I haven’t done a ton of “special cooking” since I’ve been back from Hawaii (I’m using air quotes here since obviously I cook every day, it’s just of the quicker variety) but yesterday I was finally in the mood to break out the cookbooks, yes that’s plural. For dinner I made Indian scrambled eggs (post and recipe coming soon as they were delicious) and for dessert I made a Rum-Raisin Rice Pudding. Yes, they couldn’t have been more different in terms of cuisines and yet I will never forget in the Portuguese town of Sintra, seeing not one but two restaurants advertising Indian-Italian cuisine. Yes, how about some samosas with that rigatoni. But I went with eggs and rice pudding since both selections are on the lighter side and ironically, seemed to go well together. I did also have naan as an accompaniment to the eggs though.
I love rice pudding although not the kind you will in the supermarket that is more liquid goop than rice. Homemade rice pudding is the best and it really doesn’t take that long to make. Not to mention when you soak raisins in rum, the aroma is divine. For the record, I used Barbados’ Mount Gay Rum which is quickly growing to become my new rum favorite.
Since it is a Puerto Rican dish, buen provecho!
Puerto Rican Rum-Raisin Rice Pudding
courtesy of Steven Raichlen’s Healthy Latin Cooking
1/2 cup golden or dark raisins
1/4 cup light rum
1 cup rice (they recommend using Valencia-style rice or Arborio, I used long-grain which is what I had on hand)
1 stick cinnamon (3″ long)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups water
1 cup sweetened condensed skim milk
1 cup evaporated skimmed milk
4-6 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons grated lime peel
Pinch of salt
Ground cinnamon or grated nutmeg (optional)
In a small bowl, combine the raisins and rum. Let soak for 15 minutes, or until softened.
In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the rice, cinnamon stick, vanilla, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
Stir in the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and the raisins with their liquid. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the rice is very soft. Stir in 4 tablespoons of the brown sugar, lime peel, and salt. Cook for 5 minutes (the pudding will seem wet, it firms as it cools). Taste and add more brown sugar, if desired.
Let the pudding cool to room temperature. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Spoon the pudding into desired glasses or bowl. Refrigerate until cold. Sprinkle each serving with cinnamon or nutmeg (if using).