This morning, bundled in my cozy and oh so elegant microfibre robe, I open the blinds and this is what I see from my kitchen window. Man, it looks cold!!! and bleak. (And at -20 something degrees C it is.) Hmmmmm..... something really warm for breakfast. Something yummy and comforting that tastes and smells delicious. Aha! Rice pudding! There is really no way to make a picture of rice pudding look at all sexy (so I didn't try) but then rice pudding was never meant to be sexy. It is all about flannel not silk, which has an appeal all of its own - especially on a morning like this.
I realize that for many, if not most people rice pudding falls in the dessert category - which is really too bad. From my perspective it beats muffins and waffles and most (but not all see yesterday's post) pancakes nutritionally. Eggs, milk, rice, raisins, even the cinnamon - lots of virtue. So I have been serving it up for breakfast using last night's leftover rice since our kids were little and we lived in Japan. Which leads me to - because we had no oven in Japan I tried "baking" the pudding in the microwave. And guess what? It is brilliant because you can make this truly yummy breakfast with a smell that does all the coaxing to eat it for you* in less time than it takes to cook a pot of oatmeal.
3 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/2 (generous) tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp vanilla
Whisk all the ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl. When it is thoroughly mixed put it in the microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes. Remove and stir very well. Return to microwave and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir. Cook for a final 3 minutes, stir well again and let stand for 3-5 minutes. Done!
A few notes: This recipe is very generous in that it is immensely adaptable. If you don't have 1 1/2 cups of leftover rice, use 1. It always seems to work. Perhaps a little more 'custard-y' but still yummy. Today I felt like it so I added 1/4 tsp of cardamom. Sometimes I add nutmeg, other times a little lemon zest. Currents are good along with the raisins or in place of. I have tried basmati, jasmine, brown, brown jasmine, and Japanese short grain rice. All are equally delicious. You can use any milk you like but the higher the fat content the creamier the finished pudding. Whole milk is stupendous but less healthy, 2% mmmmhmmm, 1% great and I really can't say I have tried it with skim - never have it. Low fat evaporated milk works quite well, richer tasting without the fat. So, anyway, just try it.
Second note: after the last 3 minutes of cooking it initially doesn't look like it is really finished cooking. Trust me, it is. If you put it back in and cook it longer it is fine for the first few minutes but then it becomes really firm and dry - not good! If you let it sit for the 3-5 minutes you end up with a nice creamy texture.
Wow! That's a lot of discussion for something that is really simple. Sorry.
*A true advantage as any mother of young children can attest.
But really, I wish you could smell this. On a cold, bleak morning there is not much better.