Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bar Food 2. Vanilla and Rum Rice Pudding

So I'm officially a week into my ipod bar review and I've surprised myself. I cook a lot. I've cooked most of my meals this week. They taste pretty good. And Justin has not complained (although I doubt he ever would out of fear of breaking my heart). I made easy pork chops with a mustard sage sauce a few nights ago. We had tacos the other day made with organic beef and homemade pico de gallo. But I have noticed one thing, I haven't made any desserts.

Justin and I were at the grocery store last night after a long afternoon at the golf course. He played 18 holes while I studied outside the clubhouse (it was a gorgeous day, especially since the humidity still hasn't hit Virginia). While browsing through the bread aisle, I sent Justin to get some eggs. He came back with Kozy Shack Rice Pudding. What's this, I asked? You want to eat this crap? Isn't my rice pudding better? In all honesty, there was no reason to get defensive. The poor guy just wanted some rice pudding without having to wait all night. But instead, I sent him back to return the kozy shack and pick up a quart of half and half. I was going to make rice pudding. The wait would be worth it.

Speaking of rice pudding, when I went up to New York City last February to hang out with Melissa, we spent an entire day eating - literally. One place we stumbled upon was Rice to Riches. Here is a photo of Melissa outside of Rice to Riches, an eatery in New York City entirely devoted to rice pudding. While delicious, it was amazingly expensive and the service was terrible. But seriously, SO GOOD!

The following recipe is adapted from Ina Garten's Rum Raisin Rice Pudding. I've adapted it in three ways: (1) I took out the raisins since Justin doesn't care for them, (2) I use aborrio rice instead of basmati, and (3) I've used a vanilla bean for those pretty little flecks and its stronger and more potent flavor.



2 tablespoons spiced or dark rum
3/4 cup abborio rice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 extra-large egg, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. Combine the rice and salt with 1 1/2 cups water in a medium heavy-bottomed stainless steel saucepan. Bring it to a boil, stir once, and simmer, covered, on the lowest heat for 8 to 9 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed.

2. Stir in 4 cups of half-and-half and sugar and bring to a boil. Scrape the beans from the vanilla bean with the back of a paring knife and mix into the rice mixture along with the remaining pod. Simmer uncovered for approximately 30 minutes, until the rice is very soft. Stir often, particularly toward the end. Take off the heat. Slowly stir in the beaten egg and let thicken for 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract and rum. Remove the vanilla pod. Stir well.

3. Pour into a bowl, and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Serve chilled.


Karen said...

This looks fantastic, Van. I can't believe how much you're still cooking, with all the other stuff you have going on! But I have a question -- where's the rum?

Ivette said...

Dude, rice to riches is my FAVORITE! I love the graham craker one and have been looking for a good recipe. Stupid question, but how does a short-grain rice hold up? I know, I know, I'm just trying a tad to make it healthier...

vanlikethecar said...

hey karen, thanks for pointing out my mistake. i edited the post and it now calls for 2 tablespoons of rum. and ms. ivette, what kind of short grain rice are you using. the aborrio rice is short grain. i've made it with basmati rice to (which is healthier) and it adds a nice nuttiness to the dish.

vanlikethecar said...

and i've made this with fat free half and half before and its still awesome.

Karen said...

Woohoo - RUM! :D