Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk and Cashews

A while back, my friend and I were in New York and found ourselves visiting a gelato shop in Chelsea Market. The display case was so tempting, we just couldn't resist. The only problem was that the flavor names were in Italian.

Normally, I have no problem asking people questions, but when it comes to gelato, I knew I'd ask a TON of questions. Seeing as how it was very busy that day, I panicked and picked a flavor at random.

The gelato was creamy and delicious, the flavor so difficult to identify. It couldn't have been vanilla, and there were these small pieces of unidentifiable solid....grains of rice?

Then it clicked. Rice pudding gelato. And it was amazing.

Week 26 of the challenge requires a gluten free recipe, which got my mind back on rice pudding. A few nights prior, I had made basmati rice, and ended up with leftovers. Luckily, after doing a little research, I realized that most rice pudding recipes have you start by cooking the rice. It was like I was already halfway done!

Since I was using basmati rice, I chose to include coconut milk, and some nice spice combinations. Cashews for texture? Why not.

Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk and Cashews
serves 6
adapted from Alton Brown

2 cups cooked basmati rice
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup whole roasted cashews

In a large nonstick saucepan, combine the cooked rice and milk over medium-high heat. When the mixture begins to boil, bring the saucepan to a simmer and cook until thickened, stirring often. (About 10 minutes).

Bring the heat back up to medium-high and add the heavy cream, coconut milk, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir frequently and cook until the mixture begins to thicken again, (about 15 - 20 min). Once the mixture starts to thicken, stir in the cashews and remove from heat.

Serve rice pudding in little dishes, top with a light sprinkle of either of the spices. Tastes great hot or cold. (Can be chilled in refrigerator overnight.)

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