Rice Pudding–Risotto Style

20 Feb

My daughter really hates milk. Like completely refuses to drink the stuff. So, in an attempt to get some dairy and a few extra calories into her little one year old body, I made rice pudding.
Now, this isn’t your typical rice pudding! Its made with arborio rice and whole milk and you just go through the motions of making risotto, except it ends up being sweet. My mom taught me the whole arborio rice trick and man, is it a great one! That mother of mine has serious culinary tricks up her sleeve.
Anyways, the arborio rice puffs up into these chewy, soft grains that are swimming in this creamy, cinnamony deliciousness. And, I realize that last sentence had some made up words in it.
I don’t know what it is about eating something warm with cinnamon that makes me relax and forget about my cares. At least thats what happened yesterday when I made this….and then 5 minutes later realized my daughter was playing in the toilet. But, thats another story.
Arborio rice is pretty common now a days and I found mine in the bulk food section where it was really cheap! I also used whole milk for the entire recipe, but feel free to substitute half and half or cream for some (or all if you’re feeling dangerous) of the milk! Sometimes using the cream is the right thing to do. It takes about 35-40 minutes start to finish and needs a little babysitting, but its so worth it. Try it this weekend! Its comfort food at its finest!

Rice Pudding – Risotto Style
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup arborio rice
3 1/2 cups whole milk (give or take 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Pour in rice and stir until all grains have been coated with butter. Pour in enough milk to cover rice by about 1/4 inch. Stir continuously until rice has soaked up the majority of the milk. Continue this process of adding milk and stirring until rice has softened completely. (About 5 rounds of pouring and stirring for me!) For the last 5-10 minutes of cooking, stir in brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Take off heat and stir in vanilla. Serve warm.

Recipe TIPS:
-If you run out of milk and your rice is still a little chewy, add in more milk until its completely soft. Also, if your rice has stopped soaking in the milk, then odds are its soft and your rice pudding is done!
-Once the brown sugar is added, the rice pudding may seem a little watery, but no fear! The rice will soak it up!
-If you’re not wanting to spend the time stirring, add all ingredients except vanilla to a large pot and simmer it for 30 minutes. Stir and try the rice. If its still chewy, it needs to cook longer. If there isn’t enough ‘sauce’ add in more milk. Stir in vanilla once the rice is completely soft.

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