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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Rice Pudding with Maple Sauce

Greetings, dear readers!

Tonight the cooking bug got me. I normally don't cook, but I felt like making something. I had a hankering for rice pudding, so I decided to cruise around looking for a recipe that didn't seem too complicated or time consuming.

I decided upon this recipe by Ree Drummond of Food Network fame, mostly because the caramel sauce appealed to me. We didn't have all the ingredients like short/medium grain white rice, heavy cream, or corn syrup, but we had enough to make something.

By the time I was done, I was pleased with the result. The pudding was thick, though not quite as smooth and creamy as I would have liked. The highlight, however, was my maple sauce. It was better than the caramel sauce the recipe called for.

Here is my adaptation of Ree Drummond's rice pudding recipe. Give it a try and see how you like it! Feel free to modify as needed.

Rice pudding (left) and maple sauce (right)

Tamtam's Rice Pudding with Maple Sauce

1 cup of white rice (I used long grain)
2 cups of water
2 cups of milk (I used whole milk)
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp of butter
1/2 cup of raisin and date mixture
1/2 cup of rum (I used Captain Morgan 100-proof)
1 Tsp vanilla extract
1 12 oz can of condensed milk
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
*For sauce:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup

To start, take a measuring cup and fill it with a mixture of raisins and chopped dates. Transfer mixture to a small bowl and cover with 1/2 cup of rum and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Set aside to soak for at least an hour.

Place in a medium saucepan the rice and add the milk, water, butter, and salt. Heat until boiling, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Once the mixture is boiling, lower heat to medium-low and cover. Let it sit and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

Make the sauce during this time period. Place butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup in a small saucepan over low heat. Once mix reaches gentle boil, stir and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Sauce is done when it can thickly coat the back of the spoon. Remove from heat and move off to the side.

Going back to the rice pudding, remove the pot from heat and stir. At this time, add in the can of condensed milk along with the pinches of nutmeg, cinnamon and the vanilla extract. Stir once again to combine all ingredients, place back on low heat for about 5 minutes or so to let the pudding cook some more. Finally, drain the raisin and date mix and add them to the pudding along with the egg. Stir again and let sit for a few minutes for the final cooking.

Remove from heat, let pudding sit for about 10-15 minutes to cool off. To serve, spoon pudding into a bowl and top with the maple sauce. Enjoy!

-ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS wash the rice before cooking! Even if the packaging label says not to, wash the rice anyway since doing so removes any dirt that came from the fields it was grown in. Also, washing rice removes excess starch, which results in a better quality rice dish. It takes a few rounds of washing but when the water is clear, you're good to go.
-When boiling the rice, leave the pot cover at an angle for ventilation. The rice won't boil over that way.
-Some of the rum that the raisins were soaking in can be added to the pudding for flavoring. I wouldn't add more than a tablespoon, simply because it can overwhelm the dish.
-The maple sauce can be used on multiple dishes. I would suggest ice cream topping or even a pork marinade as alternative uses.

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