Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rice Pudding

Creative Cooking Crew Feb 14: Rice

This month our cooking crew tackles rice.  Such amazingly versatile ingredient to work with.  Clearly, I could have gone numerous different directions.  I chose to make a dessert.  Not usually my preferred course to cook, it was fun to do something different.

Rice Pudding

I grew up on my Grandmas Cuban rice pudding or "Arroz con Leche."  While I loved eating it as a kid, I make mine a different way.

I make mine very much in the same way I make my risotto.  Down to the rice being cooked al dente.  I am not a fan of overcooked rice.  Just cannot get passed the mouthfeel.

As with risotto, the broth is everything.  For this course, I made a coconut "broth" to cook the rice. Probably a 60-40 combo of coconut milk and water.  Add a pinch of Spanish saffron for an intriguing flavor contrast.

Coconut "Broth"
  • Coconut Milk
  • Water
  • Saffron
  • Raisins
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut Flakes
Allow the "broth" to simmer for about 60 minutes.  You are allowing the flavors to infuse, not really reducing any liquid.

I used Carnaroli Rice.

From the moment you add the first ladle of broth, the cooking process of the rice should take about 17 minutes.  Depending on your personal preference for rice "doneness."
  1. Toast the rice in walnut oil.
  2. Add a ladle of broth.
  3. Keep the rice at a steady bubble.
  4. Let the broth absorb before adding more broth.
  5. Stirring is important.  The bottom of the pan is the hottest.  Keep the rice moving to avoid it catching at the bottom.
Once the rice is cooked, in lieu of mantecatura, which is beating in ice-cold butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano, I simply finished the rice with a combination of evaporated milk and a touch of sweetened condensed milk.

Allow the rice pudding to cool in the fridge.

Serve with guava jelly...(optional but awesome)

Please check back to this site on 2.27.14 for the complete round-up.


  1. Genius to use coconut broth and flakes. It could only enhance the end result. Also intrigued by the use of saffron and the smiley face. :)

  2. Us midwesterners always make rice pudding with milk... there is so much more to do to it, isn't there? I am loving the guava addition, I have often tossed a bit of raspberry jam in mine (that I usually make with brown rice). Lovely dish and great picture...

  3. Guava makes everything alright - I love rice pudding.

  4. Oh yum! What a happy dish ;-) I love that you used coconut milk for this instead of regular milk. Along with that guava garnish it gives this such a tasty tropical spin!

  5. I have always loved rice pudding. And I really like you flavor additions...and it's so cute the smiley face!

  6. love the smiley face :) the guava jelly and coconut flavors sound wonderful together!

  7. YUM!!!! I like that you made the pudding like a risotto. I love the guava jam on top, Laz!

  8. The guava jam is a great touch! Great work, Laz! I don't even like rice pudding, but maybe I'll make some up to have for breakfast.

  9. I used to make rice pudding for my boys and this reminds me of the way I used to serve it to them.


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