Anyone who’s cooking in this weather is probably making at least some desserts. Sweets are the cuddliest of the comfort foods, and nothing’s cuddlier than rice pudding even though Stoic the Vast doesn’t think much of it. (How is that possible?)
Whenever we have enough leftover cooked rice, I get out Mollie Katzen’s original Moosewood Cookbook (Ten Speed Press, 1977) and get busy. This time around, I read Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s suggestion to soak raisins in bourbon. We had none so we had to make do with some good whiskey.
I also — after how many decades? — decided to use brown rice and learned how to cook same. (I’ve decided white rice is like white wine — no point to either nutritionally.) And as long as you can get brown rice this tender, why not have some vitamins with your dessert?
Cook 1 cup brown rice in 1-1/2 cups water. Bring the water to a boil, drop in the rice, give it a stir and cover, reducing heat so it cooks on a gentle simmer. Let it cook for 20 minutes; turn off the heat and leave it on the burner at least 30 minutes but longer’s better. When you remove that lid, your brown rice will be perfectly cooked.
Creamy rice pudding
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup milk
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins, soaked for several hours in bourbon or whiskey and drained
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash or 2 of nutmeg
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
Optional: Grated apple, fresh peach slices, and/or 1/2 cup chopped nuts
Heat oven to 350º. Butter an 8-inch-square baking pan. Beat eggs, milk and honey together. Combine with cooked rice, vanilla, salt, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and any optional additions. Spread into pan and bake. Stir well every 8 to 10 minutes during baking (3 times during 25 minutes). Remove from oven after 25 minutes. Pudding will still be loose, but will solidify as it cools. After 10 minutes cooling, stir in sour cream. Enjoy hot, warm or cold — it makes a great breakfast.
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