Tejberizs… milchreis… Arroz con leche… Riz au lait… Rice pudding…?
In case you didn’t catch that; pretty much every language names this dish “Rice & Milk”, or something along those lines, except English, where for some reason it’s a pudding. I guess that’s because pudding is not really considered breakfast food in the western world, but dessert rather. However in many European countries, what English calls “rice pudding” is actually a porridge/cereal-like dish, served warm and is very commonly eaten for breakfast, especially by children. I know I used to eat it a lot when I was baby. (´･ω･`)
… after a quick visit to Wikipedia, I just learnt that Asian countries also serve this exclusively as a dessert. Continental Europeans are the weird ones, apparently.
So the most common method of making rice pudding in continental Europe is to get whole milk, rice, sugar, and a packet of vanilla sugar, and just cook the rice at a simmer for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally until the rice gets really thick and develops the consistency of, well, pudding. Now if you know me, whole milk is seldom in my fridge and I typically will have only homemade almond milk on hand, and the problem with using almond milk for any pudding is that it will not thicken up as well or get as creamy as it would with whole milk. So what do? Not make rice pudding unless I have whole milk! ＼(＾O＾)／
Seriously. I mean you could do this same technique with almond milk or any low/nonfat milk, but the texture won’t be the same, and it won’t taste nearly as good. And honestly, the only reason most people would use almond/lowfat milk instead of whole milk is if they’re either vegan or simply trying to cut calories. My advice? Use coconut milk if you’re a vegan, and dieters should still try this recipe using whole milk, because you’ll never lose weight if you can’t learn to enjoy your food.
I have tried doing my rice pudding in many different ways. Some people add eggs, some people beat their egg whites and fold them in, and I hate doing both of these things because 1. the egg whites curdle making it look visually horrendous and 2. the foaminess mixed with the soft chewy texture of the rice really doesn’t work… I’ve also tried adding butter, but if you’re using whole milk you really don’t need it. And that’s coming from me, the guy who occasionally “bites the butter”.
Also, a lot of people like to add raisins in their rice pudding, but I hate raisins so I don’t.
Ingredients per serving
1/4 cup arborio rice*
1 cup whole milk**
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract***
1/2 stick of cinnamon
a pinch of cinnamon for garnish
1. Throw your rice into a saucepan with a pinch of salt.
2. Pour in your milk, zest in your lemon, add half a stick of cinnamon, turn the heat to high, bring it up to a boil, stir the mixture to make sure nothing gets stuck to the bottom, then turn your heat back down to low and simmer slightly uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep in mind that when heating milk, especially whole milk, it may start foaming up or even burning, so once it hits that boil it’s a good idea to take it off the heat, turn the heat to minimum, stir the mixture vigorously, then put it back onto the adjusted heat once the foaming has settled down. And always leave it slightly uncovered, as this really needs to breathe.
3. After 20 minutes of simmering, check the texture of your rice. If it’s still firm, let it simmer for a little longer. It should be very soft, but not mushy. At this point, you can take it off the heat and stir in your sugar and vanilla extract.
4. Put it back on the heat, turn it up to medium and cook stirring constantly for about 1-5 minutes or until the water from the milk evaporates and reduces to your desired consistency, then remove from the heat and serve in a bowl. Garnish with your cinnamon stick (although a fresh one looks much better), add a nice pinch of cinnamon on top, and enjoy~!!
*Does it have to be arborio? Well pretty much, yeah, since I did mention this is the way I do it, although any short-grain risotto rice or pudding rice would work. We use these kinds of rice because they release more starches than other kinds of rice and it helps to thicken up that pudding nicely, so I use arborio because I usually have it on hand for my risottos, but you could use any rice you have on hand. It just won’t be as good.
**Sorry, it has to be whole milk. Why are you still buying 2% anyway? Get some real milk that hasn’t been watered down.
***I don’t like vanilla sugar very much, so I go for vanilla extract, but you could use a 1 tbsp sugar + 1 packet of vanilla sugar in place of 2 tbsp sugar and a tsp vanilla extract.
As a bonus, here’s what it looks like with almond milk: