the bottom. Add 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar, Splenda, and salt. Cook over medium heat until most of the milk is absorbed, about 15 minutes (it took me a lot longer than that). Stir often, so the bottom won't burn. Combine egg with the other 1/2 cup of milk and slowly incorporate into the rice. Make sure the egg is beaten very well and you add very slowly - otherwise you will have bits of cooked egg! Cook for another 2-5 minutes, stirring constantly. It will seem very soupy at this point, but don't worry, it thickens when it cools. Add the butter and vanilla.

Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg.

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