Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Good for what ails ya

I have made a lot of rice recently, to go along with chili (I also made cornbread, good Southern girl that I am) and stir fry and curry, etc. But I've had a lot left over, more than enough to support the leftover main dishes, so I decided to make some rice pudding.

Originally, I was going for coconut rice pudding, but the canned coconut milk I thought I had turned out to be a can of coconut solids, not something edible (it had been there a LONG time, I guess). But then I had coconut on the brain, so here is my recipe (entirely original, after consulting 25 other recipes and not finding one exactly right) for Hint of Coconut Rice Pudding:

2 cups cooked rice (I used Jasmine rice, yum)
1 1/2 cups milk (fat free Lactaid, of course)
1/3-1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup dried fruit (I used a combination of golden raisins and crasins)
2 teaspoons vanilla (or so--I really didn't measure this...or anything else, actually)
1/8 teaspoon salt (I read that a "dash" is really 1/8 teaspoon, so there you go)

Combine all ingredients in a pot and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture reaches your desired consistency. Done. (My desired consistency is fairly dry, not at all soupy.)

If I were a good blogger, I would have punctuated this post with stunning photos of my ingredients and mouth-watering finished product, but I am a bad blogger. Sorry! Use your imaginations instead! Here, let me help: I am now eating the pudding (which has turned a lovely shade because of the vanilla and raisins) out of my sons' yellow bowl from Ikea. Go!

True random story: Once upon a time I worked in the bakery of a large restaurant. Among other dessert items, we served "rice pudding," which was really, as far as I could tell, whipped cream with rice in it. I think it might have been topped with a sauce of some sort as well, maybe mango? Anywho, it was, not surprisingly, not too popular. It was a random choice, anyway, in a sea of pineapple upside down cake and guava cake and the like. So, every night, there would always be these glasses of rice pudding leftover (we served it in cut glass goblet-like glasses, for some reason), which I got to eat. And I did, frequently, even though it was the most un-rice pudding like dish on the planet. What is was was SWEET, the perfect end to a day spent making desserts and then setting a gazillion tables and then dealing with spoiled tourists and then slinging dirty plates through a hot, sloshy kitchen.

My current rice pudding is the perfect end to a week of sick kids and sick parents who all need some comfort food. Sigh!

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