Thursday, January 22, 2015

German Rice Pudding

Photo by Juan Guaman - gopixpic.com
Brrr, it's cold outside.

As temperatures drop, I start to crave my Momma's comforting rice pudding. She makes it on a stove top, and it is relatively healthy. On cold hectic days, rice pudding makes a mighty fine, one pot dinner at my table! Here is my mother's recipe:

German Rice Pudding

Ingredients:

4 cups milk (2% fat is creamy; whole milk and/or cream is creamier still! It will be thinner, but I sometimes use skim milk.)
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste (If you can eat it with less sugar, more power to you!)
a sprinkle of sea salt
1 cup of white rice (Alternative: See directions for brown rice below.)
1 tablespoon vanilla, 0r scrape out a vanilla bean
sprinkles of cinnamon and nutmeg

Directions:

1) Pour the milk, eggs and sugar into a large saucepan and beat thoroughly while the milk is cold. Add in the sea salt and dry white rice.

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Directions for brown rice: It's a bit trickier. Although white rice makes a creamier pudding, I sometimes substitute brown rice to make the dish even healthier. Brown rice will be slightly chewy compared to white rice. I cook the brown rice according to the directions on the package first. (One cup of dry brown rice takes 45 minutes to cook, which is the amount I use.). After it's done, I pour in the cold milk, eggs and the rest of the ingredients, except for the vanilla, then proceed to step two below.
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2) Turn on the flame to bring the mixture to a boil before reducing it to a simmer. Cook for about 14 minutes while stirring frequently with a spoon. (I lower the heat and put a lid on the pot, but watch it carefully. Every 3 minutes or so, I stir it with a whisk so the mixture doesn't stick or get lumpy.) Simmer and stir until the pudding thickens, and the rice is tender.
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3) Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Top with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Extra tips: We like our rice pudding plain. It's about the vanilla! But you can add raisins, chopped nuts, dark chocolate shavings, or whatever you like. Some folks make the pudding without the eggs. But, my family likes the richness and extra protein that eggs give the pudding.

Serve German rice pudding warm along with your favorite fruit (peaches, pears, blueberries, strawberries) for balanced nutrition. Chill any leftover pudding in the refrigerator to eat the next day. It's tasty warm or cold.

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