Saturday, March 22, 2014

coconut rice pudding - spring break partying pudding style

This week I have for ya'll a delicious Coconut Rice Pudding, the easiest, creamiest, smoothest rice pudding you have ever had, or in this case, read about and saw in pictures. Originally I was going to make something rose infused or scented, but then I got attacked by a colony of spiders living inside my roses. So that can happen. Anyways, that's why this week instead of drawing inspiration from the garden-y, flower-y aspect of spring, I thought about Spring Break. And what food item do you think of first when I say Spring Break. Pina Coladas. I know it's a drink, but you haven't seen those college students, Pina Coladas are spring breakers substinance for an entire week. So long story short, instead of partying I'm making rice pudding. I know, ya'll are the ones missing out.

Rice pudding is a very easy dessert to make. There isn't much skill involved with it and you can make it any flavor you want it to be. This week, I'll be showing you the base of a rice pudding and how you can spike it with a burst of tropical flavors like pineapple and coconut, maybe a little rum if you want but we'll talk about that more later. First things first we need to prepare our rice. 

In a bowl I have calrose rice, which you may know as sticky rice, or short grain rice. If I'm not mistaken you can use any type of rice on hand, the principles of this recipe (which is at the bottom) will be the same, although the measurements may vary. Many recipes for rice pudding call for a fancy type of rice called arborio. This is the type of rice that is preferred to make risotto and other rice, soaking dishes. However calrose seems to be the type of rice most families have at home, and trust me it works, I used it! 

Even though your rice may say prewashed, it's always good practice to wash your rice before you cook it. And after the spider debacle I had earlier this week, I don't think I need to find any other critters where they shouldn't be. If your rice doesn't say anything you have no excuse not to. To wash it you rinse it with water while shuffling the rice around. Pour the water out by straining it with your hand. I'd do this a minimum of five times, just until the water looks as clear as you can get it. Place the rice next to your stove so you'll have easy access to it later. 

From here on the entire recipe will be made inside a heavy bottomed saucepot. The way we're going to make our rice pudding is the same method to how you would make risotto, so keep that in mind. Unless you have no idea how to make risotto, then you're screwed. I'm joking, or am I. On medium high heat melt a couple tablespoons of butter, by the way all the ingredients are down below. When all of the butter has completely melted, toss in your rice and toast it for 30-45 seconds. I should clarify though, you're not really toasting it. More like waking up the rice. Constantly stir as to not let the rice burn. 

First start with a ladle of milk. It's going to spit and spatter but just keep stirring. The reason why you don't want to pour the entire amount of liquid straight into the pot is because the rice won't soak it all up. When the rice soaks up the first amount, ladle in the second addition of milk. Continue to stir lid off until it soaks up the second addition. Don't worry you'll know when you need to add more liquid. The rice will practically tell you. Continue with this process, milk, stir, dry, add more, it'll take about 15 minutes to get rid of 3 cups of milk. 

In a microwave heat up 1 cup of milk and a can of coconut milk. Coconut milk is the coconut water and the meat blended up together. The coconut will add a rich, thick, creamy, coconut-y, yummy-y, I have no more adjectives, aspect to the pudding. You can find it at almost every grocery store these days, But if indeed you live in a rural conservative village in Kansas or something, sorry Kansans, you can just use all milk. However I highly suggest using the coconut milk, not only for it's flavor, but for it's incredibly creamy texture. After you've added approximately 3 cups of milk and the rice is dry again pour the coconut milk/milk mixture into the rice. Turn the heat down to medium low, and cover the lid. You want to cook it for about 10 minutes more or until the rice cooks to your liking, stirring often so the bottom doesn't stick or burn. Lastly you're going to add another cup of milk, your sugar, vanilla, and salt, bring the pudding back to a boil and turn of the stove. The pudding should have a soupish, more wet consistency, if yours is too thick you might want to thin it out with some milk. Look at the picture for reference. Keep in mind that when it cools, the pudding will be much thicker.

I didn't do this, mostly because I forgot to, but if you wanted you could add some pineapple juice to exacerbate that tropical flavor. And your coconut rice pudding is done.
I spooned the pudding into these pudding-like glasses and refrigerated them, of course wrapping it with plastic wrap. Of course using proper plastic wrap wrapping technique. Which of course means touching the plastic to the top of the custard so the top doesn't form a skin. Which of course will happen if you don't use proper plastic wrap wrapping technique. 

You want these ice cold, so I suggest making this the day before, or in the morning so that it has overnight or all day, respectively, to cool down. When you're ready to serve, top it with diced pineapple and serve with a smile. Rice pudding seems to be associated with nursing homes and toothless people, and rightfully so because it's so creamy and tender. But it can be so much more than that. You can make Pina Colada Rice Puddings and Cinnamon Apple Rice Puddings, the combinations are so vast and exciting. Which reminds me, if you want to devirginize this Coconut Rice Pudding we just made, drizzle in a couple tablespoons of rum to give it an even more authentic Pina Colada flavor. 

Well that's the shpeal this week, the recipe is below, and have a very Happy Easter to you all. And as always, 



1 1/2 cup calrose, short grain, or sticky rice it doesn't matter they are all the same
1/4 cup unsalted butter
5 cups milk
1 2/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla or to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt

*optional 1/4 cup pineapple juice, 3 tablespoons rum to taste

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