I’ve always said I’m confident I can cook pretty much anything*, except pasta and rice. Yes, you read that correctly. For some reason, I always seem to either undercook or overcook those simple basics, yet I’m capable of making mini lemon soufflés in hollowed out lemon peels! Seems really weird, I know.
I think the reason is that I’m easily distracted. Not that I have ADD or anything (although I’ve never been tested, and the bf might have something to say about that!), but I’m just too much of a multi-tasker. I can’t do just one thing at a time unless it’s really challenging. So for lemon soufflés or some other type of new, challenging recipe, I usually pay sharp attention to the recipe and am careful not to overstep, whereas with pasta or rice or something simple (like shortbread!), I get impatient and bored and antsy, and I either undercook it or I wander off to do something else and end up overcooking it!
Yes, I am a spaz. Tell me something I don’t know.
Anyway, the point of this information is to give you some background on why I was crazy to choose to make rice pudding last week. Not only did I have to cook the rice, I then had to cook it again, standing over it and stirring nonstop to keep the milk from burning, no less! All this added up to a total of 40 stir-crazy-insanity minutes, during which I stirred my flabby arms off and danced on my tiptoes and tried not to get so bored that I wandered off and let the whole thing boil over into a gloopy mess on our just-cleaned stove.
And eventually I succeeded! Ok, so I put the cooked rice in before the milk had come to a boil, then cursed at our electric hob when the milk finally boiled and then wouldn't stop even on heat 2! but in the end, I was rewarded for my exhausting efforts with a delicious pile of gloopy, vanilla-y, cinnamon-y comfort food which was pretty durned tasty. I ate a bunch of it warm, then some more at room temp, and then the rest chilled for breakfast the next day, and I can honestly say that there is no temperature that can ruin this scrumptious treat. The bf agrees, I think, given that he ate 2/3 of it.
* Try not to think about the many examples to the contrary… just go with it, ok?
Scrummy Almond/Cinnamon/Vanilla Rice Pudding:
In a large pan, bring to boil:
2 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup uncooked short-grain rice
Simmer about 20 minutes, until rice is cooked, then put rice in a bowl and set aside (try not to eat it all while you're bored and waiting for the next step to be finished!).
Rinse the pan, then re-use it to bring to boil, stirring constantly:
3 cups milk
1/2 vanilla pod, split open
1/2 cup sugar
When milk has boiled (or when you can't stand waiting any longer for your stupid electric hob to get with the program), add rice and stir until creamy, about 20 minutes. Taste to confirm plumpness/softness, but try not to burn your mouth because this stuff is sticky.
Remove from heat and stir in:
1 tbsp (15g) butter
1/2 tsp almond extract
Place in glasses or a big ole bowl and serve immediately or let cool and then chill in the fridge. Scarf in an unladylike fashion.