Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Risotto-style Coconut Rice Pudding

Thanks to my sister, I've become obsessed with these:
If you see these little Dove holiday chocolates, snatch them up with a quickness.  And don't blame me when you eat the whole bag.  I warned you, but I'm totally encouraging you to get them.  At first I thought "Well these are probably okay so I'll try one."  Then it melted in my mouth and was wonderfully full of peppermint and chocolate and Christmas spirit.

Speaking of obsessed because of my sister...
He's like "'Sup, y'all."  He is not okay with those pants by the way.  He definitely prefers to be pantsless.  I've been in Columbia for the past week and a half helping my sister out.  Her company gave her an extra six weeks to basically work from home, so I've been baby wrangling while she works.  From the blogging perspective, I have an incredible amount of respect for mommy bloggers. On the reals, I'm more or less lying completely flat while G-man sleeps on me right now.  Serious business.

I have no pretty segue into this rice pudding.  So let's just go at it.  I'd never had rice pudding until I made it.  I'd been planning this recipe for weeks until I finally made it.  It's got a serious coconut flavor and wonderfully sweet.  Using arborio rice makes it extra thick and creamy.  Let's get on this!

 While not necessarily the prettiest dessert, it's got a serious comfort factor.
We've got: Arborio rice, unsweetened coconut milk, brown sugar, vanilla bean paste, salted butter, and cinnamon.
Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan.  This makes a good deal of pudding.
Add your rice and toss it around the butter to coat all the grains.  Let it cook two or three minutes to get translucent.
If you're feeling saucy, add a splash of rum!  It's optional...but not really.
Heat the coconut milk over low heat.
While the coconut milk heats up, add the brown sugar.  Stir it around and let it go for a minute.  Kind of looks like dirty rice, no?
Add a couple of ladlefuls of the warm milk.  It'll look very brown, and that may be a little disturbing to you.  I promise it'll become a lovely shade of khaki when all is said and done.
 When the liquid is almost absorbed, add another two ladlefuls of coconut milk.  Repeat this process until half the coconut milk is absorbed.
Pour the rest of the coconut milk in with the rice.  Don't be alarmed if it bubbles violently.  Turn the heat down and stir.
See?  When all the coconut milk is in, it's a pretty light brown.
Add the cinnamon and stir it around.
When the rice has just a bit of a bite left to it, stir in the vanilla bean paste and a small pinch of salt.  The salt will just highlight the flavors in the pudding.  Take it off the heat.
Ohhh snap, y'all.  That's some rice pudding right there.
You definitely want to eat this warm.  The coconut milk gives it a wonderful silky texture.  I'm thanking the Lord that my nails, while au naturel, are not raggedy in this picture.
It's just a major bowl of comfort.  On the reals, your soul will be happy you made this.  And your tummy.

Coconut Rice Pudding (serves 4)

2 tbs salted butter
3/4 c arborio rice
2 (13.5 oz) cans unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 c dark brown sugar
Splash of rum (optional)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (extract may be substituted)
Pinch of salt

  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add rice and toss to coat with the butter.  Let grains toast 2-3 minutes, until translucent.  
  • In another saucepan, heat coconut milk over low heat.
  • Add rum if using and stir rice until the liquid is absorbed.  Add brown sugar and stir.  Start adding warm milk two ladlefuls at a time.  Stir until liquid is almost absorbed and add another two ladlefuls.  Continue until half the coconut milk has been added.  Mixture may bubble and look like caramel.  This is fine.  If rice starts to stick turn heat down to medium-low.  Add cinnamon and the rest of the coconut milk and stir.  Let rice pudding cook until a thick sauce has formed and rice is just al dente.  Remove from heat and add vanilla bean paste or extract and a small pinch of salt.  Serve warm.

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