Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Rice Pudding

My current favourite rice pudding is served by Asian Palace, a local Indian restaurant. It might be my favourite just because it's accessible, but it might also be the rose petals, pistachio crumbles and perfect temperature- chilled but not too cold. And it's served as if it's serious food, as if they put care into its creation, as if it's a masterpiece, which it is of course.

I just made some rice pudding to take for lunch tomorrow. I don't have that much food guilt about it. I feel rice pudding is even good enough for breakfast. I made this one with basmati rice, vanilla bean, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and crumbled pistachios. In the morning, I'll add a spoonful of apricot sauce. My mother always puts raisins in hers. I've also made it with almonds, almond extract, chopped dried apricots, orange extract, orange zest, lemon zest, cream, and dried cranberries. I love that there are so many flexible flavour combinations that you can make up with whatever you have in the cupboard. And every time it makes you feel like a gourmet. Here is my basic ratio:

Combine and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the water is beginning to be absorbed:
1 C rice, 1 1/2 C water, pinch of salt

4 C milk, 1/2 C sugar.
Also add things like zest, raisins, and vanilla beans.
Continue simmering until it looks like porridge.

Add flavourings like vanilla and pur into a bowl or ramekins. Cover with plastic rip, and press on to the pudding to avoid a skin.

When serving, sprinkle with nuts, nutmeg, fruit, rose petals, etc. I prefer it cold or at room temperature, but some people like it warm too.

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