Arroz con Leche
(Latin rice pudding)
4 to 6 servings
- Milk -- 4 cups
- Short-grain rice --1/2 cup
- Cinnamon stick -- 1
- Orange or lemon peel (optional) -- 2 strips
- Salt -- pinch
- Raisins -- 1/4 cup
- Sugar -- 1/2 cup
- Butter -- 2 tablespoons
- Vanilla -- 1 teaspoon
- Place the milk, rice, cinnamon stick, orange or lemon peel and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Immediately reduce heat to very low and simmer, stirring often and scraping bottom, for about 45 minutes.
- Add the raisins and sugar and simmer for another 15 minutes. Stir often to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Adjust sugar to taste and serve hot or cold, sprinkling the top with some ground cinnamon.
Arroz con Leche Variations
- Arroz con Dulce (Puerto Rico), or Arroz-Doce (Brazil): use coconut milk in place of regular milk.
- Short-grain rice, like arborio or Valencia rice, is best for rice pudding as it gives the dessert a creamier texture, but regular long-grain rice can be used to good result too. A little more rice can be added if you want a firmer pudding. If the pudding gets too thick, just add a little more milk.
- Sometimes water, cream, sweetened and condensed milk or evaporated milk is substituted for part of the regular milk. Just make sure the total amount of liquid adds up to 4 cups. And adjust the amount of sugar as needed.
- Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of brandy or rum when you stir in the butter and vanilla if you like.
- Some recipes call for stirring in 2 beaten egg yolks at the end before adding the butter and vanilla. The heat of the pudding will cook the yolks, make it creamier and give it a pale golden color.